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Vietnam’s Young, Up-and-Coming Football Teams Aim for the World Stage

As Vietnam’s U-20 team packs its bags for Germany to prepare for May’s FIFA U-20 World Cup, the future looks bright for the country’s football fans.

In the last year, FIFA recently pointed out, Vietnam’s national football teams have made history on two occasions, qualifying for two separate World Cup competitions and catapulting Vietnam onto the world stage.

Though the country’s footballers are still far from international acclaim, Vietnam has long been known in Southeast Asia as something of a football-obsessed nation. Last year, however, national teams moved into uncharted territory when Vietnam finished in the top four at the 2016 AFC Futsal Championship, later moving on to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia.

In October, Vietnam’s U-20 team also scored a monumental achievement by beating out Bahrain to qualify for this year’s U-20 World Cup in South Korea, the first time Vietnam will be represented in the competition.

“It is worth priding ourselves on the achievements we had in 2016,” Le Hung Dzung, president of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), told FIFA. “It reflects the VFF’s efforts to promote the game to the levels required by the AFC and FIFA. Besides, qualifying for two FIFA tournaments shows that we have allocated our investment effectively.”

Vietnam’s national teams have also recently qualified for the U-16 and U-23 AFC Asian Championships, highlighting the country’s upcoming crop of talented young players. In future, Dzung told FIFA, he hopes to see young Vietnamese players gain more opportunities to compete on the international stage, gaining experience against talented players from other countries.

[Photo via AFC]

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