Vietnamese striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh celebrates his goal during a SEA Games match against Laos last December. VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The world football governing body FIFA recently interviewed Vietnamese striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh ahead of the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualification match in March.
In a post headlined ‘Rising Nguyen eyes big things with Việt Nam’, FIFA heaped praise on the young striker for his performances for his country.
The 22-year-old has scored two goals in the World Cup campaign, one in a 3-1 win over Indonesia and the winner in a 1-0 victory against the United Arab Emirates, helping put Việt Nam on top of Group G.
"Each striker is satisfied with scoring goals and contributing to the team's victories and so am I," Linh told FIFA.com.
"But in my opinion, I should thank my teammates for the goals I score. I wouldn't get the opportunities without their collective efforts.
"For me, it's a dream come true to represent my country in World Cup qualifying. If you are a footballer, it's the greatest honour to join the national team and play in World Cup qualifying. This campaign will be memorable for the rest of my playing career."
FIFA also touched on the dreams of the striker, who played for Việt Nam at the U20 World Cup in South Korea in 2017.
"To be honest, I am not afraid of anyone I play against," he said. "The only thing I'm afraid of is not giving my all out there. I have prepared myself for this [playing for the national team] all these years, so there is nothing that can prevent me from realising my goals."
"People usually say that I am strong in competing against our opponents for the ball and think I am good at providing support for my teammates. So coach Park (Hang-seo) may think my style of playing suits his tactics for the team. Personally, however, I think I have to improve my finishing ability."
Việt Nam visit Malaysia in the next match on March 31 and Linh is hoping to make his mark in Kuala Lumpur and for his club side Becamex Bình Dương FC.
“I have several goals in 2020. I want to win the V.League 1 with my club and I want to defend the AFF Suzuki Cup title with the national team. But above all, of course, I want to continue to play an important role for my team in World Cup qualifying and I am hoping to reach the next round."
The crunch qualifier will be live aired on VTV6 from 7.45pm. VNS