UAE striker Ali Mabkhout beats Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi to emerge as top international scorer of 2019

Mabkhout tops the charts for the year with 16 goals in 13 matches

UAE's forward Ali Mabkhout celebrates his goal during the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup Group A football match between United Arab Emirates and Yemen at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in the Qatari capital Doha on November 26, 2019.  / AFP / MUSTAFA ABUMUNES

Move over Cristiano, Kane, Messi et all, for UAE striker Ali Mabkhout was officially the leading goalscoer in men’s international football last year.

Fifa released their “2019 in Numbers” on Tuesday, with Mabkhout topping the charts for the year with 16 goals in 13 matches.

That lifted the Al Jazira forward, now the UAE’s all-time leading scorer, one above second-placed Almoez Ali of Qatar, and two ahead of Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo. Prolific England striker Harry Kane sat fifth on the list, with 12 goals.

Mabkhout’s past few months have been pretty notable: he scored six goals in the UAE’s opening three qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, with his hat-trick against Indonesia in October carrying him above Adnan Al Talyani in the overall charts.

Mabkhout struck another five times at the recent Gulf Cup of Nations, to finish top scorer despite the UAE's exit at the group stage.

The frontman, 29, began the year brightly, too, scoring four goal at the Asian Cup in January, which was hosted by the UAE.

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