Chin Aun named world's most capped player, three other legends join FIFA list


Seven Malaysian football legends have now been inducted in the FIFA Century Club. - Courtesy by Football Association of Malaysia.

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Soh Chin Aun has been finally recognised as the most capped player in the international football history!

The 71-year-old was one of the four national legends including Zainal Abidin Hassan, the late Datuk M. Chandran and Datuk Santokh Singh inducted into FIFA Century Club in its latest August updates on Tuesday.

The FIFA Century Club is exclusive for players who have played 100 international matches and above.

And Chin Aun, who represented Malaysia from 1969-1984, is placed first in the illustrious list with 195 caps to his name - 10 more than the second-placed Kuwait's Bader Almotawaa.

The other notable names in the top 10 were Spain's Sergio Ramos (180, fifth), Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (179, sixth) and Italy's Gianluigi Buffon (176, ninth).

Ronaldo remains the only player who has a shot at cracking Chin Aun's record as he's still actively representing Portugal in international football.

Zainal, Chandran and Santokh have collected 116, 115 and 100 caps respectively.

With the four latest additions, Malaysia are now represented by seven players in the list.

Datuk Abdul Shukor Salleh (163), the late Datuk Mokhtar Dahari (138) and the late Datuk R. Arumugam (131) were the first three who made the list based on the May 2021 updates.

Although Chin Aun's overall appearance was recorded by Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) as 252 caps, only 195 of them counted as A category matches.

Chin Aun, who served as the national captain from 1975 until his retirement in 1984, was elated with the news.

“Thank you FIFA and FAM for this recognition. It gives me immense pleasure to be given this recognition," said Chin Aun

"Although FAM records show that I’ve played for the country on 252 occasions, I believe it includes all friendly matches against foreign clubs as well as competitions held outside FIFA auspices.

“To be recognised as the most capped international ever is the highest accolade one can have,” he said.

Zainal, 58, who donned the national jersey for 17 years, described the recognition as an honour.

“Being recognised as a member of this elite group at world level is indeed a privilege," said Zainal.

“I consider it as a reward for my sacrifice in representing the country for almost two decades.

Said the 69-year-old Santokh: "I’m very grateful for this recognition. To be in the company of the world’s most capped players is rare indeed. Although FAM's record shows that I have represented the country 145 times, the official statistics remain a true honour for me.

Said the 72-year-old Shukor: “They are not mere statistics. To me they are true evidence of the sacrifice and toil I made for the country."

THE SEVEN LEGENDS IN THE FIFA CENTURY CLUB

1. Datuk Soh Chin Ann - 195 caps

2. Datuk Abdul Shukor Salleh - 163 caps

3. The late Datuk Mokhtar Dahari - 138 caps

4. The late Datuk R. Arumugam - 131 caps

5. Zainal Abidin Hassan - 116 caps

6. The late Datuk M. Chandran - 115 caps

7. Datuk Santokh Singh - 100 caps
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