|Việt Nam players interact with the crowd following the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021 Round of 16 match against Russia on September 22 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Việt Nam receive high appreciate internationally after their success. — Photo of FIFA.com
HÀ NỘI — The amazing result of Việt Nam at the FIFA Futsal World Cup has strongly pushed the team in the world ranking and also seen offers for players from international clubs.
FIFA, which praised Việt Nam and its individual players for their remarkable performance, ranked Việt Nam 39th globally, in September, five places higher than last month.
In Asia, the team jumped three places up to sixth. Both are their highest ever positions.
The team went home with their heads held high after the tournament, and will now plan ahead for the next World Cup in 2024, according to chef de mission Trần Anh Tú.
Việt Nam made a bang at the quadrennial event as one of the best four third-placed teams with one win, one draw and one loss in Lithuania.
After their 9-1 drubbing to five-time champions Brazil in the opener, they beat Panama 3-1 and drew 1-1 against the Czech Republic, both teams ranked higher.
They then made silver-medalist Russia work hard before losing 3-2 in the knockout stage. It is the second time Việt Nam have reached that stage of the competition. In Columbia five years ago, they were also knocked out of the last eight at the hands of Russia, but by a far greater margin.
Individually, midfielder Nguyễn Văn Hiếu was voted one of the five best young players of the tournament. His stunning goal that helped Việt Nam defeat Panama was the best finish of the group round.
Nguyễn Đắc Huy's header in the match against Russia also impressed. FIFA Technical Study Group expert Miguel Rodrigo said: “It was an amazing goal, absolutely fantastic. A header assisting a header is something you barely ever see.”
Goalkeeper Hồ Văn Ý showed off his talents, having more than 15 saves. And he is likely to be the first goalie to score at this year's tournament if his finish gets official recognisition in the match against Panama.
"I have built up a good team in which players could combine together to either bring their teammates' strong points into play or make up others' weaknesses," said head coach Phạm Minh Giang.
"My substitutes are also strong, fast, and skilled players who can replace their first team well and ensure the power of Việt Nam all the time."
Talking about his second World Cup, captain Trần Văn Vũ said: “After the 2016 event, we had experience in this world competition. We are proud of what we have done this time.
"We have done the best for our nation and supporters. It was a successful and better World Cup for Việt Nam," Vũ said.
Time to fly high
According to Tú, while many things are needed to strengthen and improve its status, Việt Nam's position in the world is really good.
"FIFA and AFC appreciated Việt Nam. I myself received congratulations from many coaches and experts. I am really proud," said Tú.
Tú believes the fact Vietnamese players have received offers to play abroad justifies the good tournament they had, and is a testament of the abilities of the players at the World Cup.
|Nguyến Đắc Huy of Việt Nam (centre) received offers from international clubs after the FIFA Futsal World Cup. — Photo of FIFA.com
Ý, Hiếu, Vũ and Huy are under eyes of many scouts and Tú, who is head of Việt Nam Football Federation's Futsal Department, said he is pleased to send them abroad to better their skills.
“It is great that players have a chance to play overseas. As one of the first people to build up centres for futsal training in Việt Nam, I always support them to cross the borders," said Tú, owner of the national champions Thái Sơn Nam FC.
"Of course, it depends on different matters. To be invited, players must be trained well and show off their great technique. Meanwhile, clubs will get my players if they offer generously."
Previously, Phạm Đức Hòa and captain Vũ were invited to compete in Spain, and Trần Thái Huy and Nguyễn Minh Trí were invited to Japan.
Fourteen years since the national championship's debut, Việt Nam have twice advanced to World Cup's last eight. It is the best result ever and is expected to push futsal locally.
"Việt Nam Football Federation will organise more events for futsal and bring it closer to the community. We will also apply solutions to make it more attractive and competitive," said VFF Vice President Trần Quốc Tuấn.
Meanwhile, Tú said the quality of local tournaments improves every year. Players' skills are getting better which can be seen in Việt Nam's good results.
"It is great to know that Vietnamese supporters have gradually turned their interest to the not-so-popular futsal, especially after this World Cup," said Tú.
"I hope that people will join hands to lift futsal up and sponsors will help it develop sustainably."
Tú also received application forms from foreign coaches and players who want to compete in Việt Nam. He said if recruited, they would definitely help improve domestic tournaments.
Coach and former national skipper Quân said he saw an increasing number of people watching futsal. Their lively and exciting discussions on social networks were something that he has never seen before.
"I believe the World Cup success will change people's minds about futsal. They will care and love it and more people will play it. Hope that Việt Nam will open the door for foreign players soon to have more quality tournaments and players," he said. — VNS