The Greatest Asian&Oceanian National Teams of All-Time

Retrospectively, Asian football was not even available for many nations during the first half of the twenties Century. Japan was the first nation to make a reputation for Asian football when they reached the 1936 Olympic game quarter-final. Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) was the first national team from the Asia to participate in World Cup in 1938. After the World War II, the Asia national teams started well-known for the Worldwide. India was actually eligible to play in the 1950 FIFA World Cup final round but they withdrew due to unready to participation. In the 1954, Asian football confederation was created and It is the first time for the FIFA World Cup ASIA qualification zone. However, there were still a few Asian teams to ready for the competition and when include the international play-off system, effected to non-participation of Asian teams in the 1958 and 1962 tournament. In 1966, It was the first time Oceania team was participated in qualification round and placed together with Zone Asia and Korea DPR built the victory the most surprising event ever in history of World Cup when they beat Italy, one of the best teams in Europe, led them reaching quarter-final round in the final tournament successfully.  In 1970, Israel was invited to play Zone Asia for the first time and won the occasion as the first team from Middle East to participate in the final tournament. Due to the Arab-Israeli conflict, many Asian states often refused to compete against Israel. It was finally transferred to Europe Zone in 1980 before Oceania Zone in 1983 and it has been settle down in Europe Zone since1991. In 1974, Australia qualified as the first Oceania team to qualify for the final tournament and it was the first time that all zone in Asia was merged to join together in the same qualification group. However, they were switched playing in Oceania and international play-off since 1983 before only Australia came back to Zone Asia again in 2007.

ARAB football began development since the 1980s. Many of them first participate in qualification round in that era before became the strongest group in Asian football. Simultaneously, East Asia football has very much been developing and the recent 2000s is the era of Asian football not the minor role anymore. Especially, Korea Republic had become the only team in history from the Asia to win the FIFA World Cup Semi-Finalist in 2002. 

AFC Asian Cup had been held once every four years from 1956 until 2004 and since 2007 to the present. The qualification round was divided into Asia Pacific and West-Central zone. The final tournament had got only 4-6 teams before the increasing to 10 teams in the 1980s. It was reduced to 8 teams in 1992 and increased again to 12 teams in 1996 and 2000. Afterwards, the qualification round was combined all zone to participate and the number of teams has been set to 16. In history, The West Asia is the most winners with nine and The East Asia was followed up at 6.

Regional Championship

East Asian Championship was held since 1990 as Dynasty Cup until it was changed name to the current one in 2003. There are four teams in the final tournament.

West Asian Championship was competed since 2000 to the present. There are 8 teams in the final tournament. It is mainly participated by a non-member of the Western Asia in Gulf Cup of Nation. However, Members of Gulf cup and Central Asia have participated for some tournament.

SAFF Championship or the South Asian Football Federation Cup was created in 1993. It is the tournament competition for Southern Asia.

ASEAN Championship was formed in 1996. It is the tournament between Southeast Asia national teams.

Gulf Cup of Nations was competed since 1968 to the present. The members are Arab teams in Southwest Asia.

Arab Nations Cup is the oldest regional football tournament in the Asia, was first held in 1963. It is competition between Arab nations in Asia but sometimes invite Arab nations in Africa to join.
Remark* Football in regional games and Asian games are not considered. Olympic Games is considered for the tournament before 1980 only.

*Remark : 1) To show the performance in World Cup final tournament properly, I have defined it as the frequency with four ranking for a round. 2) A mean the AFC Asian Cup before 1980 and B since 1980. The standard between two era is different enough to do separation.




20. Oman


Football Association Year of Establishment :  1978
Zone   :  Middle East
Stadium :  Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (34,000 Seats)
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  18th
West Asian Championship : 2nd (2), SF (3)
Gulf Cup of Nation : 1st (1), 2nd (2), 4th (4)
Asian Championship  : R12 (2), R16 (1)
FIFA World Cup Qualification  :  QF (1), R12 (3), R16 (2)
FIFA World Cup :  None
All-Time Top Scorer :   Hani Al-Dhabit (42 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever : 
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Paul Le Guen

Oman played its first international match in 1965 before its football association was created 12 years. It affiliated to Union of Arab football association in 1978 and then to FIFA and AFC in 1980. Oman first participated in international tournament at the 1974 Gulf Cup of Nation and won its only international title in 2009 tournament. It then first participated in AFC Asian Cup qualification in 1984 and first qualified in 2004. Oman also first entered to FIFA World Cup qualification of the 1990 tournament. Oman switched from the bottom level team to one of the leading team in ARAB zone since early 2000 to present and they achieved its best performance in FIFA World Cup qualification by finishing quarter-finalist for the 2014 final tournament.






