Younis Mahmoud

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Younis Mahmoud
Younis Mahmoud 2012 2.jpg
Younis Mahmoud in 2012
Personal information
Full name Younis Mahmoud Khalaf
Date of birth (1983-02-03) 3 February 1983 (age 33)
Place of birth Al-Dibs, Kirkuk, Iraq
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Number 9
Youth career
1997–1999 Al-Dibs
1999–2001 Kirkuk FC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2004 Al-Talaba 33 (26)
2003–2004 Al-Wahda (loan) 26 (19)
2004–2006 Al-Khor 49 (38)
2006–2011 Al-Gharafa 95 (72)
2008 Al-Arabi (loan) 6 (2)
2011–2013 Al-Wakrah 33 (14)
2013 Al Sadd 7 (2)
2013 Al-Ahli 6 (3)
2015 Erbil 0 (0)
2015– Al-Talaba 9 (3)
National team
2001–2002 Iraq U-19 8 (4)
2002–2014 Iraq U-23 38 (25)
2002– Iraq 145 (57)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12 December 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 November 2015

Younis Mahmoud Khalaf (Arabic: يونس محمود خلف‎; born 3 February 1983 in Al-Dibs, Kirkuk, Iraq), also transliterated as Younus Mahmood,[1][2] is an Iraqi football player who plays as a striker for Al-Talaba and the Iraq national football team. Since his international debut in 2002, he has scored 57 goals in 145 full international matches. He is Iraq's most-capped player ever and their third-highest goalscorer of all-time. He captained the Iraqi national team which won the 2007 AFC Asian Cup and scored the winning goal in the final of that tournament as Iraq defeated Saudi Arabia 1–0.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Younis started his career with an unknown team in Karkuk called al-Dibs. Then he join the district's first team Karkuk FC from there he was discovered by scouts of Iraqi giant club al-Talaba.

Al Talaba[edit]

After moving to al-Talaba Younis had to prove himself, he showed the talent that secured him a starting position the season. The same season, alongside Talaba icons such as Alaa Kadhim and Abdul-Wahab Abu Al-Hail and youngsters such as Haidar Abdul-Razzaq and Bassim Abbas, Younis and his team won league title. After the onset of the Iraq invasion during the football season and the season was stopped, Younis secured a move on loan to Abu Dhabi club of Al Wahda.

Al Wahda[edit]

Younis had one of the least successful experiences in his football career with Al Wahda, playing 26 matches and only scoring 6 goals. He returned to al-Talaba to move to Al Khor.

Al Khor[edit]

Younis moved to Qatari club Al Khor in 2004. In a Qatari Stars League match in 2005, he broke three records in one game in an 8–0 victory over Al Shamal. Having scored 6 goals in the match, he was the only player to have scored two hattricks in a league match. He also scored the fastest goal in a league match, taking 30 seconds to score after the game had started. Furthermore, he was the only player that season to score three goals in each half against two different goalkeepers. He assisted in the two other goals in the match.[3]

Al Sadd[edit]

Younis Mahmoud playing for Al-Wakrah in 2012.

On 8 February 2013, Younis signed for Qatar Stars League side Al Sadd, joining until the end of the 2012/13 season.[4] He made his league debut on 11 February 2013, in Al Sadd's 3–0 win over Al-Sailiya.

He equalled Nasser Kamile's record for goals in the Crown Prince Cup after scoring against Rayyan on 26 April. He scored what would be his 10th goal, tying him with Kamile, who participated in the tournament since its inception in 1995.[5]

Al Ahli[edit]

On 16 September 2013, Younis signed for Saudi Premier League side Al Ahli, joining until the end of the 2013–14 season.[6] He made his league debut on 23 September 2013, in Al Ahli's 5–1 win over Al Nahda. Younis ended his contract before 2 weeks from the official end of it.[7]


In February 2015 after the Asian Cup, Mahmoud returned to Iraq to play for Erbil, but only in AFC Cup games, because he did not want to compete in the Iraqi League against his first senior club Al-Talaba.[8] On 15 April, he made his debut for the club against FC Ahal and scored two goals in the match (a header and a Panenka penalty), but could not prevent his side from being defeated 3–2 in the game. He was given the captain's armband for Erbil's next AFC Cup match against FC Istiklol, but the game finished goalless and Erbil crashed out of the tournament at the group stage.[9]

Al Talaba[edit]

On 12 September 2015, Mahmoud returned to Iraq to play for Al-Talaba, for the first time since 12 years.

International career[edit]

U-19 and Olympics team[edit]

Younis Mahmoud called up to the Iraqi U-19 squad; scored 4 goals from 8 matches but he was also sent-off twice.

In 2004, Younis was part of the Olympic team in the 2004 Summer Olympics who became 4th place. Younis scored one goal against Portugal. In 2006 Younis Mahmoud was part of the Iraq Olympic team in the 2006 Games, he scored 3 goals as the team claimed the second place. after his successful efforts in 2006 and in the Asian Games, Younis nominated for the 2006 Asian Footballer of the Year.

