Ali Daei pronounced [ʔæliː dɑːjiː]; (born on 21 March 1969) is an Iranian former professional footballer, football manager and businessman. A striker, he was captain of the Iran national football team between 2000 and 2006, and played in the German Bundesliga for Arminia Bielefeld, Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin.
Tall forward, Daei was a prolific goalscorer, and was known for his heading accuracy and ability in the air. Along with Cristiano Ronaldo, he is the world’s joint all-time leading goalscorer in the history of men’s international football with 109 goals scored for Iran. During his playing career, Daei was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2001. Following his retirement Daei served as a member of the FIFA Football Committee between 2007 and 2013. In 2014, he was inducted into the Asian Football Hall of Fame.
Ali Daei and Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 109th goal for Portugal in Wednesday’s Euro 2020 game against France to equal former Iran striker Ali Daei’s all-time international record. The 36-year-old Ronaldo, the leading scorer in European Championship history, converted his second penalty of the game in Budapest to match the record in his 178th international appearance. Ronaldo is the first player to appear at five editions of the tournament and has scored five times in three Group F games. The Juventus striker has now scored 14 European Championship goals, five more than French great Michel Platini, who netted nine times when he led France to glory in 1984.
Ronaldo netted his first international goal in a 2-1 loss to Greece in the opening game of Euro 2004 in Portugal, where the hosts later lost to Greece 1-0 in the final.
Daei, nicknamed the ‘Shariar’ (King in Persian), scored a remarkable 109 goals in 149 appearances for Iran between 1993 and 2006, an achievement many thought would never be matched.
Daei has said on several occasions that he would be “delighted” if Ronaldo broke his record, as he believes the Juventus striker ranks among the best three players in history, alongside Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona.
“Congratulations to @cristiano who is now one goal away from breaking the men’s international goal scoring record,” Daei posted on Instagram.
“I am honoured that this remarkable achievement will belong to Ronaldo – great champion of football and caring humanist who inspires and impacts lives throughout the world.”