19. Uzbekistan
Football Association Year of Establishment :  1946
Zone   :  Central Asia
Stadium :  Pakhtakor Markaziy (35,000 Seats)
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  9th
Asian Championship  : 4th (1-B), QF (3-B), R12 (2-B)
FIFA World Cup Qualification : QF (4), R12 (1)
FIFA World Cup :  None
All-Time Top Scorer :  Maksim Shatskikh (34 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever : Maksim Shatskikh
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Yuri Sarkisyan


“White Wolves” Uzbekistan national team is by far the best national team to come from Central Asia and one of the top-class Asian teams in the modern era, was first formed in 1992 after split from the Soviet Union and played its first ever international match in that year. However, the football association was created since 1946. It was affiliated to AFC and FIFA in 1994 and they won gold medal in Asian games football in the same year. Later two years, Uzbekistan could qualify for AFC Asian Cup despite they participated for the first time and also first played in FIFA World Cup qualification of 1998. Afterwards, Uzbekistan has regularly appeared in the AFC Asian Cup final tournament and FIFA World Cup qualification final group. Their best achievement in history of Asian football is the fourth place in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. The team has never played in regional championship which doesn’t exist but their performance in the continental competition is the best among former Soviet Union teams.



18. Jordan
Football Association Year of Establishment :  1949
Zone   :  Middle East
Stadium :  Amman International Stadium (40,000 Seats)
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  15th
West Asian Championship : 2nd (2), SF (3)
Arab Nations Cup : 4th (1), SF (1)
Asian Championship  : QF (2-B), R12 (2-B)
FIFA World Cup Qualification  :  QF(1), R12 (1), R16 (4)
FIFA World Cup :  None
All-Time Top Scorer :   Mahmoud Shelbaieh (32 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever : Halid Halil Awad
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Mamoud El-Gohary



“The Brave Ones” Jordan national team is one of the top Arabian national teams in the 2000s. History of Jordan football was started in the beginning the first half of the 20th Century. Its first international match was held in 1953. They joined FIFA affiliation since 1958. However, Jordan was just a member of FIFA in 1974 and played its first AFC Asian Cup qualification round of 1972 but did not enter in two later tournaments. Jordan first participated in FIFA World Cup qualification of 1986. They qualified for AFC Asian Cup for the first time in 2004. Despite their football was just in the prime during the 2000s, they have reached its potential to compete the top Asian teams equally. The highest FIFA ranking Jordan has ever reached was 37th in 2004. Jordan never won any trophy belonging to FIFA even the regional championship but they ever won gold medals in Pan Arab Games twice in the late 1990s.



17. Indonesia
Football Association Year of Establishment :  1930
Zone :  Southeast Asia
Stadium :  Gelora Bung Karno (88,306 Seats)
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  18th
Southeast Asia Championship  :2nd (4), SF (3)
Asian Championship : R12 (4-B), R16(1-B)
Olympic Games : QF (1)
FIFA World Cup Qualifying : 1st (1-A), QF(1),  R12(2), R16(1)
FIFA World Cup :  R16 (1-A)
All-Time Top Scorer :    : Bambang Pamungkas (34 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever : Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Ivan Kolev

Indonesia national football team is the greatest Southeast Asian national team of all-time in history of FIFA World Cup qualification, played its first international match in 1921, was known as “Dutch East Indies” prior to independence in 1945. It is the first Asian team and the only Southeast Asia team to participate in World Cup final. Indonesia was affiliated with FIFA in 1952 and is one of the founding members of AFC in 1954. They ever participated in the 1956 Olympic Games. The team subsequently suffered a ban from FIFA World Cup from 1958 to 1974 due to unfavorable internal and external political situation. However, Indonesia achieved its best place in Elo rating in 1969 at 35th, being the highest place ever among South East Asian nations. The team had to wait for a long time until their first appearance in AFC Asian Cup in 1996 and could participate for four final tournaments consecutively. On the other hand, Indonesia has never won any ASEAN football championship but ever won two gold medals in SEA games football. The professional league in the country has been available since 1994.




