Coach calls World Cup qualifiers squad hinh anh 1 President of GMO Internet, Mastoshi Kumagai (right), receives a Vietnam national football team jersey. (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA)
– New national head coach Nguyen Huu Thang on March 11 named 32 players who will gather in Hanoi this weekend to prepare for the 2018 World Cup qualifying matches.

The former national defender called six forwards, 11 midfielders, 10 defenders and four goalkeepers.

Among the players national reigning champions Becamex Bình Dương FC have the largest number of seven members, followed by Quang Ninh Coal (five), Hanoi T&T and Song Lam Nghe An (four each).

The hot names among those summoned are defender Que Ngoc Hai, who has just returned to football a few days ago after serving his six-month ban, and midfielders Nguyen Tuan Anh and Luong Xuan Truong, who are competing abroad.

Their teammates at the former Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC, Vu Van Thanh and Nguyen Van Toan have been called for the first time to the senior squad after several attempts serving the youth teams. At 20, they are also the youngest members of the team.

The oldest one is defender Truong Dinh Luat of Becamex Binh Duong, who is 33.

2015 Golden Ball holder Nguyen Anh Duc also finds a berth in the squad after several years of absence as he did not suit the plans of former coaches.

Coach Thang said it was a draft list which would be reviewed and shortlisted to 23.

“There will definitely be changes from this draft after I get them to undergo a medical check-up and test them in training. There is no star in my team because I believe that the whole team produces a star, a star cannot build a team,” Thang said.

“I cannot make them successful immediately. I need time to shape up the playing style of the team but I want to guide them to focus on rapid and short balls together with a counter-attack,” he said.

“I understand that we have to rejuvenate the team which will be sharp for the tournament from 2017.”

The team will start their 10-day training on March 14 before they host Chinese Taipei at the My Dinh National Stadium on March 24.

Five days later they will travel to a neutral venue in Iran to play Iraq.

Thang is the most open-minded coach as he agreed with the Vietnam Football Federation officials to organise a press briefing every week, scheduled on Thursday or Friday, for interviews and information updates.

The team on March 11 also found their key sponsor,, for their new period of development. is a global brand by Japanese GMO Internet Group which is currently spreading worldwide. It provides internet infrastructure and service infrastructure to a society in the midst of an ongoing digital revolution.

“In order to support football players, becoming the main sponsor means that we not only have the chance to support them financially but also in activities to help the Vietnam national team become victorious in the future. We will try our best to support the team and make them stronger,” Mastoshi Kumagai, president of GMO Internet said.

He said will lend support in numerous ways such as by providing the most advanced equipment for the training committee or proper nutrition regimen for the team. The contract starts from April and is expected to extend to several years.

“We really appreciate the sponsor. We hope that will be the bridge to create many opportunities for us to have many friendly matches with Japanese teams so that we can learn from them. Moreover, we also hope that will help us procure Japanese equipment so that we can practise better,” Kumagai said.

On the same day, also announced their sponsorship for football player Nguyen Cong Phuong who failed to make it to Thang’s list this time because of injury. According to Kumagai, Phuong will be supported in various ways such as providing him training opportunities, giving him the best nutrition regimen so that he will become stronger to represent Vietnam football after returning from his one-year on loan to Mito Hollyhock FC.-VNA