|Former national midfielder Phan Văn Tài Em on October 8 announced his retirement from football. — File Photo|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Former national midfielder Phan Văn Tài Em on October 8 announced his retirement from football.
Em, whose contract with Long An ended this season and who found no new club to continue his career, completed 18 years in professional football.
The 34-year-old could not play regularly in the 2015-16 season due to an injury he suffered.
Em started playing football at the age of 12 in 1994 at the communal club in Châu Thành District, Long An Province.
Four years later, he was scouted and began playing for Long An FC. He was then transferred to Navibank Sài Gòn and Xuân Thành Sài Gòn in 2011-2013, before he returned to Long An where he played until retirement.
Em was first called to the national team in 2002 and played in the Tiger Cup, now known as the ASEAN Football Federation Cup. He was able to score a goal and has ever since remained a regular face of the national team in all tournaments.
He was among the players who won many titles for Việt Nam, including the AFF Cup in 2008, perhaps the biggest of them all.
Besides, he collected a Tiger Cup bronze in 2002, and won two Southeast Asian Games in 2003 and 2005. In the domestic leagues, he triumphed in the V. League in 2005 and 2006, the National Cup in 2005, the Super Cup in 2006. In terms of individual glory, Em was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the year in 2005 and was declared winner of the best young player award in 2004.
Long An FC Võ Thành Nhiệm said Em was a meritorious player who contributed the prime of his life to the club. He could continue with Long An as a trainer. — VNS