Will the K-director era begin? Coach Kim Sang-sik Chooses as Head Coach of Vietnam’s National Football Team

April 30, 2024 0 Comments

Vietnam Football Association appoints South Korea’s first head coach in a year.

Coach Kim Sang-sik, who led the K League 1 Jeonbuk Hyundai, is expected to head to Vietnam.

According to Yonhap News on the 29th, head coach Kim Sang-sik negotiated with the Vietnam Football Association and reached an agreement on the appointment of the Vietnamese national soccer team coach.

A soccer industry official said through Yonhap News, “A broad agreement has been reached on the direction of coach Kim Sang-sik to lead the Vietnamese national team,” adding, “I understand that there is only one thing left to coordinate the details.”

Currently, Vietnam is a holiday season that runs until the 1st of next month, Labor Day, and the Vietnam Football Association will officially announce it after the holiday. The contract is said to be two years.

Vietnam has returned to the appointment of a Korean coach a year after head coach Park Hang-seo.

Park, who served as the head coach of the Vietnamese national team in 2017, earned the title of “Vietnam Football” by advancing to the semifinals of the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games and winning the 2018 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup before quitting his job in January last year.

Coach Park Hang-seo, while playing for the A team and the U-23 team, discovered young Vietnamese talents and used them for the A team, which paid off. Nguyen Quang Hai and Nguyen Cong Phuong were called up to the A team immediately after playing as runners-up members of the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship (Asian Cup).

At this time, most of the members joined the A team, and coach Park won Vietnam the AFF Suzuki Cup for the first time in 10 years.

Coach Park’s Vietnam has made great achievements such as advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2019 UAE Asian Cup (the first time to advance to the third round), advancing to the final qualifying round for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, and the runner-up of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup held in January 2023.

However, Vietnam’s rise under former coach Park disappeared after Trussier took the helm in February last year.

On the 26th of last month, Indonesia, led by head coach Shin Tae-yong, lost 0-3 in the fourth Group F match of the 2026 FIFA North and Central America (co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico) World Cup in Asia, and the association eventually replaced former head coach Trustier.

The top two teams in each group will advance to the next stage in the second qualifying round, with Vietnam ranking third in Group F (3 points) and second (7 points), four points behind Indonesia.

Feeling in danger of not making it to the World Cup stage, which the Vietnamese soccer community had longed for, the association looked for a new leader and eventually chose Kim, who had led a professional team until recently.

Kim is a legend of Jeonbuk Hyundai. He moved to Jeonbuk in 2009 and spent the final years of his career there until his retirement in 2013. After working as a playing coach and head coach, he replaced Jose Moraes as Jeonbuk’s head coach in 2021.

In the 2022 season, he won the K League 1, won the FA Cup of the Korea Football Association (currently the Korea Cup) the following year, and advanced to the semifinals of the AFC Champions League.

However, Jeonbuk under Kim Sang-sik was shaken up during the 2023 season, showing its lack of tactical and crisis management skills. It was shaken up with three wins, one draw and six losses in its opening 10 games, and eventually voluntarily resigned in May last year.

Coach Kim, who took a break, will rise to the head coach position again a year after taking the helm of the Vietnamese national team.


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