Striker Nguyễn Văn Quyết is expected to take the title of Vietnamese Golden Ball for the first time in his career. Photo bongda24h.vn
HÀ NỘi — After being named the best player of the 2020 V.League 1 season, forward Nguyễn Văn Quyết is favourite to take the Vietnamese Golden Ball award for the first time in his career.
The 29-year-old made great contributions to Hà Nội FC last season, with five goals and eight assists in the National Cup, helping his side defend their title.
In the national premier league, he notched five goals and five assists to help the capital team finish second.
Taking a look at some more advanced statistics shows just how important Quyết was to his team.
As well as playing all 20 league matches in the season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, Quyết had 55 key passes in the season to lead the league by nine.
Most tellingly, Quyết also participated in 20 out of the 37 attacks that led to a goal for Hà Nội.
With these great contributions, Quyết overcame luminaries like Nguyễn Công Phượng, Nguyễn Quang Hải and Bùi Tiến Dũng to be named the league's top player and step towards winning the Golden Ball.
The Vietnamese Golden Ball award is the only individual title that is still missing in Quyết's illustrious career, though he took the Silver Ball in 2014 and 2015.
In fact, Quyết was very close to the Golden Ball award in 2017 and likely would have had it if Hà Nội beat Quảng Ninh Coal in the last match of the season to win the V.League 1 championship.
Unfortunately for Quyết, his side failed to win three points in the match and he was sent off, dashing his chances of winning the award.
Three years after that low point, Quyết has gone from strength to strength and plays with the wily nous of a veteran.
“I still wish to win the highest title of Vietnamese football, the Vietnamese Golden Ball, once. This year because the national teams don’t play because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is also an opportunity for footballers in domestic tournaments and I think I am among them,” said Quyết.
In the quarter-finals of the National Cup on September 11, Hà Nội beat Cần Thơ 7-0. In this match, the captain Quyết scored two goals but his fair-play was the image that left a mark.
In the 13th minute of the match, midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải was brought down in the penalty area and Quyết scored the resulting penalty. Instead of celebrating, Quyết ran to console the Cần Thơ goalkeeper.
Through such small actions, Quyết has proven his leadership and proved he deserves to wear the captain's armband for his club.
Striker Nguyễn Văn Quyết (right) seen in the match between Hà Nội and HCM City in the V.League 1 this year. Photo thethao247.vn
Born in 1991, when Quyết was just 15 years old, he trained at the Thể Công football training centre and quickly proved his talent.
In 2009, Thể Công was dissolved and transferred to Viettel. Then Quyết was moved to Hà Nội T&T and played for the club in the V.League 2 in 2010 in which he scored eight goals.
Quyết quickly asserted his value with his smart play, speed and good technique in the V.League 1.
Not only that, but he was also the captain of the national U19 team that defeated Thailand to win the 2010 U21 International Football Championship of Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper. In the tournament, he was voted the best player.
During his career, he won the best young player of the country in 2010, 2011, was the top domestic scorer of the V.League 1 in 2012, the best player of V.League 1 2018 and in the best team of the V.League 1 in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019.
Better still, after this season's exploits, Quyết has been called up by coach Park Hang-seo for the national team training camp in December, after a long period out in the wilderness.
It seems in 2020 everything Quyết touches turns to gold, and perhaps he'll be holding the Golden Ball before long. — VNS