Sunday, 29/01/2023 16:35

Strikers Như, Linh shortlisted for Golden Ball award


Striker Huỳnh Như is one of five female players shortlisted for the Golden Ball award. Photo of Lank FC

HÀ NỘI — Striker Huỳnh Như is the favourite to win the Golden Ball award for a record fifth time next month while her male colleague Nguyễn Tiến Linh is expected to win the accolade for the first time in his career.

The organisers of the Golden Ball Award have announced the short list of candidates for the nation's most valuable players of 2022. The awards ceremony will be held on February 25 in HCM City.

Như, currently playing for Portuguese side Lank FC, is one of five players in the Best Female Footballer category. She will vie against goalkeeper Trần Thị Kim Thanh, midfielders Nguyễn Thị Bích Thùy and Trần Thị Thùy Trang of HCM City FC and midfielder Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Dung of Phong phú Hà Nam FC.

Như joined Lank last August and has put in a number of impressive performances since then. The 31-year-old scored five goals and provided two assists for her club in all domestic tournaments. 

Lank recently ranked Như as their third-best player in the 2022-23 season. Earlier, she was voted player of one match of the Portuguese Liga BPI and advanced to the Best XI of the sixth round in November.

Before leaving for the European club, the national team captain led Việt Nam to win the sixth SEA Games title. Under her leadership, Việt Nam secured a place in the finals of the 2023 Women's World Cup.

If Như wins on February 25, she will be the first Vietnamese player to win five times in history. She previously won the award in 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh is expected to win his first Golden Ball statue after his impressive performances in 2022. — VNA/VNS Photo 

On the men's side, Linh of Becamex Bình Dương is shortlisted along with defender Đỗ Hùng Dũng and striker Nguyễn Văn Quyết of Hà Nội FC, midfielder Nguyễn Hoàng Đức of Viettel and goalkeeper Đặng Văn Lâm of Bình Định.

Linh put in some outstanding performances at the AFF Cup which saw Việt Nam finish in second place. He scored six goals to be one of two top scorers. He was the first time Vietnamese player to win this title and was selected in the tournament's Best XI.

Linh was also member of the Việt Nam team that triumphed at the 31st SEA Games.

As well as his international success, Linh was also the second-highest scorer in the 2022 V.League. The Becamex Bình Dương striker finished the season with nine goals.

These achievements have made him a favourite to win the award.

“Being in the top five is a deserved result for all named players. The chance to win is equal between the five who made an individual 'imprint' on their clubs and the national team," said Linh who won a Bronze Ball in 2021.

"The one who wins the Golden Ball will receive sweet recognition for his contribution in 2022. In the previous year, I played different tournaments at both domestic and international levels. I experienced both defeat and success but I always did my best and tried to maintain myself to contribute more for both teams, helped by the support of family, friends and supporters," the 25-year-old said.

In other categories, Khuất Văn Khang (Viettel FC), Nguyễn Phi Hoàng (SHB Đà Nẵng) and Phan Tuấn Tài (Đắk Lắk) are three final candidates for the Best Young Player of 2022.

Teammates Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nhã, Vũ Thị Hoa and Ngân Thị Vạn Sự of Hà Nội are nominated for Best Young Female Player of 2022.

The Best Foreign Player of 2022 candidates are Rimario Allando Gordon (Hải Phòng FC), Lucas Vinicius (Hà Nội FC) and Jermie Dwayne Lynch (Bình Định FC). Gordon was more favoured as he was the best V.League 1 scorer with 17 goals.

In futsal, Khổng Đình Hùng and Lâm Tấn Phát of Sahako FC, Hồ Văn Ý, Nguyễn Mạnh Dũng, Châu Đoàn Phát of Thái Sơn Nam FC will vie for the Golden Ball statue. VNS

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