Midfielder leaves national team after Women's World Cup

By Duc Dong   August 11, 2023 | 06:45 pm PT
Midfielder leaves national team after Women's World Cup
Tran Thi Thuy Trang has been considered one of the key midfielders of Vietnam national women's football team for many years. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Vietnamese veteran and mainstay women's football star Tran Thi Thuy Trang has decided to retire from the national football team after not playing at the World Cup this year.

"I made the decision after the 2023 Women's World Cup. Now it's a suitable time to announce it," Trang told VnExpress on Thursday, a day after Vietnam announced its 25-player roster for this year's Asian Games in September that did not include Trang.

The 34-year-old midfielder said that's not why she decided to leave the team, or the fact that she was given zero play time during Vietnam's first World Cup tournament.

"I have considered retiring from the national team for a long time. I tried to stay longer and do my best because I always wanted to experience the World Cup. The biggest regret for me is not being able to play a single minute at the World Cup," she added.

Trang, from the central province of Quang Nam, is the only one of her nine siblings to follow a sports career. During university, Trang competed in futsal and in 2010 she helped Ho Chi Minh City’s futsal team win the national bronze medal.

In 2011, she was called up to the national futsal team and competed at two SEA Games, winning a gold and a silver medal.

In 2014, at the age of 26, Trang was called up to the women’s national football team. Thanks to her enthusiasm, hard work and good skills, she quickly became a mainstay of the team. After 11 years of her professional career, she has won the national championship seven times, the National Cup three times, the AFF Cup title in 2019 and four SEA Games gold medals. In 2022, she also won the Vietnamese Silver Ball.

Trang played a vital part in Vietnam’s historic Women’s World Cup qualification. At the 2022 Asian Cup in India, many Vietnamese players got Covid-19 and Vietnam did not have the best squad for the tournament. Trang is one of the few players who were fit and played every single game. She was the key player in the midfield, helping the team beat Thailand and Taiwan in the playoffs.

Before the 2023 Women’s World Cup, FIFA named Trang one of the Vietnamese players to watch at the tournament.

However, Trang did not get to play in the three group stage games at the actual Cup. After returning from New Zealand, Trang said she was really sad and all she wanted was to play even if it was only a few seconds. However, she said she respected the decisions of the coaching staff.

Last year, Trang received an offer from the Portuguese club Lank, but her priority is completing her contract with HCMC I FC, which has one year left. She has not decided whether to keep playing or retire from football entirely after that.

Due to the low income from playing football, Trang has also worked as a referee at youth tournaments to earn extra money to cover her expenses and support her family.

go to top