Vietnamese forward welcomed to Incheon United football club

By Thang Nguyen   February 14, 2019 | 05:37 pm GMT+7

Nguyen Cong Phuong was given the number 23 jersey as he signed a one-year deal with South Korean Incheon United Thursday.

Phuong said that he was ready to prove himself at the new club.

"I’m very pleased to join Incheon United, a very strong club. After last year, I have improved a lot. I promise that I will try my best to prove myself and introduce Vietnamese football to the world," Phuong said.

K-League 1 is considered one of the toughest football leagues in Asia, but Phuong said is up for the challenge.

"I’ve learned a lot about South Korean football through coach Park Hang-seo and my teammate Luong Xuan Truong. K-League is highly competitive and I will do everything to be a part of the club," Phuong added. Midfielder Truong was the first Vietnamese player at Incheon United, joining in 2016.

Coach Park Hang-seo, assistant Lee Young-jin, agent Lee Dong-jun, South Korea Ambassador in Vietnam and Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC representatives also attended the presentation.

"Cong Phuong has proved himself to be the best striker in Vietnam and he will have to do the same in South Korea. I’m glad that Incheon United chose Cong Phuong. He can score many goals and play well in pressure. His mind is quite steady and I believe that he can make it through this challenge," Park said.

Coach Park Hang-seo praised Nguyen Cong Phuong at his Incheon Uniteds presentation. Photo courtesy of Incheon United.

Coach Park Hang-seo is with Nguyen Cong Phuong at the Incheon United signing. Photo courtesy of Incheon United

Phuong caught the eye of Incheon United coach Jorn Andersen when Vietnam trained in South Korea to prepare for AFF Cup 2018. The Norwegian coach said that the club has signed Cong Phuong for professional, not business reasons.

Phuong has been introduced on the club’s website as "the best player in Vietnam", having helped the team win the AFF Cup 2018 and reach the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup 2019.

This is the second time Phuong is playing played overseas, after a spell at Japanese club Mito Hollyhock three years ago.

Two of Phuong’s national teammates are currently playing in Thailand. Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam signed a three-year contract with Muangthong United while Luong Xuan Truong is currently on loan to Buriram United.

At the club level, Phuong has scored 26 goals in 75 appearances for Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC. He is a product of the Hoang Anh Gia Lai – Arsenal JMG Academy and was promoted to the first team in 2015.

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