16. Thailand

Football Association Year of Establishment :  1916
Zone: Southeast Asia,Stadium :  Rajamangala (49,749 Seats)
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  17th
Southeast Asia Championship : WN (3), 2nd (2)
Asian Championship :  3rd(1-A), QF(1-B), R12(3-B), R16(1-B)
FIFA World Cup Qualification :  R12 (1), R16 (3)
FIFA World Cup :  None
All-Time Top Scorer :  Piyapong Pue-On (103 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever : Piyapong Pue-On
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Peter With

“The War Elephants” Thailand national team is the greatest Southeast Asia national team of all-time in history of AFC Asian Cup and the greatest in the zone during the 1990s and early 2000s.  The team was founded in 1915 as the Siam national team before changed the name in 1949 as the current one. It was the first Asia team to be FIFA affiliation in 1925 before played its officially first international match in 1956 and being a member AFC in 1957. The team ever participated in Olympic game final tournament in 1956 and 1968. The greatest achievement in our history is the 1972 AFC Asian Cup third place as host. Thailand ever finish a fourth-place in 1990 Asian game when the competition was still competed between the A team of each nations.  The team also holds the record the most winners in SEA games football. It is the most participation in AFC Asian cup final tournament among ASEAN national teams with 6 times, played in all five tournaments during the 1990s and 2000s. The closest performance to qualify for World Cup was created in 2002, reached the last ten group round. However, the professional league of Thailand was just founded in 2007.

 


15. Bahrain
Football Association Year of Establishment :  1957
Zone   :  Middle East
Stadium :  Bahrain National Stadium (35,000 Seats)
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  14th
Gulf Cup of Nation : RN (4), 3rd (3), 4th (5)
Arab Nations’ Cup  : RN (2)
Asian Championship : 4th (1-B), R12 (3-B), R16 (1-B)
FIFA World Cup Qualification : QF (4), R12 (5)
FIFA World Cup :  None
All-Time Top Scorer :   Ismail Abdul-Latif (34 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever : Hamood Sultan Mazkur
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Milan Macala

The Bahraini national football team is one of the top Asian national teams in the second half 2000s. Bahrain got FIFA affiliation in 1966 the same year as its first ever international match before belonging to AFC in three years later. They participated its first AFC Asian Cup of 1972, first participated in the FIFA World Cup qualification of 1978. In 1980, Bahrain first qualified for AFC Asian Cup final tournament but withdrew and finally participated for the first time in 1988. In the 1990s, they withdrew to play for many competitions. Bahrain started a great development of their football level since the early 2000sa and could win FIFA most improved team award in 2004 and finish fourth in AFC Asian Cup in the same year confirming of approaching to their golden era. They almost qualified for World Cup final twice in 2006 and 2010 but lost in the equally last game in international play-off. The team never won any regional or international cup but they finished runner-up for six times.



14. Syria
Football Association Year of Establishment :  1936
Zone   :  Middle East
Stadium :  Aleppo International Stadium (75,000 Seats)
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  12th
West Asian Championship : 2nd (2), SF (3)
Asian Championship : QF (3-B), R12 (3-B), R16 (1-B)
FIFA World Cup Qualifying : SF (1), QF (2), R12 (3), R16 (3)
FIFA World Cup :  None
All-Time Top Scorer :  Raja Rafe (32 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever : Marvam Medrati
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Avedis Kavlakian

“Qasioun” Syria national football team is the first West Asia team to be a member of FIFA in 1937 and played its first international match in 1949. They first participated on FIFA World Cup qualification round since 1958.  Between 1958 and 1961, the team combined with Egypt to form the United Arab Republic national football team, although the team's records are attributed only to Egypt by FIFA. However, Syria did not enter to their second World Cup participation until 1974 and first played in AFC Asian Cup in 1980, qualified for final tournament immediately. Syria was one of the best West Asia teams in the 1970s and achieved their closest time to first ever participate in World Cup in 1986, lost in the final game of West Asia zone. Even got down in the era 1990s and 2000s, They actually was still a top-class club in their zone but was unfortunately set to group of death in qualification round several times. Syria never played any regional tournament even they are Arabian until 2000 they joined the West Asia championship and has still never won any title in the zone.





