Vietnam PM honors AFF Suzuki Cup winning team
Updated at Sunday, 23 Dec 2018, 12:49
The Hanoitimes - PM Phuc granted Labor Order – the title given to individuals and organizations achieving feats in their works – to the whole team.
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has honored the national football squad for winning the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018, saying that the performances at the tournament have rekindled patriotism and national pride in the Vietnamese people.
The PM reserved high praise for the national football team for their efforts and also lauded coach Park Hang-seo for the work he has done with the team.
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc with Coach Park Hang-seo at the event. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Phuc granted a first-class Labor Order – the title given to individuals and organizations achieving feats in their works – to the whole team. Accordingly, Labor Order – second class was accorded to to Nguyen Quang Hai, third-class Labor Orders to 15 members of the team.
At the honoring ceremony, the PM reminded Doan Nguyen Duc’s tireless contributions to Vietnam’s football. Duc builds HAGL-JMG Football Academy which has trained a generation of qualified players for Vietnamese soccer. He was also the one who invited Park Hang-seo to coach the national team.
At the event, the PM asked the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to have good remuneration policies to head coach Park Hang-seo and other coaches.
The Golden Dragons embarked on an extremely successful AFF Suzuki Cup journey, taking home the trophy for the second time in their history, 10 years from the first cup.
From excellent individuals
On December 22, the Vietnam Golden Ball Awards 2018 were held to recognize the efforts of the players who have contributed to the country’s sports.
Midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai, 21, was awarded the Golden Ball.
Nguyen Quang Hai. Photo: Vnexpress
Midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai was placed in the World Soccer magazine’s list for the top 500 most influential players in the world besides Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale, Harry Kane, and Mohamed Salah. Hai is among the 24 contenders for the Best Footballer in Asia – an annual award hosted by FOX Sports and China’s Titan Sports, becoming the first Vietnamese player to be nominated for the title.
FOX Sports has praised him “the brightest star in Southeast Asian football at the moment” while Scott McIntyre from FOX Sports Asia said that Hai is “not only one of the finest young Southeast Asian players but one of the most exciting young talents on the Asian continent.” He said that Hai “needs to move abroad now” as “a player of rare quality” should “chase his dream abroad”.
Meanwhile Doan Van Hau, 19, was named the Young Player of the Year for the second year running.
Doan Van Hau. Photo: Zing
Nguyen Anh Duc, Vietnam’s top scorer in the AFF Suzuki Cup and the one who scored the only goal in the final match, received the Silver Ball while Phan Van Duc took home the Bronze Ball.
Nguyen Anh Duc. Photo: Thanh Nien
Nguyen Cong Phuong, meanwhile, was named the Fans’ Favorites Player of the Year, beating off competition from the likes of Luong Xuan Truong and Bui Tien Dung.
Nguyen Cong Phuong. Photo: SGGP
Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam is praised for his contributions to the team and his tireless story. He made a series of fine saves to preserve the home side’s advantage and helped the Golden Dragons claim the victory for the second time.
Dang Van Lam. Photo: Thethao247
…to a strong team
The 2018 AFF Cup winning team. Photo: Thanh Nien
Vietnam’s solid defensive style, while equally impressive attacking prowess, turned them into one of the best sides of the AFF Suzuki Cup tournament. The Golden Dragons didn’t concede a single goal until the semifinals and managed to end with 5 clean sheets out of a possible 8.
Furthermore, the now two-time champions ended the competition without a defeat, meaning that they currently hold the longest unbeaten streak in the world. And with a relatively young squad at the moment, the sky is the limit for the Golden Dragons, according to FOX Sports – one of the world’s leading sports broadcasting channels.
In the FIFA’s latest ranking, Vietnam ranks the 100th position with 1,229 points, above the regional teams like the Philippines (116), and Thailand (118), becoming the only Southeast Asian team in top 100.