Tasnim – KUALA LUMPUR, Mohammad Ranjbar and Heshmat Mohajerani are among Asian football’s great managers, who steered their teams to AFC Asian Cup glory as head coaches.
As the countdown continues to the 18th edition of the tournament in Qatar, the-afc.com has examined the successes of 10 of Asia’s all-time coaching greats, helping the fans to celebrate their respective AFC Asian Cup successes by voting their favorite.
Winner: Iran, 1972
Crowned champion at home under Mahmoud Bayati in 1968, Iran defended its title in Thailand four years later, making Ranjbar the first and only Iranian boss to win the AFC Asian Cup on foreign soil.
Ranjbar’s charges prevailed in a dramatic final against Korea Republic, with tournament standouts Hossein Kalani and Ali Jabbari both scoring in a match that finished 2-1 after extra-time.
That result gave Team Melli a perfect winning record in the tournament, and its tally of five wins has never been matched by an Iranian side at an AFC Asian Cup.
Winner: Iran, 1976
While Ranjbar’s side won every game in 1972, the team led by Heshmat Mohajerani won all of their four matches without conceding a single goal during its success on home soil four years later.
Its 1-0 defeat of Kuwait in the final – played before 100,000 spectators in Tehran – made the team the only nation in tournament history to win the title on three consecutive occasions, but it was just one of many landmark achievements under Mohajerani.
He also took them to an unprecedented quarter-final appearance at the 1976 Olympics and led Iran to its first FIFA World Cup in 1978, before guiding the United Arab Emirates during its first AFC Asian Cup appearance two years later.