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National striker Thang retires

HCM CITY — National team striker Nguyen Viet Thang announced his retirement from football after failing to find a club for the coming season.

Nguyen Viet Thang.
Nguyen Viet Thang.

Thang, 33, ended his contract with Dong Tam Long An last year and shopped around for a new uniform.

The Dong Tam Long An contract will now be the last of his 17-year career.

“It is not easy to say goodbye after nearly two decades playing football. However my tired legs and injuries force me to stop,” he said.

Growing up as a member of HCM City’s Police team, Thang quickly found his place on the national team in 2000 when he was just 19.

At his best, Thang dominated the V-League from the front line of Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Dong Tam Long An teams in 2003-04 and 2005-06, respectively.

He was also a key player on Viet Nam’s triumphant 2008 ASEAN Football Federation Cup team.

He famously received a VND9 billion (US$428,000) contract to move to Binh Duong in 2011. However, within only one year, he was traded to Thanh Hoa on a loan contract because of poor performance.

He was again quickly passed on to Dong Tam Long An where injuries sidelined him for half of the 2014 season. Thang plans to take courses and become a coach.