V.League 1 club Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) have signed free agent former national team and Becamex Binh Duong striker Nguyen Anh Duc.
Striker Nguyen Anh Duc will play for Hoang Anh Gia Lai. – Photo baogiaothong.vn
According to team manager Nguyen Tan Anh, Duc was in Pleiku City, Gia Lai Province yesterday afternoon for his first training session with HAGL.
“Chairman of HAGL, Doan Nguyen Duc personally recruited Anh Duc and he agreed,” Anh said.
“Anh Duc has experience. We have just tested him and he proved that his fitness is still very good. With his presence, we hope HAGL's attack will be improved," Anh added.
Anh Duc played for Binh Duong for 13 years, before leaving the team after the 2019 season. He had been without a club since.
While playing for Binh Duong, he scored 116 goals in 335 games and helped his team win the V.League 1 in 2007, 2008, 2014 and 2015; the National Cup in 2015 and 2018; and reach the semi-finals of the AFC Cup in 2009.
He won the Vietnamese Golden Ball award in 2015 as well as the Vietnamese Silver Ball award in 2017. He was the top scorer in the top flight in 2017.
Despite not playing for any teams since early this year, Anh Duc continued training with the goal of continuing to play club football. He retired from international duty late last year.
“HAGL need a class striker with experience to compete in the second phase of the national premier league. Anh Duc meets these factors, so I brought him back," chairman Nguyen Duc told laodong.vn.
HAGL have only scored nine goals in nine matches this season, with Jamaican striker Chevaughn Walsh contributing four of them.
Anh Duc is 35 years old but is still a threat in the penalty box, especially in the air.
HAGL will complete procedures to sign Anh Duc when the Vietnamese football transfer market opens on July 21, meaning he can make his debut against Thanh Hoa on July 23.
“I feel respectful when wearing the HAGL jersey. I'm fine and I can play for a few more years, why can’t I play again?" said Anh Duc.
“There are many teams that have been pursuing me for a long time, I was also preparing for my comeback. Chairman (Nguyen) Duc made an invitation, so I considered it carefully. Before that, I wanted to play close to home, take care of my family and manage my business," Anh Duc said.
He has experience playing with some of HAGL's stars like midfielders Nguyen Tuan Anh and Luong Xuan Truong, striker Nguyen Van Toan and defender Nguyen Phong Hong Duy for the national team.
Anh Duc cemented his status as a Vietnamese football legend when he scored the only goal in the second leg of the final of the AFF Cup 2018 to help Vietnam beat Malaysia to take the title.
The forward is also a success off the pitch as a prosperous businessman with the Anh Duc Sports trademark and is considered one of the richest footballers in the country. VNS
Striker Nguyen Anh Duc played his final match for the national team when Vietnam drew with Thailand on Tuesday night in Hanoi.
Veteran striker Nguyen Anh Duc scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner to give Vietnam a nail-biting 1-0 victory over Thailand in their 2019 King’s Cup encounter at Chang Arena in Buriram on June 5 night.