Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải has been nominated for the ASEAN Young Player of the Year by the prestigious sports newspaper, fourfourtwo.com.
The online website shortly describes 20-year-old Hải’s journey since 2015.
Hải is called the “king of youth tournaments” as he has won all national championship titles for youth. He joined the first team of Hà Nội FC at 18 and soon became a key player.
He has also been a regular face in the national U19, U21, U22 and U23 squads as well as in the senior team.
He was a key player to help Việt Nam win the bronze medal at the AFC U19 Championship in 2016.
Last year, Hải joined Việt Nam at the U20 World Cup in South Korea, a milestone for the country at the global level.
He is a regular scorer and has scored important goals for the U22 matches. He got off the mark for the senior team against Cambodia at the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers in September.
Last month, he contributed immensely to Việt Nam’s silver medal at the AFC U23 Championship, and one of his goals was voted the most impressive goal of the tournament.
Hải will have to vie for the ASEAN award against four other candidates. They are Malaysian strikers Akhyar Rashid and Safaw Rasid, Thai left-back Kevin Deeromram and right-back Jakkit Wechpirom.
In the category of Best Player of the Year, Fourfourtwo has nominated Vietnamese midfielder Đinh Thanh Trung.
Trung, 29, had a stellar year as he helped Quảng Nam win the unexpected V.League trophy in the 2017 season. He also received the Golden Ball as Việt Nam’s “best player of the year”, scoring 10 goals in the league.
Besides highlighting the 29-year-old player’s major role in the club’s maiden victory, the newspaper also said the pint-size international player was a delight to watch, with his control of the ball getting him swiftly past opponents. He is also good with set-pieces and is an excellent passer of the ball.
To take the award, Trung will have to beat Thailand striker Teerasil Dangda and attacking midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin, forward Aung Thu from Myanmar and Indonesian goalkeeper Andritany Ardhiyasa.
According to Fourfourtwo, Việt Nam, Thailand and the Philippines are the top nominees for the Best National Team of the Year.
About the Vietnamese team, the newspaper said: “The Vietnamese side has undoubtedly made great progress in recent times, but is still struggling to take that final, significant step.
“After topping their group at the 2016 Suzuki Cup, they then bowed out in the semi-finals to Indonesia, a common trend for the Golden Stars.
“But having secured their qualification for the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, with an unbeaten record with one fixture remaining, they will have another chance to get themselves on a podium on the continental stage.”
This is the first time Fourfourtwo has held these awards for the ASEAN region. — VNS