Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
That the season wrapped up successfully has helped elevate the brand of Vietnam’s professional football league. A host of famous coaches and players are set to join the 2021 V.League, which is scheduled to kick off in January.
Of particular note, Ljupko Petrovic, who as a manager won the UEFA Champions League, will be the most high-profile coach to have set foot on Vietnam in his capacity as Thanh Hoa FC’s coach.
In addition, Thai manager and former player Kiatisuk Senamuang and Alexandre Polking will set ambitious goals with the Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC and the Ho Chi Minh City FC, respectively.
Polking, who spent seven years in the Thai League, said that if the V.League contenders improve their infrastructure and investment, more international football stars would come to play in the country. He also spoke highly of Vietnamese footballers’ skills.
In terms of players, next year’s season will see Matsui Daisuke playing for Sai Gon FC. He is a former midfielder with the Japanese national team, which triumphed at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, and he competed in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Lee Nguyen, once named as a finalist for the 2014 version of the Major League Soccer MVP Award, is due to join the Ho Chi Minh City FC.
The success of the V.League is attributed to the country’s effectiveness in COVID-19 prevention, in the context that many other countries in the region are struggling to organise matches.
The men’s national team is currently ranked 93rd in the world, and first in Southeast Asia for the third year in a row. The women’s team is ranked fifth in Asia, with a chance to compete at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.