|Czech-Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyễn hopes to play for the national team in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Photo oxii.vn|
HÀ NỘI - Czech-Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyễn hopes to return home and play for the national team in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers later this year.
In a recent online interview with Vietnam Television (VTV), Nguyễn said he is still carrying out the naturalisation process to fulfil his dream of playing for his country of descent.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, European teams have to take a break, including the Czech First League, forcing Nguyễn to train at home.
This unexpected break is also an opportunity for him to learn more about the Vietnamese team and the goalkeeper said he studied the side's style of play under coach Park Hang-seo.
The 27-year-old said he tried to find out all matches of the Vietnamese team on the internet. He once came back to Việt Nam and watched a game at Mỹ Đình National Stadium.
Nguyễn, born to a Czech mother and a Vietnamese father (who was born in the northern port city of Hải Phòng), is 1.91m tall – an ideal height for a goalkeeper.
He plays for Sloven 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.
He played 22 out of 24 matches for his club last season and has a total of 58 appearances for Sloven Liberec, conceding 59 goals with 22 clean sheets.
As a young player, Nguyễn trained at the ABC Branik Praha Football Institute and used to play for AC Sparta Praha, who have competed in the UEFA Champions League many times.
While goalkeeper Đặng Văn Lâm is having a hard time in Muangthong United in Thailand, Nguyễn is speeding up the completion of legal procedures to help South Korean coach Park have more options for the World Cup qualifiers and AFF Cup.
Reportedly, the Việt Nam Football Federation is working to help Nguyễn complete the naturalisation process to help him soon have the opportunity to prove his talent with the national team.
According to former V.League 1 coach Đoàn Minh Xương, not making use of naturalised players would be wasteful.
“The strength of the Vietnamese team will be multiplied if they have more outstanding players,” said Xương.
“Of course, the final selection will be entirely decided by coach Park. But the more good players there are, the greater the competition in the team is. Nguyễn is a very talented and excellent goalkeeper. So if he is naturalised to play for Việt Nam, it will be great,” Xương added. VNS