return icon Vietnamnet.vn

Epassi turns Thanh Hoa defence around

After a rough 2019 season on the pitch, Thanh Hoa FC have found their feet in the twice-suspended 2020 V.League 1 season, largely thanks to Cameroonian defender Louis Christian Ewonde Epassi.

{keywords}
Louis Christian Ewonde Epassi (left) seen in a recent match for Thanh Hoa in the V.League 1 this year. Photo courtesy of Louis Christian Ewonde Epassi

The 32-year-old is considered one of the top foreign defenders in the national top-flight and has helped his side climb to eighth place in the rankings.

Last season, Thanh Hoa's Achilles' heel was their defence and they were fortunate to win the promotion/relegation playoff against Pho Hien FC to stay in the league.

Seeking to shore up at the back, Epassi was one of the club's first signings in the offseason, and it has proved a shrewd move.

“Thanh Hoa was a new challenge for me, the possibility of showing the whole world what I am worth even more. The club are full of cool leaders, great and sociable players who make you want to fight for them despite some difficulties encountered,” Epassi told Việt Nam News.

“What I know is there are no perfect structures so this club have their advantages and disadvantages like any other club without forgetting some really great fans so I will do my best whenever I had the opportunity to wear the club jersey to defend it with honour and humility,” he added.

Chairman of Thanh Hoa Nguyen Van De said: “Last season, our team had to play in the playoff to stay in the national top-flight league. This was a sad achievement compared to the tradition and potential of the team. Thanh Hoa’s leaders and I personally considered this as a bloody lesson to go again. Certainly, with quality players like Epassi, this season we will do our best to get good rankings.” 

Last season, Epassi was an important player for HCM City FC, as the side finished second in the league and reached the semi-finals of the National Cup.

In 2018, he played for SHB Da Nang in his first season in Vietnamese football, scoring five goals.

Back home in Cameroon, Epassi won the Cameroon Premiere Division on four occasions for Coton Sport FC de Garoua, before heading overseas to further his playing career.

{keywords}
Louis Christian Ewonde Epassi (left) poses with silver medal with HCM City in the V.League 1 last year. Photo courtesy of Louis Christian Ewonde Epassi

Kissing shoes to get luck

Footballers are a superstitious bunch, and Epassi is no exception as he kisses his shoes before training and matches for good luck.

“I have always kissed my shoes before putting them on my feet and stepping on the ground. It marks a very special thing in my life to be grateful to my mom who is the very first person to give me my first football shoes and also asked God to bless and guide me during the training sessions or matches in which I will participate,” Epassi told VNS.

Epassi always thanks his family for supporting him in football.

“I was born in a very modest family. My father worked in a company and my mother worked in the public service (finances). I am the third in a family of seven children. My only brother is today a priest of a Catholic church residing in France and I love my five sisters with all my heart. It is the most beautiful thing that God has given me because without this family I would not know how I am today. They love me and support me in everything, especially in football,” he said.

Like many footballers from Africa, Epassi dreamed of playing abroad and his agent brought him the opportunity.

“My agent, who believed in my qualities, told me that several footballers succeeded in their careers in Vietnam. At that time, I was in top form in the Cameroonian championship. However, I wanted to play in a new environment so I agreed without hesitating. My family also agreed and even encouraged me to go,” he said.

{keywords}
Louis Christian Ewonde Epassi (right) often kisses his shoes before training and competition to hope luck will come to him and his club. Photo goal.com

Epassi said that initially, adapting to the new environment was a struggle.

“Of course at the beginning, I encountered difficulties of the time difference because between Cameroon and Vietnam there is a difference of six hours of time then on certain meals but over time I adapted like a warrior who adapts to the adversities and vagaries of life,” he said.

While Vietnam and Cameroon might be thousands of miles apart, Epassis said he soon saw the two countries had plenty of similarities.

“I would like to note that the Vietnamese culture is very similar to the Cameroonian culture so I took a liking to it immediately.

“The food was sometimes very spicy and sweet at the beginning. But today, Vietnamese food is my favourite dishes, after meals in my country, Cameroon,” said Epassi.  VNS

Thanh Nga

Thanh Hoa FC coach resigns

Thanh Hoa FC coach resigns

Coach Nguyen Thanh Cong expressed his regret at leaving Thanh Hoa FC, having resigned recently after being forced out by the board.

MORE NEWS

Gia Lai province has new Chairman

The Government has confirmed Mr. Truong Hai Long as new Chairman of the Gia Lai provincial People's Committee.

Investors dump shares in panic, VN-Index drops nearly 46 points

The VN-Index officially lost the 1,110-point mark, retreating to the bottom made in February 2021 in the first trading session of October on October 3.

First Vietnam monkeypox case returns from Dubai

The Ministry of Health confirmed on October 3 that a woman returning from Dubai has infected with the monkeypox virus, the first case recorded in Vietnam so far.

Coca-Cola injects US$136 million into Long An plant

Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam Co., Ltd is poised to start development on a beverage factory with total investment capital exceeding US$136 million in Phu An Thanh Industrial Park of Ben Luc district in the southern province of Long An.

List of 48 websites showing signs of law violation announced

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC)’ Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information has announced a list of 48 websites showing signs of law violations as of the end of the third quarter.

Secretary of Hai Duong Provincial Party Committee expelled from Party

The Party Central Committee decided to expel Secretary of the Hai Duong Provincial Party Committee and Chairman of the provincial People’s Council Pham Xuan Thang from the Party during the first working day of its sixth plenum in Hanoi on October 3.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 3

Hanoi seeks UNESCO's recognition for Mo Muong

Seven must-visit destinations in Vietnam for coffee connoisseur

From the 19th century until now, coffee has taken a journey to become an irreplaceable part of Vietnamese culture and life.

Petrol prices fall to over a year record low of VND21,000/litre

Petrol prices tumbled to the lowest level in more than a year in the latest adjustments made on October 3 by the Ministries of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance.

Foreign ODA and concessional loans reach 15.5% of target

Disbursement of foreign official development assistance (ODA) and concessional loans has been slow, achieving only 15.48% of the target, the Ministry of Finance reported.

More foreign visitors to HCMC signals thriving tourist season

Roughly 100 French, American, German tourists traveled to Ho Chi Minh City on French Le Laperouse yacht of Ponant after the last visit in mid-November 2019 signaling a thriving tourist season.

First monkeypox infection detected in HCM City

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health has just announced the first reported case of monkeypox in Vietnam.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS OCTOBER 3

2.97 billion USD in FDI poured into HCM City in 9 months

Trendy jobs in Vietnam

New and fashionable professions are being pursued by many young people. But not everyone is succeeding.

Shooting star targets bright future

After the retirement of senior champions, the Vietnam shooting team is now relying on its younger athletes, such as 18-year-old Phi Thanh Thao, who was recently nominated as Best Young Athlete of 2022 at the prestigious Victory Cup.
back_to_top