Vietnamese goalkeeper to join Japan’s Cerezo Osaka

By Kim Hoa   January 29, 2021 | 10:00 pm PT
Vietnamese goalkeeper to join Japan’s Cerezo Osaka
Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam in Vietnam's national jersey. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
Japanese top-flight club Cerezo Osaka announced on Saturday morning they have agreed terms with goalkeeper Dang Van Lam.

"We are pleased to inform you that Dang Van Lam has decided to join us," their website says.

"Due to the new entry restrictions by the Japanese government, Lam will enter Japan as soon as possible and, after a medical check, a contract will be signed."

The Vietnamese star said: "It’s a great honor for me to be a part of Cerezo Osaka and to play in the best league in Asia. This is a huge step in my career. I’m confident that in the near future the demand overseas for Vietnamese players will increase even further. I want to thank the fans for their support. And thank you Vietnam, for everything."

Lam is a Russian national who recently acquired dual Vietnamese citizenship.

Lam’s agent Andrey Grushin first spoke about a possible move to Osaka from Thailand’s Muangthong United on January 7.

He said the club had violated contract terms and so the 27-year-old keeper had the right to move to another club.

The Thai have filed a lawsuit against him and Osaka for approaching him without informing them. But Lam and his agent are confident they would win the legal battle against Muangthong.

On January 27 FIFA allowed Lam to leave Muangthong and granted him a transfer license. Nevertheless the football governing body will send a team to look into Muangthong’s accusations.

Lam will be the fourth Vietnamese to play for a Japanese club, after Le Cong Vinh (Consadole Sapporo), Nguyen Tuan Anh (Yokohama FC) and Nguyen Cong Phuong (Mito Hollyhock). But Osaka are in the J1 League while all three of his predecessors played in the J2 League.

Cerezo finished fourth in last season to get a ticket to the 2021 AFC Champions League.

Lam spent his youth at Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Moscow.

In 2011 he came to Vietnam to play for Hoang Anh Gia Lai. Then, after unsuccessful spells in Laos and Russia, his career finally took off in 2015 when he joined Hai Phong FC.

He retained his excellent form for the next four years, got called up to the national team and has become its number one choice.

In 2019 he joined Muangthong United from Hai Phong FC for $500,000 and played 42 times for the club.

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