Senior team[edit]

Younis Mahmoud after scoring a goal for Iraq in 2011.

In March 2002, while many were questioning his temperament and lack of experience, coach Adnan Hamad named Younis in his squad for Iraq's training camp in Italy and gave him his first start against Serie B club Cagliari Calcio and later went on to score. A month after landing both the Iraqi league and cup, Younis made his first full international debut against Syria but failed to score; his first goal came in dramatic style as he netted in the 90th minute in the WAFF Championship final against Jordan to put the game into extra-time; where Haidar Mahmoud headed in the winner. His six goals at the Emir Abdullah Al-Faisal Cup including a hat-trick in the 5–1 win over Al-Nasr turned several heads; he earned even more praise with seven goals in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers with four goals in a 5–1 drubbing of Bahrain. Younis was nominated for the 2003 Asian Young Footballer of the Year.

Younis scored the winning and only goal in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup Final against Saudi Arabia to secure Iraq its first ever AFC Asian Cup title. Younis won the MVP award and shared the top scorer award with Naohiro Takahara and Yasser Al-Qahtani with four goals. In 2007, Younis Mahmoud was Asian Footballer of the Year runner-up.

On 29 December 2014, Younis was included in Iraq's squad for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.[10] In the team's third group match, he scored Iraq's opening goal as they defeated Palestine 2–0 to qualify for the knockout stage.[11] In the quarter-final match against Iran, Younis scored Iraq's second goal as they drew 3–3 at Canberra Stadium and eventually prevailed 7–6 on a penalty shootout.[12]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Iraq's goal tally first.[13]

By years[edit]

Iraq national team[13]
Year Apps Goals
2002 5 1
2003 6 7
2004 12 2
2005 5 4
2006 10 8
2007 15 5
2008 11 0
2009 11 2
2010 8 2
2011 17 6
2012 9 5
2013 14 6
2014 7 3
2015 15 6
Total 145 57


Younis Mahmoud playing for Al-Gharafa in 2009.
Younis Mahmoud playing for Al-Wakrah in 2011.
Younis Mahmoud playing for Al-Wakrah in 2011.






Famous matches[edit]

  • 24 March 2002 Younis Mahmoud scored on his debut for Iraq vs Cagliari Calcio – (not International match)
  • 7 September 2002 Iraq was down 1–2 to Jordan, in the last minutes Younis substituted in and scored his first International goal against Jordan in the 89th minute and extended the match to extra time, and because of it Iraq won the first WAFF Championship
  • 8 April 2005 Al-Khor 8–0 Al-Shamal (Scored 6 goals and broke record)
  • 17 August 2005 Iraq 5–2 Apollon Limassol (Friendly match) Younis scored 4 goals.
  • 28 December 2006 Al-Gharafa 1–1 Al-Sadd (Scored in the 27th second)
  • 11 October 2006 Scored 2 goals against Singapore, the 1st one was a solo act (Dribbled 4 players), the second goal from almost half field.
  • 6 December 2006 Malaysia 0–4 Iraq (Scored 2 goals in one minute)
  • 21 July 2007 Vietnam 0–2 Iraq (Scored the fastest goal in the Asian Cup at the time (65 sec) and also scored the 2nd goal from a free kick)
  • 29 July 2007 Saudi Arabia 0–1 Iraq (Scored the winning goal in the final of the Asian Cup)
  • 20 January 2015 Iraq 2–0 Palestine (Became the first player to score in four different Asian Cups (2004, 2007, 2011, 2015))
  • 28 March 2015 Iraq 2–1 DR Congo (Broke the record for most international caps for Iraq with 138 caps, overtaking Hussein Saeed's tally of 137)

Personal life[edit]

Mahmoud is of Iraqi Turkmen origin and is a Sunni Muslim.[14]



  1. ^ "AFC Cup 2015". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "AFC Cup 2015". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Apr 2005 news archive". Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ السفاح يروج لاغلى البطولات في كتارا (in Arabic). Al Kass. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Younis joins Al-Ahli of Saudi Arabia". Younis Mahmoud. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  7. ^ ""The Slayer" ends his relations with Al-Ahli and leaves to Doha". Akhbaar24. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "أربيل يقدم يونس محمود ونشات أكرم رسميا للعب مع الفريق في كأس اتحاد آسيا" (in Arabic). Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Arbil 0-0 FC Istiklol". Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "Unattached Mahmoud named in Iraq squad". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Asian Cup: Iraq ensure quarter-final berth with 2-0 win over Palestine in Canberra". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "Asian Cup 2015: Iraq claims incredible shootout win over rival Iran to reach semi-finals". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Roberto Mamrud. "Younis Mahmoud Khalaf – Century of International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Greenwell, Megan (July 30, 2007). "Jubilant Iraqis Savor Their Soccer Triumph". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Razzaq Farhan
Iraq captain
2006 -
Succeeded by