'No player can be above the team': new Vietnam football coach

By Hieu Luong   May 6, 2024 | 03:14 pm PT
'No player can be above the team': new Vietnam football coach
Kim Sang-sik in his first press conference as Vietnam national football head coach on May 6, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
During his introduction as Vietnam’s new national head football coach, Kim Sang-sik said he was confident that he and his new squad would achieve their goals through loyalty and dedication.

"I believe that no player can be above the team," Kim told a press conference at the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) headquarters in Hanoi.

"When I was a player, I was always loyal and devoted to my clubs and national team. When I became a coach, I managed a team with many superstars and together, we strived to achieve success via the best results for the team. I hope Vietnam players will join me in trying and dedicating to completing the goals assigned."

Before coming to Vietnam, Kim had only two and a half years of experience as head coach at South Korean club Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

However, the 47-year-old coach said he is still confident that he will succeed in his first attempt at national team football, thanks to his experience playing for South Korea, and his many years of working at club level, including as both a head and assistant coach.

Kim stated that he believes work will go smoothly here because he will receive maximum support from the VFF, and he said that South Korean and Vietnamese players were similar in many ways.

Coach Kim's contract with VFF will be valid from May 2024 to March 2026. His goal is to bring Vietnam to the semifinals of the 2024 AFF Cup and the semifinals of SEA Games 33, as well as to qualification for the 2026 U23 Asian Cup.

In the immediate future, he will prepare for the last two games in the second qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup against Philippines on June 6 and Iraq on June 11.

"I have been doing research on Southeast Asian football in general and Vietnamese football in particular for many years. I also discussed the assigned tasks with VFF and I’m confident that I will be able to carry them out. Hopefully, I will build a competitive Vietnam national team with high spirit to compete in the region and Asia," Kim added.

The South Korean coach also promised to work hard to select the best players for the national team in the coming time.

Kim is the 25th coach of the Vietnam national football team since 1991, including interim managers. He is the second South Korean coach after Park Hang-seo, and the 12th foreign coach after Edson Tavares and Dido (Brazil), Karl Heinz Weigang and Falko Goetz (Germany), Colin Murphy (England), Christian Letard and Philippe Troussier (France), Alfred Riedl (Austria), Henrique Calisto (Portugal), Toshiya Miura (Japan) and Park Hang-seo.

Coach Kim revealed that he consulted with Park Hang-seo before deciding to accept the offer to manage Vietnam.

"Park is a mentor and a senior that I respect very much," the new Vietnam head coach said.

"He shared with me many valuable stories and experiences gained during his stint as the Vietnam national team head coach. Park advised me to make the players into a great, united and successful team."

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