“Who is Park Hang-seo?”
▲ Coach Park Hang-seo returning to Vietnam in glory
This year, the Asian Games were held in Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia from August 18th to September 2nd. The soccer competition especially caught people’s attention. Korea won the gold medal, followed by Japan with the silver medal. In the bronze medal match, the United Arab Emirates defeated Vietnam 4-3, so Vietnam got fourth place. Vietnam competed against Korea in a semifinal game.
This is the first time Vietnam has received fourth place at the Asian Games. The people of Vietnam are so enthusiastic. Park Hang-seo is at the center of this output of enthusiasm and support. It is common to see Vietnamese people holding his picture and cheering. He made history with Vietnam soccer.
Then, who is Park Hang-seo? He was a soccer player and is now a coach of the Vietnam National Soccer team. In 1981, he first became a Korean soccer player and played for 7 years. After he retired, he took an active part as a soccer trainer and coach. Also, he worked as a coach with Hiddink for the 2002 FIFA World cup. He served as a coach for many Korean teams from 2005 to 2015.
In 2017, Park Hang-seo was inaugurated as a coach of the Vietnam National soccer team and the youth football team. After only four months on the team, their team reached the finals of the AFC U-23 Championship, which was a first for Southeast Asian countries. This Asian Games result was also unprecedented. So, he was called “the Hero” for his excellent achievements. He got a badge from the Vietnam Government. Vietnam gave him credit for his contribution as he was a big influence to Vietnam soccer.
After he began coaching, the nutrition level of Vietnam soccer players increased. Their diet was changed to become more protein rich, such as adding more meat and milk. He also changed Vietnam’s soccer strategy. His thoughtful care for the players is enough for him to be seen as a “Father” to Vietnam soccer players. These efforts became nourishment to Vietnam soccer as if by magic. Even now, Vietnamese people are still heated up about the Asian Games.
On September 3, he came back to Vietnam. Tens of thousands of fans were there to welcome their team. Although Vietnam finished fourth in the Asian Games, they have another championship coming up. This is the Suzuki cup, sponsored by Japan’s big company. The Suzuki cup will be held on November 8; 11 countries from Southeast Asia will participate. Vietnam is in the same group with Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. So, the Vietnam National soccer team is going to do off-season training at the Paju National Football Center (NFC) in Korea for 10 days on October 17-27. Friendly matches against Korean league teams are planned. Park Hang-seo expressed his gratitude to the Vietnamese people for their encouragement and passion. Hopefully he continues to develop Vietnam soccer.
Park-Seon gyeong firstname.lastname@example.org
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