Tran Nguyen Manh of Viettel FC is the leading goalkeeper in terms of having the most clean sheets in domestic leagues throughout ASEAN during 2020, according to statistics compiled by ASEAN Football.
Manh shares the leading position with Thai goalie Chatchai Budprom of BG Pathung United FC in the Thai League 1, with each keeping 10 clean sheets in their respective domestic leagues last year, reported Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV).
The outstanding performances displayed by Manh in goal helped Viettel FC win their first V.League 1 championship title and earned them a direct spot to enter the group stage of the upcoming AFC Champions League.
Ko Ko Naing of Myanmar’s Hanthawady United FC came third in the list after keeping nine clean sheets.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese goalkeeper Pham Van Phong of Sai Gon FC came in fourth with eight clean sheets, sharing the spot with Bui Tan Truong of Hanoi FC and Japanese goalie Kei Okawa of Albirex Niigata FC.
Vietnamese goalkeeper Nguyen Van Hoang of Song Lam Nghe An FC came in just behind the trio after keeping seven clean sheets./.VNA
One of a kind athlete Hùng hopes for more success in career
Nguyễn Văn Hùng is a dab hand on the basketball court and in the dojo and has the distinction of being one of few Vietnamese national champions in two sports.
At the age of 40, Hùng works as a coach for the Thanh Hóa Province and national taekwondo teams and also plays professional basketball in the Việt Nam Basketball Association (VBA) league.
A dream athlete
Born in 1980 in Tĩnh Gia District in Thanh Hóa, Hùng’s height set him apart from his peers at a young age.
The 1.8m tall boy was invited to practise with Thanh Hóa’s volleyball team when he was 14 in 1994.
However, the team folded months later due to financial issues. Hùng, who received offers from swimming and track-and-field teams, agreed to join the taekwondo team.
“With my height and long legs, I was an ideal athlete for any team. I chose taekwondo because it is a martial art from South Korea. You know, in those years we loved everything from this country, from its people to products,” Hùng said.
“The move was a key point in my career. Practising taekwondo I recognised that it was my breath, my passion, my life. Only people who do martial arts can understand the feeling of winning. It was great when we won. And that feeling pushed me to practice harder for more victory,” he said.
Five years after that, Hùng made his debut at the 1999 Southeast Asian Games and took gold in the 80kg category.
From that point, he dominated the biennial regional sporting festival until 2007 when he retired from international events.
With five SEA Games golds in a row, a record for the tournament, and his domination at the Southeast Asian taekwondo championship, he was seen as an unbeatable fighter.
“I did not look down on anyone but the SEA Games was small to me,” said Hùng.
“I always targeted gold because I could win there even I had an injured leg. My rivals knew that. They tried to not compete with me or even withdrew ahead of our matches.”
Hùng also made his name in continental competition with a silver from the Busan Asian Games in 2002 and one gold at the 2004 Asian championships.
“Talking is easy but it wasn’t in reality. I had to practise very hard. I trained three times per day. I had no time for my hobbies, no outings or even dating,” said Hùng.
“Being champion in SEA Games and in Asia top group were results that I deserved to have. But I failed at the Olympics.”
Hùng won slots at the Athens and Beijing Olympics in 2004 and 2008 but did not perform well.
“I was an unlucky Olympic competitor. I had a broken arm ahead of Athens and a torn leg ligament prior to Beijing. If not being injured, I could have vied for a berth in the top three,” said Hùng who advanced to the Beijing Olympics’ quarter-finals.
Speaking about Hùng, Trương Ngọc Để, President of Việt Nam Taekwondo Federation, said: “He is the most outstanding athlete of Vietnamese taekwondo in all time. Hùng is hardworking. He practises twice as much as anyone and has never been tired of learning to improve. These characteristics made him an ‘unbeatable fighter’.”
Though he retired from martial arts, these days you can find Hùng on the basketball court.
The 1.95m-tall athlete first touched the orange ball when he was in a training camp with the taekwondo team in HCM City in 2004.
Three years later he joined Joton HCM City and easily found a berth in the first team. He played a key role in the club’s two federation cups in 2010 and 2011 and a national championship trophy in 2014.
