Former coach of the Việt Nam national team Alfred Riedl passed away at the age of 70. — Photo yeuthethao.vn
HÀ NỘI — Austrian media reported that former coach of the Việt Nam national team Alfred Riedl passed away at the age of 70 on Tuesday (Vietnamese time) after a long battle with cancer.
Riedl was born in Vienna on November 22, 1949. As a player, Riedl was a striker who played four games for Austria and was the top scorer in the Belgian and Austrian leagues. He coached Austria for eight games in 1990 and 1991.
He also played in France before starting his coaching career for international clubs in Morocco, Egypt and Kuwait, among other countries, as well as national teams, including Laos, Việt Nam and Palestine.
Riedl managed the Vietnamese team three times in 1998-2000, 2003-2004 and 2005-2007. He was one of the most successful foreign coaches in the pre-2008 period, helping Việt Nam reach the final of several regional tournaments such as the AFF Cup and SEA Games.
The Austrian coach helped Việt Nam to be the runners-up of the Tiger Cup 1998 (now AFF Cup) after losing to Singapore 1-0 in the final at Hàng Đẫy Stadium in Hà Nội.
Under the guidance of Riedl, Việt Nam also won silver medals at the SEA Games in 1999, 2003 and 2005.
Riedl was beloved in Việt Nam and when he needed a kidney transplant in 2007, many Vietnamese fans volunteered to donate their kidney to him. One anonymous fan's donation helped him live a further 13 years.
Riedl was also famous for the saying "Vietnamese football builds houses from the roof".
A series of former players who played under coach Riedl such as Lê Huỳnh Đức, Nguyễn Hồng Sơn, Lê Công Vinh and Phạm Văn Quyến have expressed their sadness at his passing.
Riedl's last job was as coach of Indonesia in 2016. — VNS