Iran's Ali Daei claims a preliminary stage goalscoring record.
The names of Ronaldo, Muller and Pele may be synonymous with World Cup goals but Ali Daei also has a claim to join such illustrious company.
The former Iran captain scored 35
goals in World Cup qualifying games, making him the tournament’s preliminary stage leading scoring of all-time.
Daei was involved in Iran’s 1994, ’98, ’02 and ’06 qualifying campaigns, playing in 45 matches during that time and successfully qualifying for the finals in France and Germany.
Although he played in five of the six finals games he was unable to continue his prolific scoring, failing to find the net in both tournaments.
Daei scored an incredible 109 goals in 149 games for Iran and went on to manage his country as they attempted – and failed – to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.