The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Iraqi Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 21,273 Soccer Players, 20 of which were born in Iraq. This makes Iraq the birth place of the 79th most number of Soccer Players behind Togo, and Armenia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Iraqi Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Iraqi Soccer Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Iraqi Soccer Players.

Photo of Hussein Saeed

1. Hussein Saeed (b. 1958)

With an HPI of 49.39, Hussein Saeed is the most famous Iraqi Soccer Player.  Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages on wikipedia.

Hussein Saeed Mohammed (Arabic: حسين سعيد محمد, born 21 January 1958) is an Iraqi former footballer who played as a forward and is a former president of the Iraq Football Association. Saeed is in ninth place in the list of top international goal scorers, with 78 goals. Along with Ahmed Radhi, he is considered to be the best Iraqi player of the 20th century and features in 25th place in Asia's Best Players of the Century list. Hussein's 78 international goals make him currently the Iraqi national team's highest scoring player.Saeed started his professional football career at the age of 17, when he joined the Iraq national varsity football team and won the 1975 Arab Schools Games gold medal. In 1975, he joined Al-Jamiea, who later became known as Al-Talaba, where he spent all 15 years of his career, achieving three league titles and getting the top goalscorer of the league award in three seasons. He won two AFC U-19 Championships, two Arabian Gulf Cups, where he was the top goalscorer of both occasions and the best player of one, a World Military Cup, and an Asian Games gold medal.

Photo of Ahmed Radhi

2. Ahmed Radhi (1964 - 2020)

With an HPI of 46.67, Ahmed Radhi is the 2nd most famous Iraqi Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Ahmed Radhi Humaiesh Al-Salehi (Arabic: أحمد راضي هميش الصالحي, 21 April 1964 – 21 June 2020) was an Iraqi footballer who played as a striker. Nicknamed "The Magician" (..., Al-Saher) in his playing days and regarded as one of Iraq's and Asia's best players of all time, Radhi scored the only Iraqi goal at the FIFA World Cup in its 1986 edition, a low shot to the corner of the net against Belgium in a 2–1 defeat. He was voted the Asian Footballer of the Year in 1988.

Photo of Younis Mahmoud

3. Younis Mahmoud (b. 1983)

With an HPI of 45.82, Younis Mahmoud is the 3rd most famous Iraqi Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Younis Mahmoud Khalaf (Arabic: يُونُس مَحمُود خَلَف; born 3 February 1983) is an Iraqi former professional footballer who played as a forward for the Iraq national football team and is currently the second vice-president of the Iraq Football Association. One of the country's greatest ever players, Mahmoud captained the team for ten straight years and became an icon of Asian football. He also played for a number of clubs including teams in Iraq, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, winning three Golden Boots in Qatar and breaking numerous records. Mahmoud's first official international goal was an equaliser in the 89th minute of the final of the 2002 WAFF Championship, which Iraq then went on to win in extra-time. Three years later, Mahmoud scored in the final of the 2005 West Asian Games to lead his team to another tournament win, before becoming the national team captain a year later. In 2007, Mahmoud achieved the best honour of his career, leading his country to win the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, their first such success, scoring the winning goal in the final and also winning the Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player awards at the tournament. In the 2007 Ballon d'Or, Mahmoud finished in 29th place, becoming the only Iraqi player ever to be nominated for the Ballon d'Or. Mahmoud played in all three of Iraq's 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup matches and scored in the final of the Arabian Gulf Cup in 2013, before retiring in 2016 as the most-capped player in Iraq's history and their third-highest goalscorer ever. He is also the only player in history to score in four different (and consecutive) AFC Asian Cup tournaments, with one goal in 2004, four in 2007, one in 2011 and two in 2015.

Photo of Raad Hammoudi

4. Raad Hammoudi (b. 1953)

With an HPI of 43.34, Raad Hammoudi is the 4th most famous Iraqi Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Raad Hammoudi Salman al-Aredhi (Arabic: رعد حمودي سلمان العارضي; born 1 May 1953) is a retired Iraqi football player who represented his country as a goalkeeper in the Olympics and the World Cup. He is known as the most successful goalkeeper in Iraqi football, leading Iraq to the 1986 FIFA World Cup. He made his international debut in 1976 against Turkey. Raad was an important part of the Al-Shorta side, captaining them to the Iraqi League in season 1979/80. He took three penalties for Al-Shorta, scoring two and missing one. He was goalkeeper of the tournament during Iraq's win in the 1979 Gulf Cup, when he conceded just one goal in six games, he was also in goal when Iraq won the Asian Games in 1982. Raad started his career in 1972 when he joined second division club Kuliya Al-Shurta (where he won the Iraqi Central Second Division), a team which along with Shurta Al-Najda and Aliyat Al-Shorta were replaced in the top-flight by Al-Shurta Sports Club.Raad played in the 1984 Olympics and 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where he played in the two games against Paraguay and Belgium. In 1999, Raad was placed by the German-based Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) as Iraq's 4th best player of the century behind the likes of Ahmed Radhi, Hussein Saeed and Habib Jafar.He is currently the president of the Iraqi Olympic Committee.

