Striker Nguyễn Anh Đức will play for Hoàng Anh Gia Lai. – Photo baogiaothong.vn
HÀ NỘI — V.League 1 club Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) have signed free agent former national team and Becamex Bình Dương striker Nguyễn Anh Đức.
According to team manager Nguyễn Tấn Anh, Đức was in Pleiku City, Gia Lai Province yesterday afternoon for his first training session with HAGL.
“Chairman of HAGL, Đoàn Nguyên Đức personally recruited Anh Đức and he agreed,” Anh said.
“Anh Đức has experience. We have just tested him and he proved that his fitness is still very good. With his presence, we hope HAGL's attack will be improved," Anh added.
Anh Đức played for Bình Dương for 13 years, before leaving the team after the 2019 season. He had been without a club since.
While playing for Bình Dương, he scored 116 goals in 335 games and helped his team win the V.League 1 in 2007, 2008, 2014 and 2015; the National Cup in 2015 and 2018; and reach the semi-finals of the AFC Cup in 2009.
He won the Vietnamese Golden Ball award in 2015 as well as the Vietnamese Silver Ball award in 2017. He was the top scorer in the top flight in 2017.
Despite not playing for any teams since early this year, Anh Đức continued training with the goal of continuing to play club football. He retired from international duty late last year.
“HAGL need a class striker with experience to compete in the second phase of the national premier league. Anh Đức meets these factors, so I brought him back," chairman Nguyên Đức told laodong.vn.
HAGL have only scored nine goals in nine matches this season, with Jamaican striker Chevaughn Walsh contributing four of them.
Anh Đức is 35 years old but is still a threat in the penalty box, especially in the air.
HAGL will complete procedures to sign Anh Đức when the Vietnamese football transfer market opens on July 21, meaning he can make his debut against Thanh Hóa on July 23.
“I feel respectful when wearing the HAGL jersey. I'm fine and I can play for a few more years, why can’t I play again?" said Anh Đức.
“There are many teams that have been pursuing me for a long time, I was also preparing for my comeback. Chairman (Nguyên) Đức made an invitation, so I considered it carefully. Before that, I wanted to play close to home, take care of my family and manage my business," Anh Đức said.
He has experience playing with some of HAGL's stars like midfielders Nguyễn Tuấn Anh and Lương Xuân Trường, striker Nguyễn Văn Toàn and defender Nguyễn Phong Hồng Duy for the national team.
Anh Đức cemented his status as a Vietnamese football legend when he scored the only goal in the second leg of the final of the AFF Cup 2018 to help Việt Nam beat Malaysia to take the title.
The forward is also a success off the pitch as a prosperous businessman with the Anh Đức Sports trademark and is considered one of the richest footballers in the country. — VNS