13. Korea DPR

Football Association Year of Establishment : 1945
Zone   : Eastern Asia
Stadium : Rungrado May Day Stadium  (15,000 Seats)
All-Time World Cup Table :  58th
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  16th
East Asian Championship  : 3rd (1), 4th (1)
Asian Championship : 4th(1-B), QF(1-B), R12(2-B), R16(2-B)
World Cup Qualifying :  FN(1-A), SF(1), QF(6), R12(2), R16 (2)
FIFA World Cup :  QF (1), R32 (1)
All-Time Top Scorer : Unavailable
The Greatest Player Ever :  Pak Doo-Ik
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Myung Rae Hyun

“Chollima” The Democratic People's Republic of Korea national team is one of the most recognized Asian team in history of FIFA World Cup Final tournament. It is one of the founding members of AFC in 1954, played its first international match in 1956 and was affiliated to FIFA in 1958. In their history, North Korea is known as inconsistency team due to their many withdrawing of influencing by communist regime. Despite they first participated in the FIFA World Cup qualification in 1966, the team could qualify for the final tournament at once. Surprisingly, North Korea finally reached the quarter-final round after defeated Italy that won European Championship in later two years. They first played in AFC Asian Cup qualification round of the 1976 but could qualify in the next 1980 tournament for the first time and acquired their best achievement with fourth place immediately. North Korea decided to withdraw the team in the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification as South Korea and Japan tied as host due to internationally political policy. However, they surprised the Asian football circle again when qualified to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.



12. Qatar
Football Association Year of Establishment :  1960
Zone   :  Middle East
Stadium :  Khalifa International Stadium (80,000 Seats)
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  11th
Gulf Cup of Nation : WN(2), RN(4), 3rd(2), 4th(4), SF(2)
Arab Nations’ Cup : RN (1), 4th (1)
Asian Championship : QF (6-B),R16 (4-B)
FIFA World Cup Qualification :  SF (1), QF (3), R12 (4)
FIFA World Cup :  None
All-Time Top Scorer :   Monsour Muftah (53 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever : Mansour Miftah
The Greatest Manager Ever :   Evaristo De Macedo

“The Maroon” Qatar is recently famous for winning of 2022 World Cup host as the only one in its history to have never qualify for the final tournament. They played the first international match the same year as admission to FIFA in 1970 and following by AFC in two years later. Qatar first participated in AFC Asian Cup in 1976 and the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification round. They first qualified for the AFC Asian Cup final tournament of 1980 and have been a regular member in every tournament except of 1996. In 1990, Qatar met their prime and it is closest to qualify for World Cup for the first time in their history, finished third place lost UAE for only point and has never proved themselves as one of the best national teams in Asia for the rest of tournaments. Nevertheless, Qatar ever won two Gulf Cups of Nation, won their only Asian games football gold medal in 2006 and ever qualified to the 1984 and 1992 Olympic Games football tournaments.






11. United Arab Emirates
Football Association Year of Establishment : 1971
Zone   :  Middle East
Stadium :  Sheikh Zayed Stadium (49,500 Seats)
All-Time World Cup Table :  73th
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  7th
Gulf Cup of Nation : WN (1), RN (3), 3rd (4), 4th (4)
Asian Championship : 2nd (1-B), 3rd (1-B), 4th(1-B), QF(2-B), 
R12(2-B), R16(3-B)
FIFA World Cup Qualification : FN(1), QF(4), R12 (1),R16(2)
FIFA World Cup :  R24 (1)
All-Time Top Scorer : Adnan Al Talyani  (52 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Adnan Al Talyani
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Mario Zagallo

The United Arab Emirates national football team is one of the greatest ARAB teams in the first half 1990s. Its first international match was held the same year as affiliation to FIFA in 1972 and belonging as member to AFC in 1974. UAE first participated in the 1980 AFC Asian Cup and since then they have qualified for final tournaments for every time in the exception of the 2000. UAE first participated in the FIFA World Cup qualification round of the 1986 before qualified for FIFA World Cup final for the only time in their history in their second time participation of the 1990 but lost all three games and finished the last place. Their best achievement in AFC Asian Cup was the 1996 tournament finalist, losing in penalty kick after draw in the 120 minutes. In 2007, UAE won their only Gulf Cup of nation successfully after participation for several decades even their tending down in performance of the 2000s decade.






