Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Midfielder Phạm Thành Lương made national football history yesterday, winning his fourth Golden Ball as the best male player for 2016.
Lương, a former member of the national team, who also plays for Hà Nội FC, beat four nominees in the category to take the title at the award ceremony held in HCM City.
The silver went to young midfielder Lương Xuân Trường of Incheon United, while striker Vũ Minh Tuấn of Quảng Ninh Coal bagged the bronze.
Trường scored a double, with fans voting him the most favourite player of 2016.
“I want to thank the leaders of the Việt Nam Football Federation, Hà Nội FC, my teammates and all fans who strongly supported me in practicing and competing during the whole year. I promise to contribute my best to national football,” Lương said in his acceptance speech.
Lương had a highly successful year in 2016. He was one of key players for Hà Nội FC as they won the V.League title. His club also came in second at the National Cup.
The 28-year-old and his team played in the Super National Cup against Quảng Ninh Coal and lost the game narrowly in a penalty shoot-out.
He was a regular member of the national team before he announced his retirement last month after Việt Nam’s failure at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup.
Earlier, Lương won the Golden Ball in 2009, 2011 and 2014.
Lương was groomed at a training centre in Hà Nội. He was called to the national team in 2008, the year that Việt Nam won their only AFF Cup thus far.
He played 72 matches and scored six goals for the national team. His achievement ranks behind striker Lê Công Vinh (83 matches and 51 goals).
The Golden Ball for the female players went to Huỳnh Như of the HCM City team. Her club mates Chương Thị Kiều and Đặng Thị Kiều Trinh grabbed the silver and bronze, respectively.
For the first time, organisers honoured futsal players this year.
With their outstanding performance in both local championships and at the national level, the Thái Sơn Nam Club dominated the game.
Trần Văn Vũ won the top title, followed respectively by Nguyễn Minh Trí and Nguyễn Bảo Quân.
In other categories, Gaston Merlo of SHB.Đà Nẵng was voted the best foreign player of the year. The striker could not take part in the ceremony yesterday because he is injured. This will probably be the last year that the Argentinean player can vie for the title. He has recently granted Vietnamese citizenship. His Vietnamese name is Đỗ Merlo.
The best young male player title went to Vũ Văn Thanh of Hoàng Anh Gia Lai while Lê Hoài Lương won best young female player award. — VNS