Vietnam futsal team deserve respect: World Cup winning coach

By Lam Thoa   August 9, 2022 | 07:12 pm PT
Vietnam futsal team deserve respect: World Cup winning coach
Futsal coach Diego Raul Giustozzi (C) is gifted a jersey from Vietnam Football Federation officials, August 2, 2022. Photo by VFF
Diego Raul Giustozzi, the new head coach of Vietnam national futsal team, said at a welcome ceremony Tuesday that Vietnam are well-respected in the futsal world and deservedly so.

Giustozzi’s contract with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) will run from August 1, 2022 to September 30, 2024, and will cover the Futsal World Cup.

Giustozzi famously led Argentina to the 2016 Futsal World Cup title. That was also Vietnam's first ever Futsal World Cup.

"The world of futsal is small. I can say that in the futsal world, Vietnam are well-respected. I’m really honored to work in Vietnam," Giustozzi said.

It is expected that Giustozzi and the team will go to Thailand to play a friendly tournament from September 9 to 17 with strong opponents like Iran, Morocco, Finland, Angola and the hosts. The team will return home and continue preparing for the Futsal Asian Cup in Kuwait. Vietnam's goal in this tournament is to claim qualification to the 2024 Futsal World Cup.

"We need legs and arms to play the ball, but the heart and the head are equally important. Vietnamese players have passion in their hearts. What I want now is the spirit in their minds, always striving to create surprises. I can help them with that," he said.

Giustozzi did not talk about his upcoming goal with Vietnam, but said that his philosophy is to never limit oneself and any opponent can be beaten.

At the 2020 Futsal World Cup, Vietnam passed the group stage under the guidance of domestic coach Pham Minh Giang. But Tran Anh Tu, head of the VFF Futsal Committee, said a foreign coach is needed for the team to achieve a breakthrough. Current domestic coaches need to accumulate more experience, he added.

Tu also said negotiations with Giustozzi had been difficult because he put up many professional conditions. It took two months – from September to December 2021 – to get him to sign the contract, Tu said.

Diego played as a pro for 18 years in Argentina, Italy and Spain. He switched to coaching in 2011 and won the World Cup with Argentina five years later.

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