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Midfielder Thai Quy a rising star

Truong Van Thai Quy may have only come on for the final minutes of normal time in the National Cup Final, but the midfielder made a huge impact.

Midfielder Truong Van Thai Quy of Hanoi FC seen in the recent National Cup’s final. — Photo

The 23-year-old Hanoi FC midfielder scored one goal and assisted another to make sure his side came from behind and lifted the trophy with a 2-1 win on September 20.

Though favoured against capital rivals Viettel thanks to their star power, Hanoi found themselves a goal down in the 75th minute after Nguyen Hoang Duc's cutback allowed Tran Ngoc Son to score.

The late goal put Hanoi in danger of losing the final at their home ground of Hang Day Stadium, but Quy wasn't about to let that happen.

Six minutes after the opening goal, Nguyen Thanh Chung used his chest to knock a lofted ball down into the path of Quy, who smashed an unstoppable drive into the net.

Hanoi's players regained their self-confidence after the equaliser and put tremendous pressure on their rival’s defence.

Quy was involved with the winning goal as well, using his head to tee up star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai to volley into the net in the 88th minute, securing the 2-1 win for Hanoi.

The defending V.League 1 champions have had many key players injured, giving opportunities for young players like Bui Hoang Viet Anh, Le Van Xuan, Dau Van Toan and Quy.

“With a team with a lot of stars, I always have to try harder every time I go on the pitch as well as in training so that the coaching staff can realise my ability,” said Quy.

“I myself always learn from better players to make me better,” Quy added.

Difficult childhood

Quy is the youngest in a family of six siblings from Dong Ha City, Quang Tri Province. His father was a security guard while his mother had no stable job. The family's income was precarious. So, from a young age, Quy had to help support his family.

Accustomed to farming and manual labour, at only 12 years old Quy could carry a bag of rice weighing up to 50kg. After hours of hard work, he spent his free time playing football with friends in the fields covered with straw.

Although Quy’s parents had financial difficulties, they didn’t oppose their son chasing a career in football. At the age of 12, Quy failed to win a spot at the renowned Hoang Anh Gia Lai – Arsenal JMG Academy after a trial.

Later, after learning that the Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talent (PVF) Football Training Centre was taking on young platers, Quy’s mother helped him get a trial and when she learned that it went well, she was also the most enthusiastic supporter of her son.

At the age of 13, Quy started training in HCM City. But his biggest difficulty was still overcoming the tough tests of the PVF.

The turning point came for Quy in the final round of the National U13 Football Championship 2010 when he helped Quang Tri win the championship. After that, Quy won the championship at the national U15, U17 and U19 levels, and opened the door to the national U19 team.

Midfielder Truong Van Thai Quy hopes to be called to the senior team in the upcoming time. — Photo

Doors to national teams

Thanks to his good physical qualities and tactical acumen, Quy quickly proved his prowess.

Under the guidance of coach Hoang Anh Tuan, Quy and the national U19 team reached the semi-finals of the AFC U19 Championship 2016 and won a spot at the FIFA U20 World Cup 2017. But during a training camped in Germany, Quy got injured and missed the tournament, to his great regret.

Thanks to being trained at the PVF and his obvious quality, Quy quickly caught the eye of senior national team coach Park Hang-seo.

The player from Quang Tri was named in the U23 list that made history in the AFC U23 Championship 2018 in which Vietnam were the runners-up. However, Luong Xuan Truong and Pham Duc Huy had a firm grip on the two central midfield spots, so Quy mostly watched from the bench.

In the qualifying round of AFC U23 Championship 2020 in March last year, Quy really shone. In the opening match against Brunei, Quy performed extremely impressively to help Vietnam win 6-0.

In the match against Thailand, Quy and Viet Hung played extremely well, contributing to Vietnam's historic 4-0 victory over their bitter rivals.

Late last year, although Quy was only a reserve player in the line-up of U22 national team competing in the Southeast Asian Games but every time he entered the field, he played well, and then he and his teammates won the SEA Games gold medal after 60 years of waiting.

According to Quy, his biggest goal at present is to be called up to the national senior team.

That goal may be closer than ever, as coach Park was in the stands at the National Cup final and saw Quy's stellar performance. VNS

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