|Golden Ball statues are introduced at a press conference on Thursday in HCM City. Photo courtesy of Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) Newspaper.|
HCM CITY — Việt Nam 2022 Golden Ball Award will return to its normal format searching for the best players of the year.
"This year, the national football activities have been much more exciting than ever. All competitions have been organised and we are on the way to the finals," said Nguyễn Nhật, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) Newspaper - the founder of the awards - at a press conference on Thursday in HCM City.
"Apart from gold, silver and bronze statues for most valuable players in the men's, women's and fulsal categories, the organisers have decided to deliver awards for Best Foreign Player, Best Young Male Player and Best Young Female Player which were cancelled last year," added Nhật who is head of the organising board.
He confirmed that this year's shortlists would be streamlined but quality guaranteed and no talented players will be missing.
|Striker Huỳnh Như is believed to be on shortlist after her outstanding performance at HCM City FC and the national team. Như is now playing for Lank FC in Portugal but it does reduce her position as a title favourite. Photo TV screen shot|
According to Trần Anh Tú, a representative of the Việt Nam Football Federation, the Golden Ball was an honourable award given to players who strongly contributed to the success of their clubs and national teams.
He believed that the statues would find their deserved owners this year.
Organisers will send invitations for votes to football experts and pundits, national and club coaches and sports reporters nationwide in mid-November.
"The national team have taken part in many events this year and gained remarkable results. The national league sees aggressive matches of clubs who are vying for the championship title and others trying to avoid relegation. I myself think that votes will mainly be given to players of the top three teams," said former national midfielder Nguyễn Hồng Sơn, who won the Golden Ball twice in 1998 and 2000.
"However, high-quality players from the lower-ranking teams still have a chance. What they need to do is to well prove their abilities and values.
"The Golden Ball is a dream of all Vietnamese players. To the young talent, it will be a goal for them to strive for. To seniors and players who have already won it, the award will be another target to show their high performance which has been maintained year on year."
Coach Đặng Trần Chỉnh of Becamex Bình Dương said he tips Hà Nội FC captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết who earned the Golden Ball in 2020.
"I vote following the criteria -- player's contribution to his/her club first and then their role playing for the national team. To date, I think Nguyễn Văn Quyết is the most favourite candidate because of his contribution, influence and efficiency at Hà Nội," said Chỉnh.
"I picked him at this moment also because his performance was much more stable than defender Đỗ Hùng Dũng (Hà Nội), midfielder Nguyễn Hoàng Đức (Viettel), forward Nguyễn Tiến Linh (Bình Dương), midfielder Hồ Tấn Tài (T.Bình Định) and midfielder Phan Văn Đức (Sông Lam Nghệ An).
|Captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết has been a strong influence in Hà Nội FC. The former Golden Ball winner is among the nominees for this year's top place. Photo courtesy of Hà Nội FC|
"However, the final decision will be made after the coming AFF Cup. Whether or not he can grab his second Golden Ball it depends on if he can make the national team and how he performs there."
Dương Vũ Lâm, former vice president of ASEAN Football Federation, said: "This year, our teams made up amazing international achievements. The men won the AFF U23 Cup, grabbed SEA Games gold medal and advanced to the finals of the Asian U20 championship.
"The women also won in the SEA Games and claimed a slot in the 2023 World Cup finals. These proud successes will take voters a lot of time considering the winner. It is easier for the women but I think the men result must be decided after the AFF Cup this December," Lâm said.
Votes will be counted on January 18. The awarding ceremony is scheduled in February, 2023 in HCM City.
Last year, midfielder Nguyễn Hoàng Đức of Viettel and Huỳnh Như of HCM City secured Golden Ball in men's and women's categories, respectively. Meanwhile Hồ Văn Ý of Thái Sơn Nam FC was the MVP in futsal. VNS