|Defender Bùi Tiến Dũng is confident in the future of the national team and Viettel’s journey in the AFC Champions League despite facing strong opponents. Photo laodong.vn
HÀ NỘI — Defender Bùi Tiến Dũng says Vietnamese football has a bright future thanks to success in recent years, including reaching the third round of World Cup qualifiers.
Việt Nam won six points from three matches by beating Indonesia, Malaysia and narrowly losing to the hosts UAE, ensuring they went through as one of the five best group runners-up.
“Football in Việt Nam is really progressing, the national team have made it to the final round of the qualifiers and we are up to 92nd in the FIFA World Rankings," Dũng told the-afc.com.
"We are taking big steps to compete at continental and world level and, by doing this, we can learn more and become stronger.
“Our domestic league is also improving and I hope to see more V.League clubs in the AFC Champions League in the future," he said.
The Viettel captain also commented about the team’s journey in this year AFC Champions League, saying this is really a big challenge for the V.League 1's defending champions.
"This is a very big challenge, especially in the first game," said Tiến Dũng.
"I've been very impressed by the quality of Ulsan Hyundai, and they have five players in the national team, so their strength is obvious.
“We know we have to remain focused throughout if we want to stop their attacking players. However, facing a powerhouse like that gives us so much determination.
“I am looking forward to such a test and I hope we can get a good result against the defending champions as it's not just me who has been part of Việt Nam's success but also my teammates at Viettel like Quế Ngọc Hải, Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng and Nguyễn Hoàng Đức," said the 25-year-old.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Group F will take place entirely in Bangkok where Viettel will face defending champions Ulsan Hyundai from South Korea on June 26 and July 8, the Thai League 1 champions BG Pathum on July 2 and 5, and Shanghai Port on June 29 and July 11. — VNS