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10 legends who have never won gold medal at the SEA Games

Arguably some of the finest players the Southeast Asia region has ever known, some of them still fell short when it came to claiming gold the SEA Games. 

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Therdsak Chaiman

At the beginning of Therdsak Chaiman’s career in football (1994 - 1995). He was struggling to break into Thailand’s senior squad as there were way too many talented midfielders during the ‘Dream Team’ era.

Therdsak even had to turn to futsal for a while in order to realise his international aspirations, but he came to prominence after becoming the top scorer at the Asian Futsal Championship in 2000.

Photo: S.League

He then joined BEC Tero Sasana the same year and it proved to be the breakthrough he needed as he went on to become a key figure for his team and helped them claim several accolades.

His biggest claim to fame would be helping the Fire Dragons reach the prestigious AFC Champions League final in the 2002/03 season. Therdsak was named the most valuable player of the tournament even though his team was defeated by Al Ain from UAE.  

Unfortunately, despite being one of the best Thailand had ever seen, Therdsak had no chance to participate in the SEA Games as he was overaged when he came to prominence. The SEA Games had imposed an age-limit from 2001 and only those below 23 could participate.

Khairul Amri

The 32-year-old striker could surely considered as one of the most dangerous forwards in Southeast Asia, especially in the last decade.

At the age of 19, he was already playing for the Young Lions and also was called for Singapore national senior team in the same year.

His international game debut against Oman was great but Amri’s fame grew at the AFF Championship in late 2004, when he scored in the final against Indonesia.

Photo: FAS

Since then, Amri has gone on to be a key player for the Lions and has scored in every AFF Championship final he played in. In total, he has 10 Suzuki Cup goals and three regional titles.

However, Amri has failed to taste glory at the SEA Games, despite being part of a talented batch that included Singapore captain Marvel, Shahril Ishak.

The closest he came to landing the medal was at the 2007 SEA Games, held in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

Unfortunately, Amri’s team fell 3-0 to Thailand in the semi-finals. Singapore did recover to thrash Vietnam 5-0 in the bronze playoffs to land the Lions’ their first SEA Games medal then in 12 years.

Bambang Pamungkas

The most capped Indonesia player and top scorer of all time, Bambang Pamungkas must surely be an undisputed legend of the Garudas.

He scored 38 goals from 86 matches during his 13-year spell with the national team, an excellent strike rate by all accounts.

Bamgbung started his professional career with Persija Jarkata in 1999 at the age of 19 and immediately was called up for the SEA Games team in the same year, when the competition was held in Brunei.

His debut at the Games was great as he scored two goals against Malaysia in the group stage, but it wasn’t good enough to send the Garudas through to the final as Indonesia finished third place in that tournament.

Two years later in Kuala Lumpur, although he scored four goals, Indonesia were still edged out 1-0 by Myanmar.

The 2003 SEA Games was to be his last time featuring in the tournament, but Bambang and his team did not come close this time, exiting at the group stage.

However, Bambung still went on to become one of the most dangerous striker in the region. His sharpness was superb and he was also the 2002 AFF Championship top scorer.