By Park Hye Ri and Kim Minji
Photos = Viet Nam Government Portal
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Dec. 11 invited Park Hang-seo, head coach of the Vietnamese men’s soccer team, and the U-22 men’s squad to the prime minister’s official residence in Hanoi, according to Viet Nam Government Portal.
“Each player has brought glory to his motherland,” Phuc said, referring to the U-22 team’s gold medal won on Dec. 10 in the final of the Southeast Asian Games, the Vietnamese men’s first in the 60-year history of the tournament, adding, “(They) contributed to Vietnam’s brilliance.”
The Vietnamese women’s national team and its coach Mai Duc Chung were also invited to the event.
“This victory is not just a sports victory but also a victory for the patriotism, spirit and solidarity of Vietnam,” he said. “I hope this victory serves as a strong inspiration for economic, cultural and social development so that we can all help make Vietnam a more developed country.”
Phuc praised coaches Park and Duc, saying, “(The two coaches) utilized rational strategies and selected the proper lineups by thoroughly analyzing their opponent in every game.”
Park said, “Given the six titles won by the (Vietnamese) national women’s team, the men, who had never won, all knew the importance of the Southeast Asian Games,” adding, “There was heavy psychological pressure but (the team) achieved complete victory thanks to the Vietnamese spirit.”
“The prime minister and the people of Vietnam were always with the national team,” he said.
“I dedicate this honor to the Vietnamese people.”