Midfielder Quang Hai has first practice session with French club

By Sy Tuan   June 30, 2022 | 04:51 am PT
Midfielder Quang Hai has first practice session with French club
Nguyen Quang Hai (L) runs with a teammate during a practice session with the Pau FC in France, June 30, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Sy Tuan
Vietnamese midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai had his first practice with French club Pau FC Thursday morning after officially joining the club Wednesday.

The practice session began at 9:30 a.m. local time amid a light drizzle. Hai, the first Vietnamese to play for a professional club in France, and his teammates were present about 10 minutes earlier at the ground.

Though Hai speaks no French, his greetings were warmly reciprocated. The players had a warm-up run for 20 minutes under the instructions of coach Didier Tholot.

The club will have two practice sessions every weekday except Wednesday.

A press conference was held the same afternoon to introduce the newcomers, including Hai. A friendly match with another team in Dax is scheduled for July 8, before the first match of the Ligue 2 on July 30.

In six seasons with Hanoi FC, Hai played 126 matches, scored 35 times and won every domestic title and the Vietnam Golden Ball in 2018. He also played an important role in Vietnam winning the 2018 AFC U23 Championship's second place, the 2018 AFF Cup title and SEA Games 30 gold medal, and in Vietnam's journey to the final round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Pau are a small club with a stadium capacity of over 4,000. They also have the lowest payroll in the second division Ligue 2 at a total of €2.93 million (US$3 million) last season.

But Hai is happy with his choice since he feels appreciated by the club and is likely to get a lot of playing time.

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