Wednesday, 22 May 2024

The Best Asian Forwards in Football History

If you’re a football fan, especially of the Asian football scene, you don’t want to miss out on this article about the Best Asian Forwards of All Time. The list features some of the most talented and legendary players from the continent who have left their mark on the beautiful game.

Majed Abdullah

Majed Abdullah

  • Country: Saudi Arabia
  • Total International Games: 140
  • Goals: 72

Majed Abdullah is widely regarded as one of the best Asian forwards of all time. Born in Saudi Arabia in 1959, Abdullah began his football career with Al-Nassr FC in Riyadh at the age of 16. He played for the club for nearly two decades, scoring a total of 325 goals in 321 appearances and leading them to numerous domestic and international titles.

Abdullah was a prolific scorer for both club and country. He scored a total of 146 goals in 183 appearances for the Saudi Arabian national team, making him the country’s all-time leading scorer. He also helped Saudi Arabia win the Gulf Cup of Nations three times and played in the 1984 Olympics and the 1986 World Cup.

His speed, agility, and technical skill characterized Abdullah’s playing style. He was known for his ability to dribble past defenders and score goals from a variety of positions on the field. He was also a versatile player, capable of being a forward, midfielder, or winger.

After retiring from football in 1998, Abdullah continued to be involved in the sport as a coach and administrator. He served as the president of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation from 2012 to 2018 and was instrumental in developing the sport in the country.

Abdullah’s contributions to Saudi Arabian football have earned him numerous accolades. He was named Asian Footballer of the Year three times and was inducted into the Asian Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

Paulino Alcantara

Paulino Alcantara

  • Country: Philippines
  • Total International Games: 5
  • Goals: 15

Paulino Alcantara, born in 1896 in Iloilo, Philippines, is considered one of the best Asian forwards of all time. He spent most of his career playing for FC Barcelona, where he played as a forward and scored an impressive 369 goals in 357 appearances. Alcantara was a key player for Barcelona during their successful period in the 1920s and 1930s, helping them win five Copa del Rey titles and ten Catalan Championships.

Alcantara’s unique playing style made him stand out from other forwards of his time. He was known for his excellent ball control, dribbling skills, and powerful shot. He was also an excellent passer with great game vision. Alcantara was a great scorer and an unselfish player, always willing to create opportunities for his teammates.

Despite his success with Barcelona, Alcantara was also a star player for the Philippine national team. He made his international debut at the age of 15 and went on to score a total of 15 goals in just 5 appearances for his country.

After retiring from professional football in 1937, Alcantara became a doctor and returned to the Philippines to practice medicine. He continued to be involved in football, serving as a coach for the Philippine national team and helping to develop young players.

Today, Alcantara is remembered as one of the greatest Filipino athletes of all time and a true pioneer of Asian football. He was inducted into the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame in 1972, and in 2014, Barcelona honored his memory by naming their training ground after him.

Kazuyoshi Miura

Kazuyoshi Miura

  • Country: Japan
  • Total International Games: 89
  • Goals: 55

Kazuyoshi Miura is a former Japanese professional football player widely regarded as one of the oldest and best Asian forwards of all time. He was born on February 26, 1967, in Shizuoka, Japan.

Miura began his career in Brazil, joining the Santos youth academy. He later signed for the Brazilian team CRB, where he scored 21 goals in 20 games in his first season. After his impressive performance, he moved to Japan and signed for Yomiuri FC, now known as Tokyo Verdy. He also won the J.League Cup in 1992.

Miura’s biggest achievement came in 1997 when he joined Genoa CFC, becoming the first Japanese footballer to play in Serie A. He later played for Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and several clubs in Japan. Throughout his career, Miura was known for his exceptional skills, especially his speed and dribbling abilities. He was also a prolific goal scorer, finishing as the top scorer in the J.League in 1993 and 1994.

Miura also played for the Japanese national team, earning 89 caps and scoring 55 goals. He helped Japan qualify for their first-ever World Cup in 1998 and was a key player in their successful campaign to win the 2000 AFC Asian Cup. Recognizing his contributions to Japanese football, he was named J. League MVP twice and inducted into the Asian Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

Kazuyoshi Miura’s talent and longevity have made him a legend in Japanese and Asian football. Even in his 50s, he continued playing professional football, inspiring generations of Japanese footballers to pursue their dreams.

Mehdi Taremi

Mehdi Taremi

  • Country: Iran
  • Total International Games: 65
  • Goals: 30

The Iranian football player Mehdi Taremi has become one of the best forwards in the Portuguese league right now. Taremi has made a name for himself on the football field with his remarkable goal-scoring abilities, technical talents, adaptability, physicality, work ethic, and big-match performances.

A defining aspect of Taremi’s game is his ability to score goals. He frequently scores goals with a clinical finish and accurate placement. Taremi stands out as one of the finest in the world thanks to his ability to score goals, whether he is playing for his club, like Porto and Al-Gharafa, or his national team. There are currently reports that he will sign with Bayern Munich. We await an exact announcement from the player or the club.

