The most outstanding individuals of Vietnam’s 2019 football season will be honoured tonight (May 26) at the Vietnam Golden Ball Awards 2019 gala, scheduled to be held at Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, following a three-month delay due to COVID-19.

The award ceremony had initially been planned for February 13, 2020, prior to the launch of the LS V.League 1-2020. However, due to the impact of the coronavirus disease, all sporting activities, including football, were simultaneously suspended in the country’s joint efforts to contain the pandemic. Three days ago, football events officially resumed in Vietnam, much to the excitement of players and fans, with the opening clash of the 2020 National Cup between Nam Dinh FC and Hoang Anh Gia Lai. It is a testament to the fact that the Government and people of Vietnam have successfully controlled COVID-19 in their own way, and also shows the great efforts made by the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), the Vietnam Professional Football Company (VPF) and clubs in proactively preparing for the return of football events. In such an exciting atmosphere, the Vietnam Golden Ball Awards 2019 gala promises to be a highlight attracting the attention of football fans.

The annual awards feature six prize categories, including the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ball for men; the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ball for women; the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ball for futsal players (men only); the best foreign player; the best young male player, and the best young female player.

The organising committee have announced a shortlist of candidates for each category, with Hanoi FC (men), Ho Chi Minh City FC (women) and Thai Son Nam Club (futsal) standing out following their exceptional results in the 2019 season. Last year, Hanoi FC lifted the V.League trophy for the fifth time in history, while Thai Son Nam club claimed their 10th national futsal title. Meanwhile, HCM City continued to maintain their superior power regarding women’s football.

As of now, Pham Thanh Luong (Hanoi FC, men) and Doan Thi Kim Chi (HCM City, women) are dominating the Golden Ball tally with four each. Concerning Luong’s elder generation, former national team forward Le Huynh Duc took the honour three times (1995, 1997 and 2002), but left a great impression as the first player to be honoured with the Vietnam Golden Ball since the awards were launched by Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper in 1995. Former striker Le Cong Vinh was also named winner three times, in 2004, 2006 and 2007, with former midfielder Nguyen Hong Son having won twice, in 1998 and 2000.

Hanoi FC midfielder Do Hung Dung, captain of the Vietnam U22 team that won the 2019 SEA Games men's football gold medal, is the odds-on favourite for the 2019 Vietnam Golden Ball title.

There are ten others who have been honoured once, Vo Hoang Buu (1996), Vo Van Hanh (2001), Pham Van Quyen (2003), Phan Van Tai Em (2005), Duong Hong Son (2008), Nguyen Minh Phuong (2010), Huynh Quoc Anh (2012), Nguyen Anh Duc (2015), Dinh Thanh Trung (2017) and Nguyen Quang Hai (2018).

Regarding the women’s category, former captain of the national team, Doan Thi Kim Chi, stands out as a four-time Golden Ball winner (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009), followed by another talent of Vietnamese football, former national team keeper Dang Thi Kieu Trinh (2011, 2012 and 2017). Midfielder Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung, the contemporary star of the Vietnamese women’s team, has been honoured twice, in the 2014 and 2018 seasons.

Since 2001, when the Golden Ball (Women) category was included in the Vietnam Golden Ball Awards programme (Luu Ngoc Mai is the first recipient), a total of 11 players have won the prize. In addition to Kim Chi, Kieu Trinh and Tuyet Dung, some other players have taken the honour once, namely Luu Ngoc Mai, Nguyen Thi Kim Hong, Van Thi Thanh, Tran Thi Kim Hong, Dao Thi Mien, Do Thi Ngoc Cham, Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet and Huynh Nhu

As for the Golden Ball title for futsal, this is the fourth year that futsal has been included among the Vietnam Golden Ball Awards categories. The previous winners, including Tran Van Vu, Phung Trong Luan and Vu Quoc Hung, have all deserved their votes of high confidence from the voting panel. They were part of the Vietnamese team that competed in the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup, and have been the mainstay of the national squad in recent years.

The gala night of the Vietnam Golden Ball Awards 2019 will be broadcast live on Vietnam Television channel VTV6 and mobile app VTV Sports from 8pm to 9.30pm tonight (May 26).

Candidates for 2019 Vietnam Golden Ball Awards

1. Golden Ball for Men

– Do Hung Dung (Hanoi FC)

– Nguyen Quang Hai (Hanoi FC)

– Doan Van Hau (Heerenveen SC)

– Nguyen Trong Hoang (Hanoi FC)

– Nguyen Van Quyet (Hanoi FC)

2. Golden Ball for Women

– Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung (Phong Phu Ha Nam FC)

– Chuong Thi Kieu (Ho Chi Minh City FC)

– Huynh Nhu (Ho Chi Minh City FC)

– Tran Thi Kim Thanh (Ho Chi Minh City FC)

– Pham Hai Yen (Hanoi FC)

3. Futsal Golden Ball

– Pham Duc Hoa (Thai Son Nam Club)

– Tran Thai Huy (Thai Son Nam Club)

– Nguyen Minh Tri (Thai Son Nam Club)

– Tran Van Vu (Thai Son Nam Club)

– Ho Van Y (Thai Son Nam Club)

4. Best Young Player (Men)

– Nguyen Hoang Duc (Viettel FC)

– Doan Van Hau (Heerenveen SC)

– Nguyen Van Toan (Hai Phong FC)

– Tran Danh Trung (Viettel FC)

5. Best Young Player (Women)

– Nguyen Thi Tuyet Ngan (Ho Chi Minh City FC)

– Cu Thi Huynh Nhu (Ho Chi Minh City FC)

– Ngan Thi Van Su (Hanoi FC)

6. Best Foreign Player

– Bruno Cantanhede (Viettel FC)

– Memovic Damir (Song Lam Nghe An FC)

– Pape Omar Faye (Hanoi FC)

Source: NDO

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