The title made him the first Vietnamese athlete to triumph in two different sports, one individual and one team.
Joton folded in 2015 and Hùng was signed to play for Saigon Heat, the first professional Vietnamese basketball team, where he was given the captain’s armband.
Despite being 36 years old, Hùng was a regular face in coach Anthony Garbelotto’s squad due to his height, skills and strong physique.
His performances with Saigon Heat in the ASEAN Basketball League in 2016 and then the Thăng Long Warriors which won the Việt Nam Basketball Association league brought him a national team berth at the 2017 SEA Games.
It was the second time Vietnamese basketball had returned to the regional competition after years of absence. The team finished sixth and Hùng was the first Vietnamese to compete in two sports at the SEA Games.
“It looks different in form of competition but to me, the way of training is the same as we have to train both mental and physical strength,” said Hùng.
Garbelotto said he has never met anyone like Hùng. It was normal to see athletes playing different sports but Hùng was outstanding in both of his disciplines. His professional attitude in training and competing activities made him a good player.
This year, Hùng played 11 matches for Danang Dragons at the VBA and averages 28.8 minutes, 8.3 points and 7 rebounds per match.
“To me, basketball is passion and taekwondo is a career. I hope I can play both as long as I can,” said Hùng.
Hùng has set made targets for both sports at the 31st SEA Games later this year in Việt Nam.
“After times singing the national anthem at the SEA Games. I want to sing it again as the basketball player.
“And my biggest dream is I can coach an athlete who win an Olympic medal in the near future,” said Hùng.
Vietnamese keeper sees value depreciate amid transfer scandal
The value of goalkeeper Dang Van Lam on German football website Transfermarkt has dropped following contract disputes with Thai club Muangthong United.
The ongoing lawsuit between the 27-year-old goalie and Thai club dragged his values from EUR300,000 down to EUR200,000 (over $243,000). The site also changed his status to “without club.”
Muangthong United has submitted the case to FIFA, saying Lam terminated his contract ahead of schedule.
His contract was to have run until November 2021, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Thai League schedule was changed, forcing foreign players to extend their contracts until May 2022. Due to financial crisis, however, the club handed him a 30 percent pay cut without advance notification, according to his agent, Andrey Grushin.
The club said that they do not owe the Vietnamese goalkeeper his salary and accused Lam of being unprofessional by not showing up for training.
Lam and his agent have said they are ready to fight the Thai club in court.
The losing side will face heavy consequences from FIFA. If the Vietnamese goalkeeper lost the lawsuit, he would not only get a fine, but also face four- to six-month suspension for breach of contract. Otherwise, Muangthong United might get relegated.
According to previous reports, Lam had reached preliminary agreement with Japanese J1 League club Cerezo Osaka.
Russian top-flight club FC Dynamo Moscow and Portuguese side Sporting Braga have since also made offers, with Lam unable to fly to Japan to sign the deal due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
In June 2019, Muangthong United bought Lam from Hai Phong FC for $500,000. Since then, he has made 42 appearances over two seasons.
Tet space from bygone era recreated in Hanoi capital
A traditional Tet space has been erected in Tay Ho District of Hanoi, attracting plenty of local residents and tourists as the Lunar New Year festival (Tet) is drawing near.
|The unique space has been recreated recently on An Duong Street of Tay Ho District.|
|An array of peach trees, calligraphic works, kumquat trees, and daisy flowers feature in the space, helping revitalise the space of an old house in Hanoi celebrating Tet.|
|Visitors have the chance to make Chung cake, a sticky rice cake filled with green beans and pork and wrapped in Dong leaves – a delicacy during the Lunar New Year festival.|
|Visitors attempt to cook beans, prepare rice, and wash Dong leaves, before wrapping the cake.|
|Traditional crafts require meticulousness and plenty of skill.|
|The work proves exciting among many visitors.|
|Making Chung cakes proves to be a great experience.|
|An artisan guides visitors on how to cook delicious Chung cakes.|
|The space is open to all and free until the end of January.|
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