- Arsenal visitors impressed with VN13:59 | 16/07/2013
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was impressed with the Vietnamese football fans and believed that the sport’s popularity in Viet Nam would grow stronger in the future.
Wenger and two players, Mike Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, yesterday took part in a press conference prior to the start of their match against the national team of Viet Nam tomorrow in Ha Noi.
The French coach sent his greetings to Vietnamese fans and expressed happiness for his first-ever visit to a country he has loved since childhood.
He said Viet Nam has made remarkable advances in the sport recently and continues to progress everyday. Viet Nam has a qualified youth training system which is an important element in the nation’s continued development of the sport.
He said Viet Nam already has many talented players, so it is important to also find good coaches.
He also believed that in the next five to 10 years Viet Nam’s national football team would become stronger in international competitions if it continues to receive strong and adequate support.
He suggested that Viet Nam could model themselves after the Japan league in order to bring the sport to the next level.
Wenger said Arsenal was the first club from the English Premier League to visit Viet Nam and hoped that the visit would leave beautiful memories behind for the local people once the team returned home.
He said his team was excited to play against Viet Nam’s team and that match would be difficult but impressive.
Viet Nam head coach Hoang Van Phuc, striker Le Cong Vinh and captain Le Tan Tai also participated in the press conference.
Phuc said his team would not lose as many goals to Arsenal as Indonesia’s Dream Team had on Sunday in Jarkata.
In response, Wenger joked that the Vietnamese coach spoke quickly and he hoped that Viet Nam’s team would not play as rapidly as that.
Arsenal midfielder Arteta said he was impressed with the frenetic welcome given to his team at the airport by Vietnamese fans.
His teammate Chamberlain added that Vietnamese fans were unbelievable, and that he felt a little pressure and promised to play his best in the coming match.
Arsenal arrived in Ha Noi earlier yesterday with an 80 strong squad, including 24 players, and will stay for three days at Ha Noi’s Intercontinental Hotel in Tay Ho District.
A fitness centre has been installed for the team to utilise during their stay, while some of the city’s finest chefs have been assigned to work with the club’s nutritional experts to prepare their meals.
During their stay, the players take part in a number of activities including visits to Tran Quoc Pagoda, Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for blind students and Hoan Kiem Lake.
Today the team will meet and talk with some of the talented young players from Hoang Anh Gia Lai-Arsenal JMG, a football academy sponsored and run by Arsenal and the privately owned Vietnamese corporation Hoang Anh Gia Lai.
The players will warm up at an open door training session later in the afternoon, when fans can go to meet and chat with them.
The match between Arsenal and Viet Nam’s national team will kick off at 7pm tomorrow. It will also be broadcast live on VTV channels.
Roughly 2,000 security guards are deployed during the teams stay in the capital city, focusing on the match.
Before they arrived in Viet Nam, Arsenal played the first match of their Asia tour against Indonesia, who they defeated 7-0.
In 1996 Juventus played in Ha Noi and defeated the host 2-1. Eight years later Porto were invited to play at the Viet Nam Football Federation Cup. They came to the tournament with a B team, winning 2-1 over Viet Nam. Barcelona also came to the capital city in 2005 for the Honda Cup. They lost 0-1.
Other clubs to play in Viet Nam include Olympic Finland, Olympiakos from Greece and Eintracht Frankfurt, a German Bundesliga team.
According to VNS
Portrait of famous people
- Le Huynh Duc is former captain of Vietnamese national Football team. He is currently coaching SHB Ðà Nẵng.
- Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is to retire at the end of the season.
- Striker Le Cong Vinh is playing for SLNA
- Lionel Messi became the best scorer in a year with 91 goals in 2012.