Saigon FC recruits veteran Japanese midfielder

By Vinh San, Nam Anh   December 3, 2020 | 11:58 pm PT
Saigon FC recruits veteran Japanese midfielder
Daisuke Matsui (in white) plays for Japan in World Cup 2010. Photo courtesy of FIFA.
39-year-old midfielder Daisuke Matsui will join Saigon FC from Yokohama FC on a free transfer, Yokohama’s website confirmed on Thursday.

Matsui started his career in 2000 at Japanese club Kyoto Purple Sanga. He formerly spent eight years in France, playing for clubs like Le Mans (2004-2008), Saint-Etienne (2008-2009), Grenoble (2009-2011) and Dijon (2011-2012).

The midfielder also played for Bulgarian club Slavia Sofia from 2012-2013 and Polish club Lechia Gdansk in 2013. After that he returned to Japan to play for Jubilo Iwata until 2017. A year later, he went to Poland again to join Odra Opole. Since 2018, he has played for Yokohama FC.

Matsui played for the Japan national football team from 2003-2011. He had 31 appearances, scored one goal, and participated in FIFA Confederations Cup 2003, Olympic 2004 and World Cup 2010. His last international tournament was Asian Cup 2011, where he lifted the trophy with Japan.

After finishing third in 2020 V. League 1., Saigon FC parted ways with 19 players, including their three key foreign squad members. They also recruited 11 new players, among them Argentinan striker Do Merlo and Brazilian defender Thiago Melo, both from Duoc Nam Ha Nam Dinh.

In another transfer, Hoang Anh Gia Lai recruited Vietnamese-French player Tieu Exal from HCMC FC on a two-year loan. Exal can play as a central defender and midfielder. He has been called up twice to the Vietnam U22 team by coach Park Hang-seo to prepare for SEA Games 31 next year. However, at HCMC, Exal failed to get selected for 2020 V. League 1 and was loaned to Ba Ria Vung Tau in V. League 2.

Previously, HAGL let Jamaican striker Chavaugh Walsh move to Thanh Hoa FC and recruited a new coach, former Thai national manager Kiatisuk Senamuang.

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