10. New Zealand
Football Association Year of Establishment : 1891
Zone   :  Oceania
Stadium :  Westpac (36,000 Seats)
All-Time World Cup Table :  61th
Oceania Nation’s Cup  :  WN (4), RN (1)
FIFA World Cup Qualification (OFC) : FN (5), SF (1), QF (2)
FIFA World Cup :  R24 (2)
All-Time Top Scorer : Veaughan Coveny (28 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Wynton Rufer
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Ricki Herbert

“All Whites” New Zealand has been overshadowed by Australia in history of Oceania football even they tied with Australia as the most winners of OFC Nations Cup but Australia didn’t participate for two occasions. It football association was established since the early 1890s, influenced by the popularity in football of British Empire and played its official first match in 1922. Nevertheless, the team had not entered to play in FIFA World Cup qualification round until of the 1970. Since then they had played in the Asia-Oceania zone until of the 1982 which New Zealand could win their first appearance in FIFA World Cup final tournament but lost in all three matches. Afterwards, they have been playing in Oceania zone and following by international play-off.  The 2010 FIFA World Cup final is the tournament to build their reputation to the World after draw three games in the group round. Because most New Zealand football clubs are semi-professional, most their top footballers play in Europe, in the United States and the Australia.




9. Iraq
Football Association Year of Establishment :  1948
Zone   :  Middle East, Stadium :  Al-Shaab  (40,000 Seats)
All-Time World Cup Table :  69th
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  7th
Gulf Cup of Nation : WN (3), SF (1)
Arab Nations’ Cup : WN (4)
West Asia Championship : WN (1), RN (1), 3rd (2), 4th (1)
Asian Championship :  WN (1-B), 4th (1-A,1-B), QF (1-A,4-B)
Olympic Games : QF (1), SF (1)
FIFA World Cup Qualifying :  FN(1),SF(1),QF(3),R12(4),R16(1)
FIFA World Cup :  R24 (1)
All-Time Top Scorer :  Hussein Saeed (61 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Ahmed Radhi
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Jorvan Vieira

“Lions of Mesopotamia” Iraq national team ever had a potential to be the greatest Asian team in the era 1990s and even 2000s but has never been fulfilled due to the effect from their Military policy. It was first a member of FIFA in 1950 and played its first international match in 1957. They joined AFC in two decades later in 1971. Iraq participated in AFC Asian Cup and the FIFA World Cup qualification for the first time of the 1972 and the 1974, respectively. However, Iraq didn’t take part in AFC Asian Cup for four tournaments between 1980 and 1992 but still played in the World Cup qualification during that period. Iraq won their only Asian Game football Gold Medal in 1982 and it was the only once time they could qualify for World Cup final in the 1986 but lost all three games in the tournament.  They came back to play in AFC Asian Cup in 1996 and has become a regular member in the quarter-finalist for four times, and won their only title in 2007 despite the team was known as its short time preparation. Iraq is the only team in history to win all three major West Asia competitions.


8. China
Football Association Year of Establishment : 1924
Zone  : Eastern Asia
Stadium : Workers Stadium  (66,161 Seats)
All-Time World Cup Table :  74th
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  4th
East Asian Championship : WN (2), RN (2),  3rd (2), 4th (2)
Asian Championship :  RN (2-B), 3rd (1-A,1-B), 4th (2-B), 
QF (3-B), R12 (2-B)
World Cup Qualifying : FN(1-A), SF(3), QF(1), R12(4), R16(2)
FIFA World Cup :   R32 (1)
All-Time Top Scorer :  Hao Haidong (41 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Lee Wai Tong
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Bora Milutinovic

“The Great Wall” The People Republic of China national team was the greatest Asia national team during the pre-war era and it is the oldest team in Asia as they played its first international match the 1913 ten Far Eastern Championship games Football and won nine champions until 1934. China obtained the highest place in Elo rating at 18th in 1930. It was first affiliated to FIFA in 1931 before relocating to Taiwan following the end of Chinese Civil War until it joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1974 and then with FIFA once more in 1979. China was one of a few nations to participate in pre-war Olympic Game football, qualified for the 1936 and also played in its 1948 tournament. They first participated in the 1958 FIFA World Cup Qualification round but did not enter afterwards until returning of the 1982. They first entered to play in AFC Asian Cup in 1976 and has qualified for all final tournaments since then. China’s golden era is the first half 2000s, qualified for World Cup final for the only once time in their history and finished second-place in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup. Despite China is well-known as one of the most authority of Sports in the World, the football is less popularity and has never closed to be the best in even the Asia.



