Ali Daei: Profile, Stats, Awards, Records, and Rankings

Ali Daei is a professional Iranian football player who played as a striker for the Iranian National Team. He is known as the greatest Asian footballer of all time.
Ali Daei: Profile, Stats, Awards, Records, and Rankings
Ali Daei: Profile, Stats, Awards, Records, and Rankings

Ali Daei is an Iranian football manager and a former striker who captained the Iranian national team from 2000 to 2006. Daei was a legendary goal scorer who was also renowned for his deft shooting and aerial prowess. Because of this, he was regarded as the best Asian Football player of all time. 

Learn more about Ali Daei's profile, debut, career, stats, records, and rankings here. 



Ali Daei


March 21, 1969


1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)






Iranian National Team



Ali Daei’s Profile

Ali Daei was born on March 21, 1969, in Ardabil, Iran. in 1998, he began his football career at the age of 19 with his hometown club Esteghlal Ardabil. 

He left Ardabil and spent a season playing for Taxirani F.C.before switching to Bank Tejarat, also a Tehran-based football club where he played for four years. During his time at Tejarat, he scored 49 goals in 75 games.

In 1994, Daei joined Persepolis, one of Tehran's elite clubs. From 1994 through 1996, he continued to play for the team, scoring 23 goals in 38 appearances. He moved to Al Sadd for the 1996–1997 season after his great performance in the Asian Cup, and in 1997 he joined the Bundesliga club, Arminia Bielefeld. 

Before the end of his three-year contract with Arminia Bielefeld, Daei moved to Hertha BSC.

In the 1998-99 season, he joined the club Bayern Munich and helped his team win the Bundesliga the same season.  

Shortly after, Daei made history by becoming the first Asian player to play in the UEFA Champions League. 

In 1999, he scored both of his UEFA Champions League goals against Chelsea in a game that was won by Hertha 2-1, becoming one of the most important players in the team.


On June 6, 1993, Ali Daei received an offer he could not refuse. The offer was to play for the Iran national football team or Team Melli. Daei debuted in the 1993 Eco Cup in a match against Pakistan, which was won by Iran.

International Career

In a 6-0 victory over Chinese Taipei on June 25, 1993, he scored his first goal for his country, as a part of the preparatory match for the FIFA World Cup, 1994. 

He was recognized as the top scorer in the Asian round of the 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualifications with four goals in five games. 

In 1996, Daei was named the top scorer in Men’s International Football for scoring 20 goals for Iran by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

He scored his 85th international goal in a match against Lebanon in 2003, during an Asian Cup qualifying match, subsequently passing Ferenc Puskás (Hungary) to become the all-time highest-goal scorer in international football. 

In 2024, he scored four goals and his total active goals reached an all-time high of 102 total goals. 

He made a world record then by becoming the first male player to score the highest number of active goals in international football.

After retirement, Daei became a football coach, coaching many football teams. The teams he managed are:

2006-2008 Saipa 
2007 Iran Students
2008–2009 Iran
2009 Islamic Azad University
2009–2011 Persepolis
2011–2013 Rah Ahan
2013–2014 Persepolis
2015–2016 Saba Qom
2016–2017 Naft Tehran
2017–2019 Saipa

Also Read | All You Need To Know About The History Of Football (Soccer).

Ali Daei Stats





Ali Daei Titles & Awards 

Top Scorer


German Champion


German League Cup Winner


Iranian Champion


Iranian Cup Winner


Champions League participant


World Cup Participant


German Cup Runner-Up


Second Highest Goal Scorer


All-Time Leader in Caps


Asian Footballer of the Year


Ali Daei Rankings

Ali Daei was the highest international goal scorer in the world before his record was broken by the Portuguese Footballer, Christiano Ronaldo. 

Currently, Daei is ranked second, after Christiano Ronaldo, on the list of the all-time highest goal scorers in International Men’s Football.

He has scored 109 goals in 149 appearances. 

Also Read | Why Is Football Called Soccer?


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