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AFC Champions League

Who are the all-time top scorers in AFC Champions League history?

Published at :May 9, 2024 at 6:44 PM
Modified at :May 9, 2024 at 6:44 PM
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(Courtesy : K League United)

Uttiyo Sarkar


The AFC Champions League is set to be rebranded from the upcoming edition.

The AFC Champions League is Asia’s oldest continental tournament and is considered among the most prestigious one in the continent. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) began it in 1967 – initially as the Asian Champion Club Tournament. This was changed to the Asian Club Championship in 1985 – having not been held from 1973 to 1984.  

Finally, the AFC Champions League became a thing from the 2002-03 season. It has been in existence with this name for the last 22 years. However, the AFC has decided to rebrand it again and now the top competition in Asian football will be named as the AFC Champions League Elite from the 2024-25 season. The number of teams will also be reduced from 40 to 24 as a result.

Hence, the AFC Champions League – which allowed 40 teams to participate in the 2023-24 season – will cease to exist. The tournament has created numerous memories for some of Asia’s best clubs. A number of Indian teams have participated – including the likes of FC Goa and Mumbai City.

The AFC Champions League has also given a spotlight to a number of prominent Asian and foreign footballers over the decades. A lucrative class of footballers have been fortunate enough to play in multiple editions of the competition with different teams and have stamped their authority in the history books forever.

Because of the change to the AFC Champions League, the current all-time leading goal-scorers in the division will have a special play in this memorable competition’s history. In this article, we delve into the all-time leading goal-scorers in the ACL’s history and the personalities which manage to stand out from the thousands of footballers to have played in the tournament.

Montenegro striker Dejan Damjanovic holds the crown for being the all-time top scorer in AFC Champions League history. He scored an incredible 42 goals in the competition, spanning across four clubs. He played in the competition as part of FC Seoul, Beijing Guoan, Suwon Bluewings and Kitchee FC. What is rather fascinating is that despite holding this amazing achievement, Damjanovic actually never won a Golden Boot in any of the nine AFC Champions League editions he played in.

In 2021, he managed to set this feat by surpassing the former record set by South Korea legend Dong-gook Lee. To his credit, Lee did it while playing for only one club – Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors – scoring 37 goals in 74 appearances across 10 seasons. With this being said, here are the all time top goal-scorers in AFC Champions League’s history.

  • Dejan Damjanovic (42 goals)
  • Dong-gook Lee (37 goals)
  • Elkeson (30 goals)
  • Nasser Al-Shamrani (30 goals)
  • Abderrazak Hamdallah (28 goals)
  • Shinzo Koroki (27 goals)
  • Baghdad Bounedjah (26 goals)
  • Ricardo Goulart (25 goals)
  • Salem Al-Dawsari (23 goals)
  • Omar Al-Somah (23 goals)
  • Muriqi (20 gals)
  • Shin-wook Kim (20 goals)
  • Romarinho (20 goals)
  • Youssef El Arabi (20 goals)
  • Asamoah Gyan (20 goals)

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