7. Kuwait

Football Association Year of Establishment : 1952
Zone  :  Middle East
Stadium :  Jaber Al-Ahmed International (68,000 Seats)
All-Time World Cup Table :  66th
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  6th
All-Time West Asia Championship : WN (1)
Gulf Cup of Nation : WN (10), RN (1), 4th (2), SF (1)
Asian Championship :  WN (1-B), 2nd (1-A), 3rd (1-A), 
4th (1-B), QF (1-A,2-B), R12 (2-B), R16 (2-B)
Olympic Games : QF (1)
World Cup Qualifying: FN(1),SF(1),QF(1),R12(5),R16(3)
All-Time FIFA World Cup Performance :  R24 (1)
All-Time Top Scorer : Bashar Abdullah (75 Goals),
The Greatest Player Ever:Jassem Yaqoub
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Carlos Alberto Parreira

The Kuwait National Football Team is one of the most consistency national teams in the Asia continent. A decade after the establishment of their football association, its first international match was held in 1961 before the affiliation to AFC and FIFA in 1962. They first took part of AFC Asian Cup in 1972 and FIFA World Cup qualification round of the 1974. Kuwait spent a short time to become the best ARAB team in the early 1980s, won their only AFC Asian Cup in 1980 and reached Olympic Games quarter-finalist in the same year before qualified for the 1982 FIFA World Cup final as the only time in their history. The team could win one point as a result of draw game there. Kuwait was a disappearance for only two AFC Asian Cup final tournaments in 1992 due to effect of Iraq‘s attacking and 2007. They hold the record most winners in Gulf Cup of Nations. They additionally qualified for Olympic Games final tournament in 1992 and 2000. For over four decades in their Asian football history, Kuwait has been regarded as the third greatest Asian-Arab team of all-time.


6. Saudi Arabia
Football Association Year of Establishment : 1959
Zone   :  Middle East
Stadium: King Fahad International (67,000 Seats)
All-Time FIFA World Cup Table :  50th
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  5th
Gulf Cup of Nation  : WN (3), RN (6), 3rd (6)
Arab Nations’ Cup : WN (2), RN (1), 3rd (1)
Asian Championship : WN (3-B), 2nd (3-B), R!2 (1-B), R16 (2-B)
FIFA Confederation Cup :  RN (1), 4th (1)
FIFA World Cup Qualifying : FN(3),SF(2),QF(2),R12(2)
FIFA World Cup  : R12 (1), R28 (2), R32(1)
All-Time Top Scorer :  Mejed Abdullah (67 Goals), The Greatest Player Ever :  Majed Abdullah
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Jorge Solari

“The Green Falcons” Saudi Arabia is the greatest West Asian team of all-time for the performance record in Asian competition, is the greatest AFC Asian Cup team of all-time and the greatest West Asian team in the FIFA World Cup qualification and also the best prime among West Asian teams in history of FIFA World Cup final tournament. Its first international match was held in 1957. FIFA – AFC affiliation was founded in 1959. Saudi Arabia first participated in the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification before won their first trophy in AFC Asian Cup in 1984 as the first appearance. They went on creating the record most consecutive appearances and most appearances in AFC Asian Cup final matches with five between 1984 and 6, respectively. They qualified for the 1994 FIFA World Cup for the first time and the Saeed Owairan’s goal in match against Belgium is one of the most recognized ever in history of the tournament, hold the record most consecutive participations in final tournament among ARAB and West Asian teams between 1994 and 2006. Their golden age is concluded between 1992 and 2000.




