Karl Fredrik "Freddie" Ljungberg, the former Swedish and Arsenal winger, had an online talk with Tuoi Tre readers today, June 4, during his one-day visit to Ho Chi Minh City as the Arsenal Ambassador.
The show started at 10:30am at Tuoi Tre’s headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City.
He was welcomed by hundreds of local fans, an "amazing reception that touched me deeply," he admitted.
The 36-year-old winger took several questions out of some 1,000 he received from the newspaper’s readers.
Below is the online dialogue.
* Fredrik Ljungberg, could you tell me what is the motivation that enabled you to stay as long as nine years with Arsenal?
(Ngo Hoai Nam, HCMC)
The motivation that kept me staying with Arsenal for 18 years is that it is one of the three biggest clubs of the Europe. I have received many invitations from other clubs but I found no reason to leave this amazing club.
* In your point of view, can Arsenal achieve more trophies without buying more high-quality players?
(Vu Nhat Minh, HCMC)
Arsenal had several victories last season, and I do not know much about their transfer policy next season. But I do hope they will be the champions.
* Prior to the Vietnam trip, did you know anything about Vietnamese football? In your opinion, what the country’s football should do for a sustainable development?
(Tran Duc Su, HCMC)
I was here 18 years ago. I had two weeks playing for my Swedish team with the national teams of Thailand and Vietnam. It’s hard for me to say how Vietnamese football can develop. But one of the possibilities is to play hard and believe in yourselves.
* Hi Ljungberg, I have been a fan since you joined Arsenal. Could you tell us what the best and worst moments of your career were?
(Duong Trnong Nghia, Tien Giang)
Best moment, it was the awesome time when Arsenal won the double trophies. And the worst, it was when we lost to Barcelona at the Champions League final.
* What do you think of the policy of spending large sums of money on buying high-quality players in the search of trophies?
(Duong Van Pho, HCMC)
Today in Europe, football is a big business, and it’s normal for clubs to spend money to attract players. The market decides and you cannot control it.
* I love Arsenal. I love your generation. I love Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, and especially you, so much. When you played for Arsenal, I noticed that you constantly changed your hair colors. Did this bring you luck?
(Pham Hong Cam, Nam Dinh)
I hope so (laugh). My parents used to tell me, “You must be responsible for what you do”. I always remember it when I changed my hair colors sometimes. But now I’m old, there is no hair left.
* Have you ever thought that perhaps one day, you could follow Mr. Arsene Wenger to be the manager of Arsenal?
(Nguyen Khoi Nguyen, Long An)
Whenever someone asks me this question, I feel honored. Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson are the best coaches of the world. But I think it’ll be amazing if he will stay with Arsenal in the long future.
* How is life after your retirement from football?
(Nguyen Quoc Thanh, An Giang)
It’s amazing. I traveled a lot and had many great meetings like the talk today. I also had more time for my family and do things I was not allowed to do when I was still playing football. Of course when I watch some football games, I do miss the old days.
* What do you think about Thierry Henry? Was he one of your best teammates?
(Bao Nguyen, HCMC)
Yes, Henry is definitely one of my best teammates. He’s a great finisher.
* Arsene Wenger usually loses his temper during the matches. Has he ever felt angry towards you when you were playing for Arsenal? What do you love most about him?
(Tran Dinh Hoan, HCMC)
We all lose temper sometimes. Wenger does too, mostly in the locker room, but it’s the job of a coach.
* Which goalkeepers you fear the most?
I don’t think we should fear any opponents. It only makes you weaker. I think Manchester United’s Peter Schmeichel, and David Seaman and Jens Lehmann of Arsenal are good goalies.
* Will you let your kids follow football or ask them to go to college?
I love football and of course if my children want to play football, I’ll be a great supporter. But I think it’d better if you have another profession for backup.
* Do you want your children to play for Arsenal, and what if they want to play for other greater clubs?
It’d be a great yes if they want to play for clubs other than Arsenal.