Azmoun: Better to be a champion than a top scorer

Islamic Republic of Iran hotshot Sardar Azmoun has shunned suggestions that he is on track to becoming the top scorer at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, insisting instead that he will always put the aspirations of his team first.

Azmoun scored twice against Vietnam on Saturday to take his tournament tally to three and move to the top of the tournament’s goalscoring chart.

However, after helping secure Team Melli’s passage through to the Round of 16, the Rubin Kazan forward insists he has no interest in personal accolades as he seeks to help Iran secure their first Continental title since 1976.

“I’m pleased with the team’s performance, not with my own goals,” he said.

“It’s not important to me who scores and who does not score, the team’s success is much more significant to me. I certainly do not think about such matters as becoming top scorer.”

“Scoring is great, as you get what you have worked for. I am grateful that I score, however it’s better to be the champion of the tournament rather than being the top scorer.”

With top spot in Group D up for grabs, Iran will complete their group stage campaign when they meet Iraq on Wednesday – a repeat of the sides’ quarter-final meeting in 2015 which was won by the Iraqis.