4. Israel
Football Association Year of Establishment : 1928
Zone: Middle East, Stadium: Ramat Gan (41,583 Seats)
All-Time FIFA World Cup Table :  64th
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  12th
Asian Championship  : WN (1-A), RN (2-A), 3rd (1-A)
Olympic Games  : QF (2)
UEFA Euro : R20(1), R24(2)
FIFA World Cup Qualification (Asia) : FN(1-A),SF(1),QF(1)
FIFA World Cup Qualification (Europe) : R20 (1), R24 (2)
FIFA World Cup :  R12 (1)
All-Time Top Scorer :  Mordechai Spiegler (33 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Yossi Benayoun
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Emmanuel Scheffer
    
“The Holy Empire” Israel national team is the greatest West Asian team of all-time as their football history has long been spent in the highest standard among Asian teams for several decades. It was first a membership of FIFA in 1929. Israel played its first ever international match in World Cup qualifying round in 1934 under the name Eretz Yisrael as the first Asian team to do so and they was one of the founding members in AFC Asian Cup in 1956 the same year as they was admitted to AFC before reached its three final games in row. However, they still played in FIFA World Cup qualiffication in Europe zone until 1966. Israel made their only appearance in the FIFA World Cup final of the 1970. In the 1970s, IFA was expelled from the AFC due to political pressure from Arabs and Muslims that refused to play against Israel. In the late 1970s and 1980s, IFA was not affiliated with any confederation. During this period, Israel were only playing in FIFA competitions occasionally in OFC, UEFA and CONMEBOL qualifying tournaments. the IFA was admitted to UEFA  as a full member in 1994. Israel made to the playoffs of Euro 2000 and finished third In their 2006 World Cup qualifying group.




4. Iran
Football Association Year of Establishment : 1920
Zone : Western Asia, Stadium : Azadi  (100,000 Seats)
All-Time FIFA World Cup Table : 54th
All-Time Asian Championship Table : 1st
West Asia Championship : WN (4), RN (1), 3rd (1)
Asian Championship : WN(3-A), 3rd(4-B), 4th(1-B),QF(5-B)
Olympic Games  : QF (1)
FIFA World Cup Qualification  FN (2), SF (4), QF (4)
FIFA World Cup : R16(1), R20(1), R28(2)
All-Time Top Scorer :  Ali Daei (109 Goals)                        
The Greatest Player Ever :  Ali Parvin
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Jalal Telebi

“Persian Stars” The national football team of Iran is the greatest West Asian teams of all-time in history of World Cup final tournament and placed the first in AFC Asian Cup all-time table. Its football federation was created as the first ever among West Asian nations and played the first international match in 1941. Iran participated in AFC Asian Cup final tournament for the first time 1968 and the team was able to win trophy immediately and went on holding the record most consecutive winners in history of the tournament between 1968 and 1976 in which was the golden period of Iran football until they first qualified for the 1978 FIFA World Cup successfully after first participated in the 1974 qualification round.  Even Iran has never won AFC Asian Cup again since then, it still qualified for World Cup twice more times. They holds the record most winners in Asian Games football with four and also most champions in West Asian football championship with the same number. As Iran is the only one in the West Asia not being a member of Arab league, they played in RCD Cup during from 1964 and 1974, met Turkey for all five tournaments and beat them twice. Iran achieved the highest place ever in Elo rating among West Asian nations at 15th in 2005.




3. Japan

Football Association Year of Establishment : 1921
Zone   : Eastern Asia
Stadium: Yokohama International (72,372 Seats)
All-Time FIFA World Cup Table :  35th
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  3th
East Asian Championship : RN (3) 3rd (1)
Asian Championship :WN(4-B),4th(1-B),QF(2-B),R12(1-B)
FIFA Confederation Cup: 2nd (1),Olympic Games: 3rd (1)
FIFA World Cup Qualification: FN(2-A,3-B),SF(5),R12(4)
FIFA World Cup : R16(2), R28(1), R32 (2)
All-Time Top Scorer : Kunishihe Kamamoto (75 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Hidetoshi Nakata 
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Takeshi Okada

“Samurai” Japan national team is the only team in Asia & Oceania zone to ever achieve top ten rank in both FIFA ranking (1998) and Elo Rating (2001). They played the first international match in 1917. It was affiliated to FIFA in 1929 and was one of the founding members in AFC in 1954 before first participated in the FIFA World Cup qualification round in the same year. The first major achievement in international football came in the 1968 Summer Olympics where the team won Bronze Medal as a record the only team for the Asia to win medal. They also took part in AFC Asian Cup qualification for the first time in the same year. However, the absence of a professional domestic league hindered its growth and Japan did not enter to play in AFC Asian Cup for many times until could qualify for the final tournament for the first time in 1988 and won its first trophy in 1992 as host and finally became the most champions in AFC Asian Cup. The professional J-League was formed in 1993 and this originated their greatness in the 2000s. Japan missed their first appearance in World Cup final in the last minute in the same year before finally won the first appearance in the 1998 tournament. Until the present, Japan has become a regular member of FIFA World Cup final tournament.






