Vietnamese midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai had his first practice with French club Pau FC Thursday morning after officially joining them on Wednesday.
The practice session began at 9:30 a.m. local time amid a light drizzle, according to Pau FC. Hai, the first Vietnamese to play for a professional club in France, and his teammates were present about 10 minutes prior.
Despite not being able to speak French yet, Hai greeted his teammates and was met with warm welcome in response. They had a warm-up run for 20 minutes under the instructions of coach Didier Tholot.
There would be two practice sessions every weekday except for Wednesday.
A press conference took place in the afternoon the same day to announce the Pau FC’s newcomers, including Hai. A friendly match with another team in Dax is expected on July 8, before the first match of the Ligue 2 on July 30.
In six seasons at Hanoi FC, Hai played 126 matches, scored 35 times and won every domestic title and the Vietnam Golden Ball in 2018. He also played an important role in Vietnam winning the 2018 AFC U23 Championship’s second place, the 2018 AFF Cup title and SEA Games 30 gold medal, and in Vietnam’s journey to the final round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Pau are a small club with a stadium with a capacity of over 4,000. They also had the lowest payroll in the second division Ligue 2 at a total of €2.93 million (US$3 million) last season.
But Hai is happy with his choice since he feels appreciated by the club and is likely to get a lot of playing time.
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