While Japan may be Asia’s top football team right now, it could soon have a little brother in the form of Vietnam, who are rising up the global ranks. The team’s success can best be seen in the Asian competitions, most notably the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup where last year they beat South Korea, Australia, Iraq and the future hosts of the next Fifa World Cup – Qatar. They went on to reach the final last year and only lost after Uzbekistan barley nabbed a winner in the final minutes.
However, while Vietnam may have a lost, the atmosphere in the streets of Hanoi was unbelievable, with the city being pretty much dead for the games 90’s minutes only to transform into the biggest party in South East Asia when the final whistle went. By the time the players stepped on to the pitch to face off against Uzbekistan, the players had already been crowned as heroes in Vietnam. They earned praise from the PM Nguyen Xuan Phic, were gifted a party by the Airline Vietjet in which they were awarded a celebratory display of bikini-clad models on the flight back to the capital, and arrived back in Hanoi to hear thousands of Vietnamese creating a deafening symphony using motorbike horns and kitchen utensils.
The team’s success is largely down to their youth development program, which has massively improved the available talent in Vietnamese football. Many pundits are now speculating that Vietnam will be a major force in football in the coming years, and this talent seen on the international stage is very evident in the national league. This is why you should start watching live football Vietnam, especially if you’re bored of the usual top 5 European leagues.
You may be thinking that surely this success isn’t just due to the youth development program though, and you’d be right. The country has also decided to use lots of foreign expertise to really develop their players and get the team to a level that can compete with those at the top of international football. What’s that old Vietnamese proverb? “Choose the wise man and follow”?
This policy of making extensive use of foreign coaches and trainers dates back to the 1980’s, but recently it has been extremely effective due to some really good picks. For example, Park Hangseo from the Republic of Korea was instrumental in guiding Vietnam into the final of the AFC cup. There are also a good few Europeans in the national leagues, with French coaches being particularly prominent. So, if you decide to watch some Vietnamese football you won’t be too far astray from the magic of European football. There are also a good few European and Latin American players in the top leagues, with one of the big names in Vietnam being Gonzalo Marronkle, an Argentinian who plays as the No.9 for Hanoi.
However, don’t think that its all Western players dominating the leagues, there are many young Vietnamese talents who are more impressive than you’d expect. One such talent is Nguyen Quang Hai, a lighting fast 19-year-old with seemingly magic feet who manages to get fans on the edge of their seat pretty much every time he gets the ball.
With that being said, the only damper on football in Vietnam is corruption, which is pretty widespread especially in the lower leagues. This isn’t too much of an issue in the top league, however, so what are you waiting for? Make a change and watch Vietnam rise up the world stage in real time!