His play is quite distinctive. Taremi is a nightmare for defenders because of his close ball control, dribbling abilities, and rapid twists. His performance in the Qatar World Cup 2022 was marvelous. Although Iran never reached the knockout stage, this forward’s performance was praised regardless.

These points stated above have made him one of the best Asian forwards of all time.

Kiatisuk Senamuang

Kiatisuk Senamuang

  • Country: Thailand
  • Total International Games: 134
  • Goals: 71

Kiatisuk Senamuang, also known as “Zico,” is widely regarded as one of the best Asian footballers ever. Born in Thailand in 1973, Kiatisuk began his football career in his home country, playing for clubs such as Raj Pracha and Royal Thai Air Force.

He quickly gained a reputation as a talented and skillful striker, and in 1994 he was scouted by Huddersfield Town in the English First Division. However, he remained in Thailand to continue playing for the national team.

Kiatisuk was the top scorer for the Thailand national team with 70 goals in 131 appearances, making him one of the most successful goal-scorers in Asian football history. He also captained the national team for several years and was instrumental in their successes during the 1990s and early 2000s.

In addition to his success with the national team, Kiatisuk also enjoyed a successful club career in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. He won numerous league titles, domestic cups, and individual awards throughout his career, including the Southeast Asian Games gold medal in 1993 and 1995 and the ASEAN Football Championship in 1996, 2000, and 2002.

After retiring from playing, Kiatisuk had a successful coaching career, managing several Thai clubs and the national team. He was also awarded the FIFA Order of Merit in 2018, becoming the first Southeast Asian to receive the prestigious award.

Kiatisuk’s skill, dedication, and achievements have made him a legendary figure in Thai and Asian football, and his influence on the sport is still felt today.

Tim Cahill

Tim Cahill

  • Country: Australia
  • Total International Games: 108
  • Goals: 50

Tim Cahill is one of the best Asian Forwards of all time. He was born to Samoan and English parents in Sydney, Australia on December 6, 1979. Cahill’s football career began in Sydney’s local leagues before his professional debut with Millwall in 1998.

He played for Millwall for six years before moving to Everton in 2004, where he became a fan favorite and played for eight seasons. Cahill later played for the New York Red Bulls, Shanghai Shenhua, Hangzhou Greentown, and Melbourne City. He was also an integral part of the Australian national team, scoring 50 goals in 108 appearances.

Cahill is known for his attacking prowess, ability to score goals, and aerial ability. He particularly knows for his ability to score with his head, and many of his goals were spectacular diving headers. In addition to his scoring prowess, Cahill is known for his work ethic, leadership, and passion for the game.

During his career, Cahill won many awards, including the Oceania Footballer of the Year award four times, the PFA Team of the Year award twice, and the Everton Player of the Year award three times. He also played in four World Cups for Australia, scoring five goals in those tournaments.

After retiring from professional football in 2019, Cahill has become a football pundit and a global ambassador for the sport. He has also continued his philanthropic work, supporting various charitable causes and foundations, including the Cahill Children’s Foundation, which he established to help underprivileged children in Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Shinji Okazaki

Shinji Okazaki

  • Country: Japan
  • Total International Games: 119
  • Goals: 50

Shinji Okazaki is a Japanese footballer who is widely regarded as one of the best Asian forwards of all time. Born on April 16, 1986, in Hyogo, Japan, Okazaki began his football career with the local club Takigawa Daisan Elementary School. He later joined the junior team of Takigawa Nishi Junior High School before moving to the high school team of Takigawa Higashi High School, where he first gained national attention.

Okazaki’s professional career started in 2005 when he joined the Japanese club Shimizu S-Pulse. He spent five years with the club, making 164 appearances and scoring 56 goals before moving to VfB Stuttgart in Germany in 2011. After two seasons in the Bundesliga, he transferred to 1. FSV Mainz 05, where he played a crucial role in the team’s attack. In his four seasons with Mainz, Okazaki made 131 appearances, scoring 43 goals.

Okazaki’s success in Germany led to him being signed by the English club Leicester City in 2015. He played an instrumental role in the team’s Premier League title-winning campaign in the 2015-2016 season, scoring five goals and providing four assists. He also became the first Asian player to score in the Premier League for Leicester City.

In addition to his club’s success, Okazaki was also an integral part of the Japanese national team. He made his international debut in 2008 and represented Japan in three FIFA World Cups and three AFC Asian Cups. In total, he scored 50 goals in 119 appearances for the national team.

Shinji Okazaki is known for his tireless work ethic, tenacity, and clinical finishing ability throughout his career.

Son Heung-min

Son Heung-min

  • Country: South Korea
  • Total International Games: 108
  • Goals: 35

Son Heung-min is a South Korean footballer widely considered to be one of the best Asian forwards in the Premier League. Born in Chuncheon, South Korea, in 1992, Son began his professional career in 2010 with FC Seoul. He later played for the German club Bayer Leverkusen and joined Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League in 2015.

