Vietnam captain talks World Cup dream with FIFA

By Hoang Nguyen   August 31, 2021 | 11:40 pm PT
Vietnam captain talks World Cup dream with FIFA
Que Ngoc Hai celebrates after scoring against Malaysia in a World Cup qualifiers game on June 11, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
In an interview with FIFA, Que Ngoc Hai discussed Vietnam’s hopes and dreams prior to entering the final round of World Cup qualifiers this week.

"We went through a series of hard tests to reach this stage – it was history-making. In a sense, we have realized our dream of reaching this level, where we can compete against Asia's strongest teams. Our fans are proud of this. We hope we can continue our good showing in this stage and bring happiness to our supporters," Hai said.

In June, Vietnam advanced to the final round of World Cup qualifiers for the first time in history after finishing second in their group. They went unbeaten for most of their games, until the last one, which they lost 2-3 to hosts UAE.

At the moment, the Golden Dragons are preparing for their first game of the final round with Saudi Arabia.

"Needless to say, Saudi Arabia are strong opponents in our group and we have to play away from home. This is an absolutely difficult match for us. However, we are not unprepared. We will do our best," Hai said.

The national team captain also mentioned his role model in football, a player that he looks up to: the legendary Spanish defender Sergio Ramos, also a World Cup and European champion.

"Ramos is my idol. He plays the same position as me. He is a top player in terms of leadership, defensive technique, movement and reading the game. Besides, he is good at heading. I can draw so much inspiration from him," he said.

The 28-year-old eyed future World Cup qualification, saying it would be a dream come true for all Vietnamese.

"We have no other option than to try harder. We need to get ourselves stronger if we are to achieve greater success. World Cup is the biggest sports event in the world, where every player dreams of playing – at least once in a lifetime. All our players and Vietnamese fans are looking forward to the day when our team makes it to World Cup. It will definitely be a dream-come-true day for us."

Vietnam will play Saudi Arabia on Sept. 3 at 1 a.m. (Hanoi time). The game will be reported live on VnExpress International.

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