|Midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải seen in a training at Pau FC. He is expected to play the Ligue 1 opener when Pau FC visit Guingamp on July 31. Photo of Pau FC|
HÀ NỘI - Midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải hopes to make history to be the first Vietnamese player to play in French Ligue 2 on July 31.
Head coach Didier Tholot on July 30 listed Hải among 19 players to compete in the tournament's opening match when Pau FC visit Guingamp at the Stade du Roudourou.
They are among 20 teams of the tournament which will close on June 3, 2023. The two top teams will be promoted to Ligue 1 next season.
Guingamp finished sixth last season while Pau were tenth.
Hải has joined the team for one month and showed his high potential and determination to grab a regular berth in the first team.
The 25-year-old played almost 200 minutes in four friendly matches, scoring one and assisting one.
Also on July 30, Hải and two teammates, skipper Atonine Batisse and midfielder Sessi D'Almeida, featured in Pau FC's video clip, which introduced the team's home and away jerseys.
"There is a language barrier so he is with an interpreter who teaches him the basics of football and our first names. But it's going well, even if there can be hiccups in the communication on the ground," said midfielder Henri Saivet about Hải.
"It's normal because he has everything to learn and comes from the other side of the world. He puts in a lot of effort and has already made good progress since his debut. He is an interesting player and we have already seen that he has a good left foot.
"He is still a little shy, because he does not know his new environment well. We encourage him to let go more. We keep telling him that if he's there, it's because he's good!"
Meanwhile coach Tholot said Hải quickly intergrates with the team although he is from another culture. He is begining to speak French and gradually understand the coach's tactical plans. What he needs is to catch up with the fast pace of European football, especially in decisive moments.
The French tactician also said if Hải had a chance to play in the opener his position could be either attacking midfielder or winger.
All matches of Pau FC in Ligue 2 in the two seasons 2022-24 will be live aired on VTVCab's channels of ON Football, ON Sports, ON Sports News, ON Sports+; apps ON Sports TV and VTVcab ON and On Sports's social networks. VNS