Czech-Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyen hopes to return home and play for the national team in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers later this year.
|Czech-Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyen hopes to play for the national team in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Photo oxii.vn|
In a recent online interview with Vietnam Television (VTV), Nguyen said he is still carrying out the naturalisation process to fulfil his dream of playing for his country of descent.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, European teams have to take a break, including the Czech First League, forcing Nguyen to train at home.
This unexpected break is also an opportunity for him to learn more about the Vietnamese team and the goalkeeper said he studied the side's style of play under coach Park Hang-seo.
The 27-year-old said he tried to find out all matches of the Vietnamese team on the internet. He once came back to Vietnam and watched a game at My Dinh National Stadium.
Nguyen, born to a Czech mother and a Vietnamese father (who was born in the northern port city of Hai Phong), is 1.91m tall – an ideal height for a goalkeeper.
He plays for Sloven Liberec, one of the most successful teams in the Czech Republic with three league titles in the Czech First League and one Czech Cup win since 1993.
He played 22 out of 24 matches for his club last season and has a total of 58 appearances for Sloven Liberec, conceding 59 goals with 22 clean sheets.
As a young player, Nguyen trained at the ABC Branik Praha Football Institute and used to play for AC Sparta Praha, who have competed in the UEFA Champions League many times.
While goalkeeper Dang Van Lam is having a hard time in Muangthong United in Thailand, Nguyen is speeding up the completion of legal procedures to help South Korean coach Park have more options for the World Cup qualifiers and AFF Cup.
Reportedly, the Vietnam Football Federation is working to help Nguyen complete the naturalisation process to help him soon have the opportunity to prove his talent with the national team.
According to former V.League 1 coach Doan Minh Xuong, not making use of naturalised players would be wasteful.
“The strength of the Vietnamese team will be multiplied if they have more outstanding players,” said Xuong.
“Of course, the final selection will be entirely decided by coach Park. But the more good players there are, the greater the competition in the team is. Nguyen is a very talented and excellent goalkeeper. So if he is naturalised to play for Vietnam, it will be great,” Xuong added. VNS
The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) is completing the paperwork to grant Vietnamese citizenship to Czech-Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyen.
At the beginning of June, the national senior team and the U23 squad will all gather to prepare for their important goals in 2019.