Overseas Vietnamese players hope to play for Vietnam

Many overseas Vietnamese football players have expressed their hope of playing for Vietnam’s national team following its recent successes.

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Czech-Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyen (Photo sparta.cz)

Among them, there is Czech-Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyen.

Nguyen was born in 1992 in Prague to a Vietnamese father and a Czech mother. The 26-year-old keeper plays for FC Slovan Liberec, one of the most successful teams in the Czech Republic with three league titles in the Czech First League and one Czech Cup win since 1993.

Nguyen is 1.9m tall and is the club’s top goalkeeper. He signed his contract with Slovan Liberec in February last year that runs through 2021. He has played 13 matches in the 2018-19 season.

As a young player, Nguyen was trained at the ABC Branik Praha Football Institute. Nguyen used to play for AC Sparta Praha, who have competed in the UEFA Champions League many times.

Nguyen is a close friend of Mac Hong Quan, who competes for V.League 1 side Quang Ninh Coal. Born in the northern province of Hai Duong, Quan migrated to the Czech Republic with his family in 2000 at the age of eight. Both Nguyen and Quan have played for Sparta Praha.

A few years ago, Nguyen travelled to Vietnam to seek a chance to play for the country.

“In 2016, while I was playing for a second-division team in the Czech Republic, I returned to Vietnam with the wish of playing in the Vietnamese national premiere league and wearing the jersey of the national team,” Nguyen told Zing.vn.

"I came to a V.League 1 club and they said they wanted to have my service and would take care of my nationality issue,” he said. “I stayed in Vietnam for 10 days to trial at that club but in the end, I returned to the Czech Republic.”

“I still want a chance to play for the Vietnamese national team. I am trying to be granted Vietnamese citizenship. I plan to return to Vietnam this June. I hope a door will open for me,” said Nguyen.

According to the international transfer website transfermarket.com, Nguyen is valued at 405,000 EUR (453,900 USD).

Alexander Dang, 29, a leading striker in the Norwegian First Division, also hopes to play for Vietnam. Dang plays for Nest-Sotra Fotball.

Defender Jason Quang-Vinh Pendant, a Vietnam-France dual national, is considering joining Vietnam’s national team if he is invited.

Pendant, 22, is regarded as a speedy and physically gifted player. He has played for the French U16 and U18 national teams. At the club level, he plays for Sochaux FC in League 2. Despite his young age, he has made a total of 45 appearances with his team.

Pendant has also had 16 appearances with France’s U16s and scored twice for the team, along with two appearances with the U18 squad.

Pendant, whose mother is Vietnamese and father is African-French, said it would be a great honour to be called up to the national team by the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF).

Pendant is valued at approximately 600,000 euros on transfermarket.

The national team success of half-Russian goalkeeper Dang Van Lam has opened the door for other players of Vietnamese heritage to aspire to represent the country, especially after the team’s performances at the AFF Suzuki Cup and the AFC Asian Cup.

Fans are expecting the VFF and coach Park Hang-seo to create opportunities for these dual-nationals to play for the country in the near future.

However, the VFF’s general secretary said the organisation would leave recruitment to the national teams’ training boards rather than relying on media reports.

VNS/VNA

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