|(From left to right) Defender Đoàn Văn Hậu, striker Nguyễn Công Phượng, midfielders Nguyễn Quang Hải and Đỗ Hùng Dũng and defender Quế Ngọc Hải are nominees for this year's Golden Ball title. File Photos|
HÀ NỘI — Twenty-five players will vie for the 2019 Golden Ball award for best Vietnamese footballer of 2019 after the organisers announced the nominees yesterday.
Nguyễn Quang Hải is the favourite for the contest which is organised annually by Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper.
Midfielder Hải, last year's winner, has been tipped for glory due to his stellar season for his club Ha Noi FC, the national team and the U23 squad. The ASEAN Football Federation named him Southeast Asia's top player for the year just weeks ago.
He will go up against players including his club teammate Đỗ Hùng Dũng and his captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết.
Striker Quyết is back in the running after a two-year absence that he suffered due to a ban for violent conduct. Quyết was voted the best player of double-winning Hà Nội FC in 2019, but has fallen out of favour with national team coach Park Hang-seo.
One surprising nominee is forward Nguyễn Công Phượng who plies his trade for Belgian side Sint Truiden FC but has been restricted to a single cameo substitute appearance for the senior team since signing in July.
However his performance at the Asian Cup where he scored three and assisted two goals helped him secure the nomination.
Other players vying for the title are midfielder Nguyễn Tuấn Anh of Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, forward Nguyễn Tiến Linh of Becamex Bình Dương, defenders Quế Ngọc Hải of Viettel and Đoàn Văn Hậu of Hà Nội and Heerenveen SC since September and striker Hà Đức Chinh of Đà Nẵng.
In the female contest, midfielder Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Dung of Phong Phú Hà Nam, defender Chương Thị Kiều of HCM City, striker Cù Thị Huỳnh Như of HCM City and striker Phạm Hải Yến of Hà Nội are among 10 nominated players.
Players such as defender Hậu, midfielder Nguyễn Hoàng Đức of Viettel and goalkeeper Nguyễn Văn Toản from Hải Phòng will vie for best young male player.
Other titles to be voted for are best young female player, futsal player and foreign footballer.
Organisers have sent voting cards to 190 football officials, managers, pundits, coaches, captains and journalists.
A shortlist will be revealed on December 31 and the awards ceremony will be held in HCM City on February 13. VNS