As expected, midfielder Quoc Anh and goalkeeper Kieu Trinh were announced as the winners of the 2012 Golden Ball titles for Vietnam’s men’s and women’s football teams at a ceremony held yesterday in Ho Chi Minh City.
Anh was moved upon receiving the trophy on the stage of the Army Theater. The 28-year-old left winger said, “I made a detour before winning the title. However I am happy with this achievement.”
This ‘detour’ was the match fixing scandal he was involved in with six other players from the Vietnamese national football team during the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in 2005 in the Philippines.
Anh was suspended for three years and only admitted onto SHB Da Nang FC in 2008 before returning to the national side last year under coach Phan Thanh Hung.
He helped take SHB Da Nang to V-League championship titles in 2009 and 2012 and the Vietnam Cup trophy in 2009.
On the women’s side, goalie Kieu Trinh, 28, who was awarded the Best Player of women’s football in Southeast Asia in 2012, clinched her second consecutive Golden Ball.
She was honored for helping Vietnam claim the championship at the ASEAN Women’s Football Championship in 2012. Trinh also won the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia.
“My dream now is to help Vietnam qualify for the World Cup 2015 finals in Canada,” Trinh said. “Then I will be 30 and fit enough for competition.”
To achieve this goal, Vietnam must strive to top the Asian Cup 2014 group C, which includes Hong Kong, Kyrgyzstan, and host Bahrain. The competition begins on May 22.
The 2012 Silver Ball titles went to Le Tan Tai in men’s football and Le Thi Thuong in women’s football. Nguyen Minh Phuong and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh got the Bronze Ball 2012.
Kieu Trinh (C) receives the Golden Ball 2012 for women's football (Photo: Tuoi Tre)