Arabic newspaper sings Vietnamese striker Tuan Hai's praises

By Hoang An   January 10, 2024 | 01:38 am PT
Arabic newspaper sings Vietnamese striker Tuan Hai's praises
Pham Tuan Hai takes off his shirt for celebration after scoring for Hanoi FC at the AFC Champions League. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Bahraini sports newspaper Arab Kooora has described striker Pham Tuan Hai as Vietnam's "number one star" at this year's Asian Cup.

"The star of Hanoi FC showed his talent in the group stage of the AFC Champions League this year," it wrote.

"Hai scored four goals and assisted one, including the final blow that turned Urawa Reds into former champions. Coach Philippe Troussier will count on this number one star at the upcoming Asian Cup in Qatar."

Arab Kooora was founded in Bahrain in 2002 and is the first online sports newspaper written in Arabic. Football accounts for more than 80% of the site's articles. Last month, the newspaper received more than 73 million visits and remained the number one sports site in Arabic.

Hai, 26, debuted in the V. League for Hong Linh Ha Tinh in 2020, after spending his youth career in Hanoi. In 2022 Hanoi brought Hai back and he immediately became the club’s mainstay.

In 84 matches in the league, he has scored 25 goals.

He debuted for the national team in a 1-3 defeat against Oman in the third qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup in October 2021. Since then he has played 21 times for Vietnam, scoring four goals.

Arab Kooora said Hai has become the "main character" of the Vietnam national team since Troussier replaced Park Hang-seo as coach.

He started the country’s two recent matches in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against the Philippines and Iraq.

The 1.72-m tall striker can play as a center forward or move to the flanks when needed. With a tenacious playing style and not afraid of contact, Hai brings a difference to the team's attacking line that other forwards like Nguyen Tien Linh or Nguyen Van Toan.

Hai and his teammates start the Asian Cup with a match against Japan on Jan. 14.

Vietnam entered the quarterfinals of the last edition in 2019 after doing so once earlier in 2007.

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