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Ali Daei

01 May, 2006

Ali Daei from Iran.Ali Daei is a striker for Saba Battery Tehran and the Iran national football team. Daei, the captain of the Iranian national team, is most noted for being the world's all-time leading goal scorer in international matches.

 

Name : Ali Daei (علی دایی in Persian)

Date of birth:  21 March 1969

Height:  192 cm

Weight:  80 kg

Position:  Forward

Current Club:  Saba Battery Tehran (IRN)

Int'l Goals:   109 (as of 17-Jun-2006)

Int'l Caps:  148 (as of 17-Jun-2006)

First Int'l Cap:  Iran v. Oman (23-Jun-1993)Date of Birth : March 21, 1969

Detail : Ali Daei is an Iranian footballer who is a striker for Saba Battery Tehran and the Iran national football team. Daei, the captain of the Iranian national team, is most noted for being the world's all-time leading goal scorer in international matches.

 Ali Daei turned 37 in March, but the word ‘rest’ is evidently missing from his vocabulary. The evergreen hit man, currently the highest scorer in international football, took his tally for Iran to 108 in their 3-2 friendly win over Costa Rica on 1 March, 2006.

With so many achievements already to his name, most notably steering Iran to the 1998 FIFA World Cup™, the talismanic striker would have every right to enjoy a peaceful life in the twilight of his playing career. However, Daei retains a hunger for more, and his national team remain rightfully grateful for his presence. After all, the veteran finished top of the scoring charts in the Asian Zone qualifying section for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, netting nine times to help propel Iran to world football’s showpiece event.

Daei was a late starter in football but after graduating from university, he wasted no time in making his mark. With a thunderous shot and strength in the air - he stands an imposing 1.92m tall - the forward was an immediate hit in domestic football. His scoring prowess soon earned him an international call-up and he made his debut for Iran in June 1993. His first goal for his country came against Chinese Taipei in 1994, and since then he has not looked back.

Arguably Daei's finest hour in an Iran shirt came against Korea Republic in the 1996 AFC Asian Cup, a match he has described as “the most unforgettable of my life”. With Iran trailing 2-1 early in the second half, Daei took the game by the scruff of the neck, setting up Khodadad Aziz for the equaliser and then striking four goals to secure a remarkable 6-2 victory.

Daei's feats did not go unnoticed and, in 1997, he left Qatar side Al-Sadd Dohar for Germany and spells at first Arminia Bielefeld and then Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga. If his cool head and superb vision had not already marked Daei out as Iran's key player, his experiences in Europe certainly helped him to confirm his status as Iran’s inspiration.

Daei featured for Iran at France 98 and was subsequently part of their failed qualifying campaign for Korea/Japan 2002. That disappointment led Iran's new Croatian coach Branko Ivankovic to rebuild the team and heralded the introduction of an exciting array of talented youngsters. Yet, while a new generation emerged, there was never any question of a loss of faith in Daei. "Nobody can replace Daei,” said Ivankovic. “He is an all-time example for youngsters in terms of attitude and professionalism.”

Daei showed just why that faith was justified during the qualifying campaign for Germany 2006. The captain's second-half goal sealed a 3-1 victory against Qatar in Iran's opening qualifier in February 2004 and in the next month he scored twice inside the first 17 minutes to set Iran on their way to a 7-0 thrashing of Laos.

Iran subsequently stumbled, losing at home to Jordan, but Daei helped them make amends by sealing a 2-0 win in injury time in the return meeting, and he finished the preliminary group stage with eight goals after netting four times as Iran put another seven goals past Laos. One more strike, in the 2-1 defeat by Japan in their final qualifier in August 2005, took Daei’s tally to nine - three more than his nearest rival – and offered yet another reminder that his instinct for goals remains intact, even in the supposed twilight of his career.

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