The new year will bring ecstasy for the Asian football fans as AFC Asian Cup will kick off from 5th January 2019. AFC Asian Cup is the biggest footballing event in Asia, and it is organised by Asian Football Confederation (AFC) after every 4 years. The specialty about the competition is it is the second oldest football competition after Copa America
Asian countries have proved themselves and performed brilliantly in the last few editions of the World Cup. The most notable of their performances was at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in which South Korea reached the semifinals. So, AFC Asian Cup 2019 is going to be an exciting contest where Asian powers will battle each other out.
Here, in this slideshow, we will look at the 4 successful countries at the AFC Asian Cup.
4. South Korea
South Korea has twice won the AFC Asian Cup. They won the inaugural edition in 1956 and again won it in 1960. During the 1956 and 1960 editions, only 4 teams participated and 19 teams participated in the qualification process. One team from each zone (Central eastern and western) participated in the tournament. In the 2015 edition, South Korea lost to Australia in the final. They are one of the title contenders for the 2019 edition.
Iran won the AFC Asian Cup thrice. They won the 1968, 1972 and 1976 editions. Iran hosted the 1968 and 1976 AFC Asian Cup.
In 1972 Asian Cup, 6 teams participated which were divided into two groups of three teams. Since then group stages plus knock-out round format is followed in the Asian Cup. In 2015 AFC Asian Cup Iran lost Iraq in the quarterfinals. Iran is currently at the 1st position in FIFA rankings (Asian zone).