Ho Chi Minh City football club to sign former Man Utd midfielder this week

The club also invited a former head coach of Vietnam’s national squad to take their helm

Rodrigo Possebon of Manchester United clashes with Mohamed Shawky and Gary O'Neil of Middlesbrough during the Carling Cup third round match between Manchester United and Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on September 23 2008 in Manchester, England. Photo: AFP

Ho Chi Minh City F.C. have reached an agreement to have a former Manchester United midfielder on their squad to realize the goal of becoming one of Vietnam’s top three football clubs.

No details about the terms, transaction fee and wage in the contract between the Ho Chi Minh City-based club and Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Pereira Possebon have been disclosed so far.

However, former Vietnamese international Le Cong Vinh, acting chairman of Ho Chi Minh City F.C., asserted on Sunday that as a known player, “Possebon will certainly receive a much higher wage than other foreign footballers who have played in Vietnam.”

Vinh, who started taking charge of the chairmanship at the club in the 2017 season, revealed further that the Brazilian will arrive in Vietnam this Thursday for the official contract signing.

Possebon, who turns 29 this February, was recruited by Manchester United in 2008, but eventually made only three appearances with the English Premier League side in the 2008-09 season.

The midfielder had his debut with the Red Devils after substituting legendary player Ryan Giggs from the bench in a clash with Newcastle on August 17, 2008.

Possebon won his first FA Cup cap on February 13, 2009, coming on as a 72nd-minute substitute for Cristiano Ronaldo in a Fifth Round fixture with Derby County.

He was part of the Manchester United squad that won the 2008 FA Community Shield and the 2009 League Cup.

The player then went on loan to Braga of Portugal for the first half of the 2009-10 season and later joined various clubs before agreeing to the Ho Chi Minh City F.C. deal in 2018.

As he was born to an Italian father, Possebon was called up to Italy Under-20s, playing one match for them in 2009.

This signing is the latest piece of evidence to show that Ho Chi Minh City F.C. are determined to emerge as new heavyweights in V-League 1, the country’s top-tier football league.

The previous measures to realize the dream include appointing former star striker Le Cong Vinh as their acting chairman, buying a number of good players, rebuilding the restrooms and locker room for their stadium and setting up a ‘trophy room’ to honor Ho Chi Minh City football history.

On top of these, Ho Chi Minh City F.C. earlier this year also signed a two-year contract with Japanese coach Toshiya Miura, who led the Vietnamese national and U-23 squads from 2014 to early 2016.

Ho Chi Minh City F.C. only returned to the top-flight V-League 1 in the 2017 season and could barely make it to the 12th out of 14 places.

Challenges are therefore waiting ahead for Vinh and his club to finish the 2018 season in the top three, even with reinforcement from coach Miura and the former Manchester United midfielder.

Former Vietnam's head coach Toshiya Miura (left) watches a match of Ho Chi Minh City FC.
Former Vietnam head coach Toshiya Miura (left) watches a match of Ho Chi Minh City F.C. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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