Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
1. It is true that there is nothing strange, but the way the Vietnamese team rose above in 2019 was much more impressive and brilliant than the previous generation of seniors.
While the Golden Stars had to resort to their ‘co-hosting’ advantage to advance to the knockout stage of the Asian Cup in 2007, the 2019 tournament saw Park Hang-seo’s side advance even further with their own capabilities. Given that fact, they received respect and admiration from a lot of fans cross Asia.
The impressive steps forward in the continental playground, reflected through the achievements in the 2019 Asian Cup and the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, show that the rise of Vietnamese football is not coincidental or temporary, but is grounded with solid foundations. It was not accidental that in 2019, together with Vietnam’s striking international results at the national team level, Hanoi FC did the same thing at the club level, cruising into the AFC Cup inter-zone play-off final, similar to Becamex Binh Duong’s feat in 2009.
2. Previously, under the dynasty of Alfred Riedl or Henrique Calisto, there were moments when the Vietnam national team or a Vietnamese club had performed exceptionally in the continental tournament. However, such form was often not regular or maintained for a long period. Now, under the instructions of Korean tactician Park Hang-seo, the Vietnamese players are not only performing well in the national team, but are also doing the same when they return to their clubs.
Vietnamese football achieves amazing results in 2019.
Park’s tactical proficiency is something that cannot be overlooked. In addition, the contributions of some other components to the general success of Vietnamese football should not be negated, such as the capabilities of the players as well as the proper investment and care for the players from the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), the Vietnam Professional Football Company (VPF) and the clubs. In the past five years, qualifying for the finals of the continental championships has become a “habit” of Vietnamese youth teams (from U16 to U19), with perhaps the most significant achievement being the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup ticket secured by the generation of Nguyen Quang Hai and Doan Van Hau. Thanks to constantly playing against opponents of various qualifications during the qualifiers, the preparations for the finals and the finals, the young Vietnamese players have grown up rapidly in terms of both their personal skills and tactical thinking. Then, working with a talented and virtuous coach in the national team, together they shone bright to bring Vietnamese football to new heights.
3. It is said that in the leadup to success, there are no footprints of lazy people, and this saying is completely true to the current reality of Vietnamese football, as the country has been working hard for years to achieve the positive results of the present. The more difficult it is to climb to the top, the more difficult it is to retain the position, and the lesson from neighbouring Thailand offers a good example. The decline of Thai football was not a sudden fall; over the past few years, Thailand’s performance on the continental playground has been very unimpressive. In the finals of the 2018 AFC U23 Championship, the War Elephants bitterly crashed out in the group stage, while Vietnam reached the final and Malaysia advanced to the quarterfinals. Then came qualifiers for the 2020 AFC U16 and U19 Championships and Thailand did not make it to the final tournaments, causing great disappointment for the fans.
The rise of Vietnamese football in 2019 was the result of a long process of hard work, and with the lesson from Thailand, it can be seen that efforts should continue to be accelerated to keep the joyful days for longer and longer.