|Korean Times likens Cong Phuong (C) to “Lionel Messi of Vietnam”
The article by John Duerden said Korean fans are going to get a glimpse of more Vietnamese talent this coming season as Incheon has signed an even bigger Vietnamese star in the shape of Nguyen Cong Phuong.
The 24-year-old striker has played more than 30 matches for the Vietnamese national team, which is led by Park Hang-seo, one of the recognisable figures in Korean soccer, it said.
“Phuong has been likened to a certain Lionel Messi due to his liking and talent for running at defenders and then dancing past them. He also has an eye for goals, both scoring and creating them”, the article noted.
“Another graduate of the soccer academy set up by Vietnamese club Hoang Anh Gia Lai and London giant Arsenal, Phuong is fairly small and is going to be targeted by some of the K-League's rougher defenders. He is good enough to deal with this”, it stressed.
The article said it is hoped that Phuong will be given the support that he needs on and off the field to adapt to Korean life and culture, adding that Phuong would also need some faith from coaches and teammates in Incheon.
“It is time for another Southeast Asian star in Korea, after the exploits of Thailand's Piyapong Pue-on in the 1980s, and there is no better time and player than now and Nguyen Cong Phuong”, it said.