2. Australia
Football Association Year of Establishment : 1961
Zone : Oceania, Stadium : ANZ Stadium (83,500 Seats)
All-Time FIFA World Cup Table : 46th
All-Time Asian Championship Table : 10th
Oceania Nation’s Cup  : WN (4), RN (2)
Asian Championship  : WN (1-B), RN (1-B), QF (1-B)
World Cup Qualifying (AFC) : FN (4-A,2-B),SF(2),QF(2)
FIFA Confederation Cup : RN (1), 3rd (1)
FIFA World Cup : R16(2), R24(1), R32 (1)
All-Time Top Scorer : Tim Cahill (41 Goals)                  The Greatest Player Ever :  Harry Kewell
The Greatest Manager Ever :  Rale Rasic

“Socceroos” The Australia national association football team is the greatest Oceania team of all-time. Its first international match was held in 1922. It was first a membership of FIFA in 1963. For the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final, It was the first time the team participated in qualification round and placed together with Zone Asia. Australia always finished in the top-flight ranking until they first appeared in the 1974 FIFA World Cup final and got one point. Nevertheless, Australia was changed playing on its own zone in Oceania and following by international play-off since 1983 and never qualified for World Cup final even it was near missed several times until achieved the second appearance in the 2006 tournament. Finally, they came back to Zone Asia again in 2007 and first played in AFC Asian Cup in the same year. Their most top footballers played in the famous clubs in the Europe. Australia currently holds the world record for the largest win in an international match against American Samoa with 31-0 in the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying round. Australia achieved top ten Elo Rating in 2001.



1. Korea Republic
Football Association Year of Establishment : 1928
Zone : Eastern Asia
Stadium : Seoul World Cup (68,476 Seats)
All-Time FIFA World Cup Table :  26th
All-Time Asian Championship Table :  2nd
East Asian Championship : WN(3), RN(3), 3rd(1), 4th(1)
Asian Championship : WN(2-A), 2nd(1-A,3-B), 
3rd(1-A,3-B), QF(2-B), R12(1-B)
Olympic Games : QF (1), FIFA Confederation Cup : None
FIFA World Cup Qualification : FN(2-A,6-B), SF(4), QF(1)
FIFA World Cup:4th(1),R16(1),R20(3),R24(1),R28(1)R32(1)
All-Time Top Scorer : Cha Bum Kun (55 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever : Cha Bum Kun
The Greatest Manager Ever : Guus Hiddink

“Taegeuk Warriors” The Korea Republic national team is the greatest and the most prestigious Asian national team of all-time. by far holds the record most appearances in FIFA World Cup final, is the only Asian team to ever reach FIFA World Cup semi-final and win the all-time greatest performance in history of FIFA World Cup qualification zone Asia. They played its first international match and was first admitted to FIFA in 1948 and was one of the founding members of AFC in 1954 before took part and immediately qualified for FIFA World Cup final in the same year. In 1956, South Korea was one of the first members in AFC Asian Cup and could win its first victory trophy. The greatness of South Korean football  was started since 1986 when they could qualify for World Cup for the second time and then they never missed the final tournament until the present and holds the record most consecutive appearance for the Asian team with seven. In 2002, South Korea won fourth place as host among many criticisms to referees for the eyes around the World.  However, South Korea is not the best in AFC Asian Cup in both number of trophies and place in the all-time table. They have been famous for their discipline and uncompromising style. South Korea holds the Asia record as the most consecutive unbeaten with 28 agems between 1977 and 1979.
________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Honourable Mention

21. Lebanon (Middle East)   
22. Kazakhstan (Central Asia)  
23. Hong Kong (East Asia)
24. India (South Asia)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Statistics by Zone
11 : Middle East
4 : East Asia
2 : Oceania
2 : Southeast Asia
1 : Central Asia

No comments:

Post a Comment