|Huỳnh Như (centre) will be the first Vietnamese female player to play in Europe if she passes a medical with Lank FC of Portugal. Photo of VFF|
HÀ NỘI — National team captain Huỳnh Như is set to make history as the first Vietnamese female player to play abroad.
Như yesterday left for Portugal to have a medical with first tier Campeonato Nacional Feminino side Lank FC. If she passes, she will sign a two-year contract and Như will have chance to play in the UEFA Champions League's qualifications.
"I am the first woman, the pioneer, of Việt Nam to step out to the world," said Như after helping HCM City FC winning the National Cup trophy on August 21.
"I will try my best to let everyone know about our football."
HCM City beat Hà Nội 5-4 after a penalty shootout in the final match in Hà Nội. The title, according to Như, was an amazing goodbye that she wanted to say to her life-long club before leaving for Lank.
The Trà Vinh Province-born player is one of the best female footballers of Việt Nam. She has won the national championship seven times, and the National Cup three times in 2017, 2019 and 2021 and an AFF Cup silverware in 2019.
Individually, Như has grabbed four Golden Ball awards for the best player of the year. She took four Golden Boot awards as the top scorer and has been voted MVP at multiple tournaments.
The 31-year-old striker also holds a record of scoring the most goals for Việt Nam national team with 59.
"I have received advice from many people before deciding to leave," she said.
"People said I should look to male colleagues who failed when playing internationally. However, recently, midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải arrived France and he has made his mark with Pau FC. I hope I can do the same, leaving my impression and a positive image of Việt Nam football to international friends."
The national team skipper, who will play in the country's first World Cup next summer, said difficulties and challenges await.
She said: "Playing football in every environment is difficult. I faced with tough times in Việt Nam and believe that it will be much harder when I am abroad. But I am ready to face and overcome any problems."
Lank FC under coach Carlos Valadar is based in Vila Verde in the district of Braga with their stadium having a capacity to accommodate 5,000 spectators.
They will open the new season hosting Amora FC at home on August 28.
In the 2021-22, Lank FC placed third in the local league's northern region division. But they did not succeed in the final, finishing eighth out of eight teams.
They have competed in the UEFA Champions League twice but were ousted at the group round.
Lank FC managers first talked with Như in 2020 but for different reasons including COVID-19 no deal was not done.
The Portuguese club also contacted with other players in Việt Nam, including forward Phạm Hải Yến of Hà Nội and midfielder Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Dung of Phong Phú Hà Nam, but these deals never materialised. VNS