|Le Cong Vinh is the highest-paid player in Viet Nam. Photo slna-fc.com
HA NOI (VNS) – Le Cong Vinh has been recognised as the highest-paid sportsman of Viet Nam, based on what he has earned in the last eight years.
It is estimated that the striker, who has been voted the ‘best player of the year' thrice, pocketed about VND30 billion (US$1.4 million) after being transferred three times in the V-League, the nation's top football tournament.
After playing for four years for hometown Song Lam Nghe An, Vinh joined Ha Noi T&T in 2008 with a record transfer fee of VND8 billion ($375,000), apart from his salary of VND14 million per month, three times higher than what he got from the previous club.
Four years later, Vinh made headlines when he moved to Ha Noi FC, who paid him a fee [P1] of VND13 billion ($609,500) and a monthly salary of VND70 million ($3,300).
However, he stayed there for just a year before returning to Song Lam Nghe An under a two-year loan contract.
During this time, he travelled to Japan and played for Consodale Sapporo in J-League 2 for five months. The forward took home about $60,000.
Vinh ended his contract with Song Lam Nghe An in 2014 and sought his last contract at the age of 30.
Just a few days before V-League 1 kicked off in January, Vinh signed a three-year contract with former winner Becamex Binh Duong, who paid him about VND8 billion ($375,000).
The amount, which does not include his salary, is the highest among Vietnamese sportspersons and could remain a record for several years.
Born in 1985, Vinh grew up in a family where his father was in jail and his mother worked very hard to raise four children.
He started playing football at the age of 14. His career in Song Lam Nghe An was not an easy one.
However, his hard-working nature and steely will helped him a lot.
Vinh was called to the U18 team three years later, and then the U20 team, where he was made the captain.
A year later, he joined the U23 squad and took part in the first-ever Southeast Asian Games held in Viet Nam.
At 20, he was the youngest player to be promoted to the first team of Song Lam Nghe An where his outstanding performance was noted. He then booked a place in the national team.
At the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2008, Vinh headed a goal in the final second, beating Thailand 3-2 and bringing Viet Nam its first Cup.
The highlight of his bright career has been winning three Golden Ball statues for best player. He is also the best striker of Viet Nam, with more than 100 goals in his pocket. – VNS