Veteran striker comes out of retirement to join Vietnam national team

By Lam Thoa   August 12, 2020 | 09:30 pm PT
Veteran striker comes out of retirement to join Vietnam national team
Nguyen Anh Duc celebrates his goal against Malaysia in AFF Cup final on December 15, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Nguyen Anh Duc retired from international football in 2019, but the striker has returned to the national team in the latest call up.

Duc, 34, had played an important role in Vietnam’s victory in the AFF Cup 2018 campaign as well as Asian Cup 2019, where the team finished in the top eight. He announced his retirement from international football on November 19, 2019 after playing Thailand in the World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

In the 2019 season, Duc also left Becamex Binh Duong after 13 years. He was a free agent until Hoang Anh Gia Lai signed him in July this year.

Despite the fact that Duc has only played one game for the new club, coach Park Hang-seo decided to call him up to the national team. He has called up 33 players for the latest training session, including familiar faces like Nguyen Cong Phuong, Do Hung Dung and Nguyen Quang Hai, as also some newcomers.

Doan Van Hau has also been called up. After returning from a disappointing run with Dutch club SC Heerenveen, Hau was quarantined in Quang Nam Province on August 2. After 14 days, he will join his teammates in Hanoi for a one-week training camp.

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted Park not to call main goalkeeper Dang Van Lam to the team, because the latter is training in Thailand with his club Muangthong United to prepare for the Thai League when it returns in September.

Park has also not chosen players from SHB Da Nang and Quang Nam FC, the central city and the province being current Covid-19 hotspots. Only Nguyen Huy Hung of Quang Nam is present, because he’d gone to Hanoi before the new outbreak happened.

The national team are scheduled to gather in Hanoi on August 16 for a medical check before beginning training on August 18.

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