Vietnam's striker Nguyen Cong Phuong is one of three rising stars to watch at the 28th Southeast Asian Games, said.

"In the U23 Asian Cup qualifier held in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year, Vietnam's brilliant young forward Nguyen Cong Phuong was the standout performer from a group that also featured Malaysia and Japan," the website said.

"Comfortable in possession, lightning quick and with a gem of a left foot, the Hoang Anh Gia Lai striker made real impact to help Vietnam qualify for the finals, earning favourable comparisons with another SEA Games alumni Le Cong Vinh."

The website said, "A prolific goal scorer at the age-restricted international level, Phuong has also made a seamless step-up to the professional V.League with a series of excellent performances at club level.

"In the future, Vinh and Phuong may be an international pairing. For the SEA Games, Phuong – the Vietnamese Messi – will be looking to enhance his already glowing reputation."

Besides Phuong, Indonesia's Evan Dimas and Singapore's Sahil Suhaimi were also named by the website.-VNA