Photo of Hawar Mulla Mohammed

5. Hawar Mulla Mohammed (b. 1981)

With an HPI of 40.64, Hawar Mulla Mohammed is the 5th most famous Iraqi Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Hawar Mulla Mohammed Taher Zebari (Kurdish: هەوار مەلا محەمەد تاهر زێبارى; Arabic: هوار ملا محمد طاهر زيباري; born 1 June 1981) is an Iraqi former professional footballer. He played as a winger or wingback for Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Ansar, Apollon Limassol, Al Khor, Anorthosis, Persepolis, Esteghlal, Zob Ahan, and Erbil before retiring on 11 June 2015.

Photo of Ali Adnan Kadhim

6. Ali Adnan Kadhim (b. 1993)

With an HPI of 40.51, Ali Adnan Kadhim is the 6th most famous Iraqi Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Ali Adnan Kadhim Al-Tameemi (Arabic: علي عدنان كاظم التميمي; born 19 December 1993) is an Iraqi professional footballer who plays as a left-back for Mes Rafsanjan and the Iraq national team. Adnan has played at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, where he was one of Iraq's star players as the underdogs went on to reach the semi-final. He won the 2013 Asian Young Footballer of the Year.

Photo of Nadhim Shaker

7. Nadhim Shaker (1958 - 2020)

With an HPI of 39.69, Nadhim Shaker is the 7th most famous Iraqi Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Nadhim Shaker Salim (Arabic: ناظم شاكر سالم; 18 December 1958 – 11 September 2020) was an Iraqi football player and coach of the Iraq national team.

Photo of Aymen Hussein

8. Aymen Hussein (b. 1996)

With an HPI of 38.45, Aymen Hussein is the 8th most famous Iraqi Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Ayman Hussein Ghadhban Al Mafreajy (Arabic: أيمن حسين; born 22 March 1996) is an Iraqi professional footballer who plays as a striker for Iraqi Premier League side Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya and the Iraqi national team.

Photo of Nashat Akram

9. Nashat Akram (b. 1984)

With an HPI of 37.44, Nashat Akram is the 9th most famous Iraqi Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Nashat Akram Abid Ali Al-Eissa (Arabic: نشأت أكرم عبد علي العيسى; born 12 September 1984) is an Iraqi former professional footballer. Popularly dubbed "The Maestro", he usually played as a playmaker or as an attacking midfielder and was known for his exceptional vision and excellent passing ability, as well as his ability to score goals from long range. Akram was Iraq's most promising young prospect in the early 2000s, and became an integral part of the Iraq national team as he helped them win the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, winning the man of the match award in the final and being voted for the Team of the Tournament as well as finishing in third place in the AFC Footballer of the Year award in 2007. At Iraqi club level, he won the Iraqi Premier League title and three Umm al-Ma'arik Championship titles with Al-Shorta. He also won league titles with Saudi club Al-Shabab, Qatari club Al-Gharafa and Dutch club FC Twente. Akram almost signed for Premier League club Manchester City in 2008, but work permit issues meant that he was not allowed to join, while he was also linked with clubs such as Sunderland and Málaga in his career.

Photo of Basil Gorgis

10. Basil Gorgis (b. 1961)

With an HPI of 37.35, Basil Gorgis is the 10th most famous Iraqi Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Basil Gewargis Hanna or Basil Korkis (Arabic: باسل كوركيس) (born 8 January 1961) is a former Iraqi international football player of Assyrian descent. Despite having a short career, he is considered to be one of the best players of all time in Iraq, being known for his tenacity and attacking threat. As a player, Basil took the national team to uncharted territory, where he was part of the Iraqi "golden team" of the 1980s that included Hussein Saeed and Ahmad Radhi. Basil is married and they have three daughters together.


Pantheon has 31 people classified as Iraqi soccer players born between 1953 and 2000. Of these 31, 28 (90.32%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Iraqi soccer players include Hussein Saeed, Younis Mahmoud, and Raad Hammoudi. The most famous deceased Iraqi soccer players include Ahmed Radhi, Nadhim Shaker, and Ali Hussein Shihab. As of April 2024, 11 new Iraqi soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Aymen Hussein, Basil Gorgis, and Samir Shaker.

Living Iraqi Soccer Players

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Deceased Iraqi Soccer Players

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Newly Added Iraqi Soccer Players (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Soccer Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 3 most globally memorable Soccer Players since 1700.