Son is known for his speed, agility, and precision in front of the goal. He has been a key player for Tottenham Hotspur, helping the team reach the UEFA Champions League final in 2019. He has also been a consistent performer for the South Korean national team, earning the nickname “Sonaldo” in reference to his playing style and the legendary Brazilian forward Ronaldo.

Son’s career highlights include winning the Best Footballer in Asia award in 2015, 2017, and 2019, and being named the Premier League Player of the Month four times.

Off the pitch, Son is known for his humility and charitable work. He has donated money to various causes, including a hospital in his hometown of Chuncheon and a campaign to combat child poverty in South Korea. In 2020, he also completed mandatory military service in South Korea, which earned him widespread admiration and respect.

Son Heung-min’s impressive career and contributions to both club and country have solidified his place as one of the best Asian forwards of all time. He continues to be a key player for Tottenham Hotspur and is sure to inspire future generations of footballers in Asia and beyond.

Cha Bum-kun

Cha Bum-kun

  • Country: South Korea
  • Total International Games: 130
  • Goals: 58

Cha Bum-kun is considered one of the greatest Asian footballers of all time, known for his incredible skill, speed, and agility on the field. Born on May 22, 1953, in Hwaseong, South Korea, Cha began his professional football career with the Korean club Mipo Dockyard in 1972.

In 1978, he signed with German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt and quickly made a name for himself as one of the most talented forwards in the league. Cha’s blistering pace and lethal finishing ability helped Eintracht Frankfurt win the German Cup in 1981 and reach the UEFA Cup final in 1980 and 1981.

Cha also represented the South Korean national team, earning 136 caps and scoring 55 goals between 1972 and 1986. He played in three consecutive FIFA World Cups (1986, 1990, and 1994), and his performances on the international stage earned him the nickname “Tscha Bum” in Germany.

After retiring from professional football in 1989, Cha began his coaching career with the Korean national team and later coached several clubs in South Korea and Japan. In recognition of his contributions to football, Cha entered the Korean Football Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Asian Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Cha’s impact on Asian football has been immense, inspiring a generation of young footballers to pursue their dreams and achieve greatness on the world stage. He remains a beloved figure in South Korea and a revered legend in the world of football, remembered for his dazzling skills, unwavering dedication, and trailblazing achievements.

Ali Daei

Ali Daei

  • Country: Iran
  • Total International Games: 149
  • Goals: 109

Ali Daei is widely regarded as one of the best Asian forwards of all time. The Iranian striker holds the world record for most international goals, scoring an incredible 109 goals in 149 appearances for the Iran national team.

Daei began his career in the Iranian league before moving to the United Arab Emirates and Germany to play for Arminia Bielefeld and Bayern Munich. At Bayern Munich, Daei struggled to establish himself in the first team but was an important squad player during his two seasons at the club, scoring 6 goals in 23 appearances.

However, it was at the international level that Daei truly made his mark. He made his debut for Iran in 1993 and played for the national team for over a decade, scoring in three different World Cups and leading Iran to its first-ever World Cup win in 1998.

Daei is known for his height, strength, and aerial ability, which made him a nightmare for opposing defenders. He was also a clinical finisher and known for scoring important goals in big matches.

After retiring from playing, Daei moved into coaching and has had stints managing several Iranian and national teams. He has also done charity work, having founded the Ali Daei Charity Foundation to help underprivileged children in Iran.

We cannot understate Daei’s impact on Asian football. He set the standard for future generations of Asian footballers and inspires young players across the continent.

Thank you for reading our article about the best Asian forwards of all time. We hope you enjoyed it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is considered the best Asian forward of all time?
A: Ali Daei, the Iranian striker, is widely regarded as the best Asian forward of all time due to his world record of 109 international goals.

Q: Who is the current best forward in Asia?
A: Mehdi Taremi, the Iranian football player, is considered one of the best forwards in Asia at the moment due to his remarkable goal-scoring abilities and technical talents.

Q: Who is the most successful Asian forward in European football?
A: Cha Bum-kun, the South Korean footballer, is considered the most successful Asian forward in European football due to his impressive performances in the German Bundesliga.

Q: Who is the best Asian forward in the English Premier League?
A: Son Heung-min, the South Korean forward who plays for Tottenham Hotspur, is widely regarded as the best Asian forward in the English Premier League due to his speed, agility, and precision in front of the goal.


The best Asian forwards of all time have left an indelible mark on the beautiful game. From Ali Daei, the Iranian striker with a world record of 109 international goals, to Son Heung-min, the South Korean forward dazzling fans in the English Premier League, these players have shown their skill, passion, and dedication on and off the field. They have inspired generations of footballers across Asia and continue to be celebrated as legends in their respective countries. Whether you’re a fan of Asian football or simply interested in the history of the sport, these forwards serve as an inspiration to us all.