The list features two players from the host nation, the United Arab Emirates.
The AFC Asian Cup 2019 is set to give a platform to many legends of Asian football. While much of the spotlight will be on the more popular stars like Son Heung-min, Alireza Jahanbaksh and Sardar Azmoun from favourites Korea DPR and Iran. However, some iconic players are set to head into the tournament with impressive records. While the young upstarts might be more popular, these legends have earned iconic reputations due to their goalscoring prowess for their respective nations.
Having played consistently for many years, some players have scored an unbelievable number of goals heading into the Asian Cup. Here, we take a look at the top five players with most international goals heading into the 2019 edition.
5. Teerasil Dangda (Thailand)
Watch: Dangda has scored 42 goals for Thailand over the years
Possibly the most complete striker in the Thailand squad right now, Teerasil Dangda maintains huge influence over their game. Not only a clinical goalscorer, he often creates chances and provides assists to elevate his team’s game. On the scoring front, Dangda is ruthless and has scored 42 goals in around 95 appearances for the War Elephants.
In his decade-long career with the national team, Dangda’s risen in confidence and score clinical goals thanks to his predatorial instincts in the final third. He’ll look to further raise the bar in the goal-scoring department and bring joy to his national side
4. Ahmed Khalil (United Arab Emirates)
Khalil has been a pillar in the UAE side for long
Ahmed Khalil’s risen as the United Arab Emirates’ most reliable striking option in recent years and since making his debut in 2008, he’s been in prime form. The Al-Ahli academy graduate has been a key clog to his team’s success, scoring goals for fun and on important occasions for his nation.
Khalil has scored 46 goals in around 99 appearances for the Whites and will make his 100th appearance in the Asian Cup. He scored three goals in the competition in 2015 and will definitely aim to increase his tally and thrill the fans with some clever goals.
3. Ali Mabkhout (United Arab Emirates)
Watch: Mabkhout scored five times in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup
The man the whole of the United Arab Emirates will have their eyes on, star striker Ali Mabkhout has become a huge fan-favourite among the football fanatics of the country. Mabkhout’s amazing performances for his country over the years have made him a hero, with his brilliant striking ability and consistency making him their most dangerous striker.
Mabkhout has scored 46 goals in only 73 senior appearances for the Whites and has a great record in the Asian Cup as well. Mabkhout scored five goals in the tournament in 2015, ending up with the Golden Boot.
2. Phil Younghusband (Philippines)
Watch: Phil Younghusband was one of the standout performers in the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup
Phil Younghusband has been the man to take the Philippines forward in recent years. He played a huge role in them qualifying for their first ever AFC Asian Cup campaign and is a legend among their football fans. The Chelsea youth academy graduate’s been a tireless worker and amazing performer for the side.
Younghusband has scored 52 goals in 105 appearances for the Azkals. However, knowing his goalscoring prowess, the striker will aim to add to his tally and take the Philippines as far as possible.
1. Sunil Chhetri (India)
Watch: Chhetri is inarguably one of India’s best players in the past few years
India’s own captain fantastic, Sunil Chhetri has been the torchbearer for Indian football over the past decade or so. The Bengaluru FC striker has been in excellent form for his nation, helping raise standards in the Indian game and bring glory to the national side. Chhetri’s played a huge part in the country’s climb in recent years and also in their Asian Cup qualifying campaign.
Chhetri has scored 65 goals in 103 appearances for the Blue Tigers and is the second-highest active international goalscorer after Cristiano Ronaldo. He still looks vigorous going forward and will aim to increase his tally and help his side create history in the tournament.