‘1951 Days’ longest running manager…Park Hang-seo’s ‘beautiful farewell’ that changed the history of Vietnamese football

The ‘Last Dance’ is over. Over the past five years under coach Park Hang-seo, the history of Vietnamese football has been rewritten.

The Vietnam national football team led by coach Park Hang-seo lost 0-1 in the second leg of the 2022 AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Mitsubishi Electric Cup final against Thailand held at Thammasat Stadium in Pathum Thani, Thailand on the 16th (Korean time). 

Vietnam, which drew 2-2 in the first leg of the final held in Vietnam three days ago, conceded the first goal and lost with a total score of 2-3, remaining in the runner-up.

In the first leg three days ago, Vietnam continued to allow attacks on Thailand’s ace Bunmatan’s accurate passing quality and conceded two away goals. 

Although he stayed in the runner-up in the last tournament, Park Hang-seo’s five years changed the history of Vietnamese football. 

Park Hang-seo made a name for himself as a head coach assisting coach Guus Hiddink during the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, then coached the Korean U23 national team, and worked as a professional coach at Gyeongnam, Jeonnam, and Sangju Sangmu. 메이저사이트

He took over as manager of the Changwon City Hall football team in 2017, but his performance was not good. Then he made a choice that changed his life. 

In September 2017, Park Hang-seo, who was appointed as the head coach of the Vietnam national team A and the U23 national team, spent a year that will remain as a leader in 2018. 

The start was the 2018 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) U23 Football Championship, which led the U23 national team. In this tournament, Hang-Seo Park succeeded in advancing to the finals for the first time in the history of Vietnamese football in an AFC-sponsored competition. In the final, he lost to Uzbekistan after extra time, but it marked the beginning of a change in the history of Vietnamese football. 

In August, a new history was written in Indonesia. In the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games men’s soccer event, Park Hang-seo-ho advanced to the Asian Games semifinals for the first time since the unification of Vietnam. He lost to South Korea in the quarterfinals and the United Arab Emirates in the third and fourth place matches, but Vietnam was in trouble. 

The last of 2018 was the Suzuki Cup (now the Mitsubishi Electric Cup). Park Hang-seo, who led the adult national team, called up the aces of the U23 national team, such as Nguyen Kong Phuong and Nguyen Quang Hai, and they reigned as aces in the A national team. 

As a result, Vietnam defeated Malaysia in the final and won the AFF tournament for the first time in 10 years. At this time, Vietnam also reached a historic moment by ranking 100th in the FIFA (International Football Federation) ranking. 

Director Park rose to the ranks of Vietnam’s ‘national hero’, and at the end of the year, polling agency Realmeter’s ‘Best Person of the Year’ poll, he ranked second after then-President Moon Jae-in, receiving great attention in Korea.

Afterwards, in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, he succeeded in advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time in history, and the FIFA ranking jumped to 99th. At the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines, he won the first gold medal after the unification of Vietnam. 

Director Park, who renewed a 2 + 1 year contract with Vietnam in November 2019 ahead of the contract expiration in January 2020, was selected as the AFF’Director of the Year’ around that time and was recognized for his contributions.

In the second qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he led Vietnam to second place in Group G and succeeded in advancing to the final qualifying round for the first time in his history. Although they were defeated in the first round of the final qualifying round, they won 3-1 against China in February of last year and won their first A-match victory against China. In the away game in Japan, they recorded a 1-1 draw and embarrassed Japan. 

Park Hang-seo, who succeeded in winning two consecutive Southeast Asian Games in May last year, bid farewell to Vietnam with the contract expiring in January 2023 ahead of this tournament. 

Although they finished runner-up in the last tournament, Hang-Seo Park reigned as one of the strongest teams in Southeast Asia, boasting an overwhelming ability to score no goals in the group stage of 3 consecutive AFF tournaments. 

Vietnam, which was 134th in the FIFA rankings at the time of his appointment, showed a steep rise to 96th in December last year after Park Hang-seo took office. 

The influence that Park Hang-seo had on the Vietnamese football world was also on the players. After encouraging him to advance abroad, he went to Cong Phuong on loan to Incheon United, and then to Sint Trawiddon in Belgium.

Quang Hai currently plays for French Ligue 2 club Four FC. In this transfer market, several Vietnamese players are gaining experience in various overseas stages such as Korea and Japan, such as Van Toan’s transfer to K-League 2 Seoul E-Land.

Park Hang-seo, who completely changed Vietnamese football, now ends his contract on January 31st, ending his journey as the longest-serving coach in history for 5 years and 4 months, 1951 days.

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