Brazilian striker Geovane Mango (centre) hopes to lift silverware with Hà Nội FC this year. Photo dantri.com.vn
HÀ NỘI - Coach Chu Đình Nghiêm of Hà Nội FC said it was difficult to predict who would win the 2021 V.League 1, but said his team would be going all out to triumph.
“Only when the tournament begins can we know who are the title favourites. Hà Nội’s failure to defend the title last year is a strong push for us to blow everything away this year,” said Nghiêm at the club's season kick-off ceremony.
“We (Hà Nội) have never been satisfied with what we have won,” he said.
Hà Nội finished second in the league last year but lifted the National Cup and Super Cup.
The five-time winners will compete in three tournaments, the V.League 1, National Cup and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup, in the season which marks their 15th anniversary.
“To celebrate our anniversary there would be nothing better than a better result in the AFC Cup and the top position in the domestic events,” said Hà Nội FC president Đỗ Vinh Quang.
The team secured Việt Nam’s best result in the AFC Cup in 2019 when they reached the Inter-zone final.
Quang said Hà Nội will consider the AFC Cup their priority but domestic competitions will also be a focus as they want to win the National Cup for the third year in a row, which would be a national record.
“Once again, these tasks will be big challenges for our mental and physical strengths. But we all unite together to overcome these obstacles and be worthy of what our supporters expect. We are the pride of the capital city,” said Quang who was named president last year, becoming the youngest president in the league at the age of 25.
Speaking at the ceremony, captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết said his team have had more than one month to prepare for the new season and they were ready.
“2020 was a tough season. We have sat down, talked and pointed out our best plan. We hope that with strong support and sponsorship this season we will be best in all tournaments,” he said.
“All teams in the V.League 1 want to beat Hà Nội because we are home to national team players. I am honoured to be part of the team. My personal goals will be competing in all the matches and increasing my number of goals in the AFC Cup.”
At the ceremony, Hà Nội also introduced their newcomers and welcomed back players who were sidelined with injuries in 2020.
Brazilian striker Geovane Magno said he saw the strong development of Hà Nội in recent years and many of their players have become the core of the national team.
Meanwhile, his fellow Brazilian and newcomer Bruno Cantanhede said he hoped with his contribution Hà Nội could win in all competitions.
Cantanhede came to Hà Nội after a successful season with champions Viettel, while Magno left Sài Gòn FC to move to Hà Nội for a record salary of US$20,000 per month.
Hà Nội will visit Nam Hà Nam Định in the first match on January 15 at the Thiên Trường Stadium. Last year, Hà Nội trounced Nam Định 4-2 in their only meeting in March. VNS