This is how I view the Asia's best teams through the years. What do you think? The Best in Each Era 1972 -- 1978 IRAN: winner of 3 consecutive Asian Cups (1968, 1972, 1976), 2 consecutive Olympic qualifications (1972, 1976), the 1974 Asian Games, and the sole qualifier from all of the AFC/OFC for the 1978 World Cup. Other Notables: (Israel), South Korea. 1978 -- 1984 KUWAIT: 1980 Asian Cup champions and Asia's representative to the 1982 World Cup. Nonetheless, Kuwait's accomplishments were at home, with even their World Cup qualification from a group they hosted. Success, however, begets success and winning the Asian Cup and qualifying for the World Cup, helped Kuwait become the top side in Asia in this period. Iran, however, remained at worst a very close second on merit, even if political troubles and war took much of the spotlight (as well as homefield advantage) away from it. Other Notables: Iran, South Korea. 1984 -- 1990. PROBABLY SOUTH KOREA. No Asian team showed cleared dominance. Although Saudi Arabia would win two consecutive Asian Cups in this period, their victory in each instance left a lot of questions. In 1984, their victory over Iran in the semifinal was seen as a major fluke, helped by an Iranian mix up that caused an unnecessary own goal late in the game, taking the match to penalties. In the 1988 Asian Cup, beaten finalist S.Korea had a far better tournament than the Saudis, only losing the final to them on penalty kicks. In this period, I would pick South Korea, one of Asian representatives to the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, as the continent's top team. Other Notables: Saudi Arabia, Iraq. 1990 -- 1996 SAUDI ARABIA. Saudi Arabia would not win the 1992 Asian Cup, with the honor going to hosts Japan. But they had made the final again, and then qualified to the 1994 World Cup winning top position in a unified AFC group. And, of course, in 1994, Saudi Arabia became the only Asian team then (since N.Korea in 1966) to make the round of 16 in the World Cup, with victories over Belgium and Morocco. Finally, they won the 1996 Asian Cup, although not without controvery and not looking quite a champion. Other Notables: South Korea, Japan, UAE. 1996 -- 2002. Because the 2002 World Cup was co-hosted by two Asian sides, affecting the criteria I have used, I have chosen to sub-divide this period: 1996-2000; 2000-Present. 1996-2000 IRAN. The only title Iran took in this period was the 1998 Asian Games gold medal, but Iran was Asia's best performer in the 1998 World Cup and was generally regarded as the best Asian team in the 1996 Asian Cup. Other Notables: Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea. 2000 -- Present JAPAN. Japan has shown itself as Asia's most articulate side in recent years, winning the 2000 Asian Cup with great style. Although out-performed by co-hosts South Korea in the 2002 World Cup, Japan also advanced to the round of 16 and lost to the same team, Turkey, that defeated the Koreans in the 3rd place match. Other Notables: South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran.