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

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Safee Sali

The 33-year-old attacker started his professional career at a very young age.

He was only 17 when he made his debut for Melaka TMFC in 2001 and was then sold to Kuala Lumpur FA where he went on to score 24 goals from 36 matches over two seasons.

Surprisingly, Safee did not make the final squad for the SEA Games in 2005.


He later joined Sarawak FA. and was on fire again, scoring 11 goals in 19 games to earn a move to Selangor the next season.

At the SEA Games 2007 at Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, Safee Sali became the Tigers’ main striker but his two goals weren’t enough for the Malaysians.

Malaysia were eventually eliminated from the SEA Games and that was to be the Safee’s first and only foray into the tournament.

However, Safee Sali successfully won the AFF Championship in 2010, where he was also the top scorer with five goals. He scored twice in the final too.

Sutee Suksomkit

“The Deadly Left” was his nickname among Thais and this attacker sure had a left boot which could hurt.

Sutee attracted attention at the 1997 FIFA U-17 World Championship. Although Thailand were considered whipping boys alongside powerhouses Germany, Chile and hosts Egypt, Sutee scored twice at the group stages.

Sutee soon moved over to Thai Farmer Bank and took only two years to be the league’s top scorer with 13 goals in the 1999 season, despite being only 19.

Photo: Bangkok FC

The following season, Sutee scored another 16 goals before moving to Tanjong Pagar in S.League in 2001.

He spent two seasons there and scored 30 goals from 56 matches then moved to Home United and Tampines Rovers thereafter.  

Sutee would also move on to Melbourne Victory in the A-League, before moving back to Thailand. He eventually retired at the age of 37.

During his playing career, Sutee also won the AFF Suzuki Cup twice with Thailand. But what about the SEA Games, you ask?

Zilch. Sutee has never even played in the SEA Games before and therefore has a gaping hole in his cabinet.

Le Cong Vinh

Le Cong Vinh was from the acclaimed ‘Golden Generation’ of Vietnamese football. His header in the additional time against Thailand in the final of AFF Championship 2008 cemented his status as a legend back home in Vietnam and he is widely recognised as one of the best in the region.

He is also the first footballer from the region to have played in Portugal’s top flight when he signed for Leixoes.

However, he never won the gold at the SEA Games. Con Vinh first participated at the Games in 2003, when Vietnam hosted the tournament.

He was only 17 and scored one goal to help the Golden Stars through to the final to face Thailand. Unfortunately, Nuttaporn Phanrit’s golden goal in the extra time ruined the Vietnameses’ celebration party

Two years later, Cong Vinh scored the winning goal in semi-final but once again, Thailand beat them in the final.

It was the same story in 2007, when the 22-year-old netted three times at the group stage. This time, Malaysia had edged them out on penalties.

After spending 14 years as a footballer, Con Vinh announced his retirement right after the AFF Championship 2016.