Since territory of the modern state of Iraq was defined in 1920, the country has produced its fair share of outstanding footballers who have made their mark in both the club and international game.
Having produced a long list of legends such as Kadhim Waal and Habib Jafar in the past, plus current stars like Ali Adnan and Yaser Kasim, Iraq continue to be one of Asia’s top footballing nations.
A number of these great players made their way across the globe and laced up their boots in Europe and America. Some are known as the greatest players to ever grace Asia, others are cult legends.
So without further ado, here is Soccer Iraq‘s pick of the 10 best Iraqis to ever play the game in order of their international debut:
We start with the mighty Emmanuel Baba Dawood, known as Ammo Baba, the most revered figure in Iraqi football, both as a player and later as coach of the national side.
Ammo Baba scored Iraq’s first goal in an international match in 1957. As coach, he led Iraq to three titles in the Gulf Cup (1979, 1984, 1988), the Asian Games, 1984, and the Arab National Cup in 1988. He was also successful in the Iraqi League, where he led Al Talaba to a title in 1981. After leaving the national scene he was hired by Al Zawraa, and led them to a title in 1994.
Ammo Baba loved his country and loved his people. He challenged everything in order to serve his country to the last breath and became the symbol of success for Iraq and Iraqis.
Ammo Baba will forever remain an Iraqi football icon.