Sunday , February 5 2023

Veteran Vietnam midfielder retires from national team after 14 years


Veteran midfielder Nguyen Trong Hoang announced his retirement from international football after a friendly match between Vietnam and Borussia Dortmund Wednesday, concluding a 14-year journey with the national team.

Hoang announced his decision right after Vietnam’s 2-1 win against Dortmund, which was considered a tribute match for him after he expressed his feeling that he was no longer fit enough to play for the national team.

“The fans often said that I’m tireless and have no lungs. But the truth is I have lungs and every journey has an end. I want to conclude my wonderful journey that is filled with the most beautiful memories,” Hoang wrote in a farewell letter.

Nguyen Trong Hoang makes a pass in the friendly match between Vietnam and Borussia Dortmund in Hanoi on November 30, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Nguyen Trong Hoang makes a pass in the friendly match between Vietnam and Borussia Dortmund in Hanoi on November 30, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Hoang had stopped playing in September last year to treat a herniated disc. After over a year, he returned to the field on October 18 this year and played a few V. League matches before receiving a call up to the national team.

Hoang played his first game for the national team in September 2009. In 14 years, he made 73 appearances, only behind Le Cong Vinh with 83 and Pham Thanh Luong with 78. He scored 12 goals for the country.

Under coach Park Hang-seo, Hoang switched from a midfielder to a right-back and played well. He was an important part of Vietnam’s success at the 2018 AFF Cup, 2019 Asian Cup and 2022 World Cup qualifiers. He also won a SEA Games gold medal with Vietnam in 2019.

Hoang will continue to play in the V. League for his current club Song Lam Nghe An. His contract with the club lasts another year.

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