Challenges ahead for new national coach Troussier

February 28, 2023 - 07:51
At 67, Troussier is also the oldest tactician working for the national teams. He will also receive the highest salary of around US$60,000 per month.


Philippe Troussier (right) and VFF President Trần Quốc Tuấn at the contract signing ceremony on Monday in Hà Nội. Photos courtesy of VFF

HÀ NỘI — Philippe Troussier has officially taken charge of the Việt Nam national football squad and the U23 team after a signing ceremony was held on Monday in Hà Nội.

"We are glad to announce that Philippe Troussier will manage our national football team for a period of more than three years," said Trần Anh Tú, vice president of the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF).

"It is an agreement between the VFF and Troussier after a long time of negotiations.

"We believe that with his ability which has been proved throughout his time working in different countries in the past and his two years in Việt Nam, he will help Việt Nam continue earning new achievements."

The Frenchman will lead the two sides from March 1 to July 31, 2026, the longest contract ever that the VFF has made with a foreign coach.

At 67, Troussier is also the oldest tactician working for the national teams. He will also receive the highest salary of around US$60,000 per month.

"I am happy to see you again and it is my honour to take charge of the national teams," said Troussier at the press conference.

“Finally I have an opportunity to return to the country that I have known and loved, the country where I worked three years ago. I totally understand the importance of my task and my responsibility for the teams in the future.

"I respect the VFF's choosing me and thank President Trần Quốc Tuấn and other officials and staff who have and will strongly assist me to do a good job as a head coach of the national team and the U23 squad."

It has been reported that Troussier turned down an offer of $300,000 per month in Africa to choose Việt Nam.

He said: “As you all know, I used to work with eight different teams in the world and participated in World Cup, Olympic Games and tournaments in Africa with more than 200 international matches. Taking charge of Việt Nam teams will be a challenge but I will use my experience to share with the VFF and players and help lift Việt Nam football to a new height."

Troussier is asked to lead the team to compete at the 2026 FIFA World Cup's second qualification in November.

He also will take charge of the U23s to defend the Southeast Asian Games in May in Cambodia, the 2024 Asian U23 Championship qualification in September, the Asian Games in late September and the Southeast Asian U23 Championship in December.

"To the targets for the teams, I will not begin from zero. My predecessor Park Hang-seo has left a big heritage with amazing achievements in international competitions and a competitive team of Việt Nam," Troussier said.

"These successes plus my experience of two years working in Việt Nam make me confident to beat the coming challenges. My assistants and I have had plans for the targets. In all tournaments, players will have chances to compete with a strong team, gain experience and develop.

Philippe Troussier will use his international experience to help the national teams reach a higher level in his three-year reign.

"The new format of the 2026 World Cup with 48 teams will give Việt Nam more opportunity to compete in the Finals. To me, everything is possible and Việt Nam's World Cup ambition is one of the reasons that I come here.

"It will not be an easy route but I believe it is a possible mission."

Troussier played as a defender for different clubs in France from 1974 to 1983.

He moved to coaching in 1983 and worked for various of clubs and teams in Asia, Europe and Africa till 2015.

Troussier was the technical director of the Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talent Football Academy (PVF) in 2019 and was invited to lead the national U19 team at the 2020 Asian championship qualifier.

His team won two and drew one, securing a slot in the finals which was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his more than 30 years of coaching, Troussier won numerous titles and helped teams to get high finishes including Japan's second place at the 2001 FIFA Confederation Cup, a trophy of the 2000 AFC Asian Cup, and a last-eight place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

He was voted best coach in Asia in 2000. VNS