Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI– Coach Nguyễn Hữu Thắng of Việt Nam’s national team selected 24 players yesterday for the upcoming friendly match with Syria on May 31 and a four-sided tournament in Myanmar June 3-6.
Among players named on the list, Thắng convened three players of Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) who are playing for foreign teams, namely midfielders Nguyễn Tuấn Anh (Japan’s Yokohama FC) and Lương Xuân Trường (South Korea’s Incheon United FC), as well as striker Nguyễn Công Phượng (Mito Holly Hock FC of Japan).
According to Trần Quốc Tuấn, vice chairman of the Việt Nam Football Federation, all clubs of the three aforementioned players have agreed to let them return to Việt Nam to wear the national jersey for these events.
Although HAGL ranked 11th out of 14 teams in the national premier league, the team contributed two more players to the list with Vũ Văn Thanh and Nguyễn Văn Toàn.
Thắng also called upon veterans who are familiar to Vietnamese fans, including goalies Trần Nguyên Mạnh of Sông Lam Nghệ An and Phí Minh Long of Hà Nội T&T; midfielder Đinh Tiến Thành of Cần Thơ; defenders Quế Ngọc Hải of Sông Lam Nghệ An and Bùi Tiến Dũng of Viettel; and striker Lê Công Vinh of Bình Dương.
Notably, Thắng called upon overseas Vietnamese goalkeeper Đặng Văn Lâm of Hải Phòng to replace Bùi Tuấn Trường.
However, naturalised footballers such as Hà Nội T&T’s Hoàng Vũ Samson and Hải Phòng’s Lê Văn Phú weren’t named on Thắng’s list.
“There are many good players in the world, but they aren’t called to the national team because, apart from skills, they need to match the team’s way of playing,” Thắng said. “With Việt Nam’s team, I am temporarily satisfied with the present footballers. Maybe we will call naturalised footballers in the near future.”
Việt Nam will play Hong Kong in the first match of a four-sided tournament in Myanmar on June 3.
In another match, the hosts will face Singapore. Two winners will advance to the final, while those who lose will play in the third-place play-offs two days later. The champions will walk away with US$20,000.
The tournaments will help Việt Nam prepare for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup in November, with Myanmar and the Philippines as co-hosts. – VNS