Goalkeeper Lam joins Cerezo Osaka of Japan hinh anh 1Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam will compete for Cerezo Osaka Club of Japan (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Cerezo Osaka of Japan have announced their successful signing of goalkeeper Dang Van Lam from Muangthong United of Thailand.

"We are very happy to announce that Lam has joined the club,” the website of Cerezo Osaka said.

According to the website, the Japanese government is restricting immigration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Lam will come to Japan as soon as possible and he will have a medical examination and sign the contract.

By joining Cerezo Osaka, Lam will become the first Vietnamese player to play in Japan's top tier, the J1 League.

Cerezo Osaka finished fifth in the 2019 season and fourth in 2020, earning a slot in the play-off round for the 2021 AFC Champions League.

Lam faces stiff competition for a place in the team against the likes of Kim Jin-hyeon of the Republic of Korea.

"It is my great honour to be part of Cerezo Osaka to play in the best tournament in Asia. It is a great step in my career,” said Lam.

“I believe in the near future, there will be many Vietnamese players to have opportunities to go abroad to play. I want to thank fans who have always watched and supported me over the past time.”

Lam joined Cerezo Osaka after he unilaterally terminated his contract with Muangthong United over claims the club failed to pay him o time and imposed a 30 per cent pay cut during the Thai League 1 suspension due to the pandemic.

Muangthong United asked the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) and the World Football Federation (FIFA) for arbitration and though the legal dispute with the Thai team has not been resolved, Lam was granted a temporary International Transfer Certificate by FIFA to compete for the Japanese team.

Last year, Lam made only 12 appearances for Muangthong United in a Thai League 1 season that was shortened due to the pandemic.

Lam, whose father is Vietnamese and mother is Russian, was born in Moscow. He began his career with Hoang Anh Gia Lai and is a key part of Park Hang-seo’s national team squad.

He made significant contributions to Vietnam’s triumph in the AFF Cup 2018, qualifying for the 2019 Asian Cup quarter-finals, and in the ongoing 2022 World Cup AFC qualifiers. So far, the 27-year-old has had a total of 23 caps for the Vietnamese national team.

In June 2019, Muangthong United completed the signing of Lam from Hai Phong FC for a fee of 500,000 USD./.