Despite being played annually for the last 20 years, the incredible record of being the only goalkeeper to score in the history of the AFC Champions League achieved by Phan Van Santos, a retired naturalised Vietnamese goalkeeper, stands to this day.
Retired naturalised Vietnamese goalkeeper Phan Van Santos
Born in Brazil, Phan Van Santos first arrived in Vietnam after signing for local side Dong Tam Long An FC in 2001 with his excellent performances contributing to his team winning the V.League 1 title back-to-back in both 2005 and 2006.
Widely regarded as the best shot stopper in domestic football during his playing career, Santos was renowned for his incredible skill from dead ball situations, scoring a total of 22 goals from freekicks during his spell at Dong Tam Long An FC.
Most memorably, Santos became the only goalkeeper to score in the 20-year history of the AFC Champions league by netting a free kick from 22 metres against Shanghai Shenhua SVA SMEG FC, a record that still stands.
With no goalkeepers in Asian football emerging as dead ball specialists in the same style as Santos, the nautralised goalkeeper’s record looks safe for the foreseeable future.
After winning back-to-back V.League 1 championships for his club side, Santos became a Vietnamese citizen in December, 2007, going on to appear five times for the national team in friendly matches under the guidance of former head coach Henrique Calisto. VOV