Lê Anh Đức trains at the PVF football academy. Photo PVF
HÀ NỘI — Lê Anh Đức, 13, is the next best thing for Vietnamese football.
The boy, who has been given the nickname “Messi Hà Tĩnh", is training at the Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talent (PVF) Football Academy in the northern province of Hưng Yên.
According to Ryan Giggs, director of the PVF academy, Đức is a very good player, and could be great in the future.
Joining the PVF centre in 2018, Đức has had the chance to show off his skills to Giggs in person.
Born in Phố Châu Town, Hương Sơn District in the central province of Hà Tĩnh, Đức has loved football since he was very small.
As a fourth-grader, he joined the elementary school football team and his talent was spotted at the provincial Sport Festival in 2018.
During the festival, he scored five goals in one game using both feet, surprising scouts from training centres across the country. That's where he earned the nickname "Messi Hà Tĩnh".
Although Đức’s physique is no better than his peers, he possesses excellent technique, speed and dexterity. He also has great tactical vision and is able to pick out teammates with ease.
With the ball at his feet he keeps his opponents guessing, and now the title " Golden Boy" that belonged to striker Phạm Văn Quyến has been passed down to Đức.
Lê Anh Đức (No 23) and his U13 PVF team seen in a friendly match with Hải Dương last year. Đức scored the only goal. Photo PVF
Like former national footballer Quyến who won the Vietnamese Golden Ball award in 2003, Đức’s talent is something he was born with. No one else follows football in his family. Đức’s father is a policeman, and his mother runs a livestock business at home. Đức is the youngest son of three.
The star in the making attracted interested from many top domestic football training centres, but at the end of March 2018 Đức chose to join PVF to train and nurture his dream of becoming a professional player.
During his two years of training at PVF, Đức has grown. He is considered one of the best players at the centre, with outstanding tactical thinking.
He and his teammates have also had the opportunity to attend, experience and learn from international competitions.
Last May, he was named in the squad for the Lennart Johansson Cup in Sweden. It was a dream for many of the young Vietnamese players to have a chance to face opponents from leading training centres around the world.
However, the Hà Tĩnh boy couldn’t take part in this event because he and two other players from PVF were heading to the Football for Friendship event in Madrid, Spain at the same time. The tournament is considered the World Cup of youth football, and a great honour.
As scheduled, Đức and his PVF team will take part in the National Teenager Tournament in June in Phú Thọ Province. However, it is likely the tournament will be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
That would be a pity because it would be the first official tournament that Đức has had the opportunity to participate in. However, time and opportunities are on his side. — VNS