|Czech-Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyễn. — Photo sparta.cz|
HÀ NỘI — Many overseas Vietnamese football players have expressed their hope of playing for Việt Nam’s national team following its recent successes.
Among them, there is Czech-Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyễn.
Nguyễn was born in 1992 in Prague to a Vietnamese father and a Czech mother. The 26-year-old keeper plays for FC Slovan Liberec, one of the most successful teams in the Czech Republic with three league titles in the Czech First League and one Czech Cup win since 1993.
Nguyễn is 1.9m tall and is the club’s top goalkeeper. He signed his contract with Slovan Liberec in February last year that runs through 2021. He has played 13 matches in the 2018-19 season.
As a young player, Nguyễn was trained at the ABC Branik Praha Football Institute. Nguyễn used to play for AC Sparta Praha, who have competed in the UEFA Champions League many times.
Nguyễn is a close friend of Mạc Hồng Quân, who competes for V.League 1 side Quảng Ninh Coal. Born in the northern province of Hải Dương, Quân migrated to the Czech Republic with his family in 2000 at the age of eight. Both Nguyễn and Quân have played for Sparta Praha.
A few years ago, Nguyễn travelled to Việt Nam to seek a chance to play for the country.
“In 2016, while I was playing for a second-division team in the Czech Republic, I returned to Việt Nam with the wish of playing in the Vietnamese national premiere league and wearing the jersey of the national team,” Nguyễn told Zing.vn.
"I came to a V.League 1 club and they said they wanted to have my service and would take care of my nationality issue,” he said. “I stayed in Việt Nam for 10 days to trial at that club but in the end, I returned to the Czech Republic.”
“I still want a chance to play for the Vietnamese national team. I am trying to be granted Vietnamese citizenship. I plan to return to Việt Nam this June. I hope a door will open for me,” said Nguyễn.
According to the international transfer website transfermarkt.com, Nguyễn is valued at 405,000 euros (US$453,900).
Alexander Dang, 29, a leading striker in the Norwegian First Division, also hopes to play for Việt Nam. Dang plays for Nest-Sotra Fotball.
Defender Jason Quang-Vinh Pendant, a Việt Nam-France dual national, is considering joining Việt Nam’s national team if he is invited.
Pendant, 22, is regarded as a speedy and physically gifted player. He has played for the French U16 and U18 national teams. At the club level, he plays for Sochaux FC in League 2. Despite his young age, he has made a total of 45 appearances with his team.
Pendant has also had 16 appearances with France’s U16s and scored twice for the team, along with two appearances with the U18 squad.
Pendant, whose mother is Vietnamese and father is African-French, said it would be a great honour to be called up to the national team by the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF).
Pendant is valued at approximately 600,000 euros on transfermarket.
The national team success of half-Russian goalkeeper Đặng Văn Lâm has opened the door for other players of Vietnamese heritage to aspire to represent the country, especially after the team’s performances at the AFF Suzuki Cup and the AFC Asian Cup.
Fans are expecting the VFF and coach Park Hang-seo to create opportunities for these dual-nationals to play for the country in the near future.
However, the VFF’s general secretary said the organisation would leave recruitment to the national teams’ training boards rather than relying on media reports. — VNS
|Norwegian First Division striker Alexander Dang wants to play for Việt Nam. — Photo foxsportsasia.com|
|Jason Quang-Vinh Pendant would consider joining Việt Nam’s national team if he receives an invite. — Photo goal.com|