'Witch Doctor' becomes Vietnam football's new head coach

By Nghia Hung   February 16, 2023 | 02:45 am PT
'Witch Doctor' becomes Vietnam football's new head coach
Philippe Troussier as the coach of Vietnam's U19 team. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Frenchman Philippe Troussier will begin managing Vietnam's national and U23 men’s football teams beginning next month.

Troussier's contract with the Vietnam Football Federation begins March 1, 2023 and ends July 31, 2026. The French footballer will begin his orientation late this month when he comes to Vietnam to officially sign the contract, Tran Anh Tu, vice chairman of Vietnam Football Federation, said Thursday.

His salary remains undisclosed but will be a bit more than $50,000 a month, which was the salary of Vietnam’s previous Korean head coach Park Hang-seo.

Besides defending the men’s SEA Games gold medal this year, Troussier has also been tasked with winning the AFF Cup next year.

Troussier is expected to help Vietnam succeed at the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, at which FIFA has increased the number of participating teams to 48.

Dubbed the "White Witch Doctor" for his successful stint in Africa, Troussier has managed Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Africa, and Burkina Faso.

His international career peaked during his spell in Japan (1998 - 2002), when he won the 2000 AFC Asian Cup.

Two years later, he led Japan to the final 16 at the 2002 World Cup, the country's best-ever run in the competition at the time. In 2020, the Asian Football Confederation named him one of the greatest coaches in Asian Cup history.

The 67-year-old French coach is not new to Vietnam.

He acted as a strategic adviser and then technical director at the Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talent (PVF) Academy in 2018.

One year later, he was appointed head coach of Vietnam's U19 squad, who he helped qualify for the 2020 U19 AFC Championship, which was later canceled due to Covid-19. He left after his contract with VFF expired in June 2021.

go to top