Nguyễn Quý Sửu seen in the match between Đồng Tháp and Thể Công in the V.League 1 in 2009. Photo thanhnien.vn
Although midfielder Nguyễn Quý Sửu is short in stature and isn't the most naturally talented player, the Đồng Tháp Province man has carved out a solid career thanks to his passion and perseverance.
He plays for Đồng Tháp in the V.League 2, however, unlike other footballers, he has spent his money to invest in growing rice.
After many years of playing football, he spent some of the money he earned buying 30,000sq.m of wet rice fields with his wife.
“Before buying land to grow rice, I also thought a lot about finding ways to invest. But the market was like a battlefield so I decided to go home to buy rice land. Rice cultivation is a sustainable investment, and if the crop fails, the Government will subsidise it. Humans multiply more and more but the land cannot produce more. On the other hand, when I was small, I often worked on the field so I believed I had enough knowledge about this field,” said Sửu.
Sửu said as he was born and raised in Đồng Tháp, a farmer, who loved football, sold his land to him at a cheap price.
The land quickly gained in value and within two years, Sửu could have made half a billion by selling it, but he chose not to.
Sửu revealed that he only makes a few tens of millions of đồng for each rice harvest season after deducting seed money and work, but he and his wife are very satisfied.
Sửu wants to keep the family tradition for years as well as stable firm income so he isn't entirely dependent on football for money.
As well as the rice fields, Sửu also bought some land in his home town, meaning he works in football, farming and real estate.
While most retired players open football pitches or build hotels, Sửu and his wife have taken a different path.
Born in 1986, Sửu played impressively at primary school and was selected to the U11 team in the province to attend the national championship in 1997 in which his team reached the final round.
After that, he was selected for the provincial U17 team to compete in the national championship in 2002 and Đồng Tháp took the title.
His performances earned him a call-up for the national team to play in the AFC U17 Championship qualifying round in 2002.
His first international competition was a challenge as Việt Nam faced very strong opponents from South Korea, Pakistan, Yemen.
Sửu played for Đồng Tháp until 2010 and then moved around the league before returning to his hometown team in 2017.
Goal to life
In 2003, under the guidance of coach Trần Công Minh, Sửu was considered a key player for Dong Thap and at the National U21 Tournament in 2003, they won a bronze medal.
Because of his skill, Sửu played at the 2004 AFF U20 Championship in which Việt Nam won the silver medal. Also that year, he was called up to the national team to prepare for the Tiger Cup.
In 2005, coach Alfred Riedl selected him for the national team to prepare for the Agribank Cup, Asian Games 15 in Doha and then SEA Games 23 in the Phillippines.
In 2007, Sửu and the national team, led by coach Henrique Calisto, won a silver medal at the SEA Games 25 in Laos.
At that time, a series of young stars like Phạm Văn Quyến, Phan Thanh Bình, Phan Văn Tài Em, Lê Tấn Tài, Huỳnh Quang Thanh and Mai Tiến Thành had emerged. The team's youth meant qualifying for an official competition was not easy at all but Sửu was still a reassuring option to have for any coach.
Đồng Tháp people still remember Sửu for one special goal in 2008.
In the playoff match on August 28 to gain a ticket to enter the V.League 1 against Bình Định, he scored the only goal in the match to help Đồng Tháp gain promotion.
“My family was all happy when I scored an important goal. My sister said that when she was watching TV and saw her brother's goal, she was so happy she almost fainted! At that time, I received many compliments and I was very happy,” said Sửu. VNS