Goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung, who shot to stardom this year after Vietnam’s historic run at the Asian under-23 football championship, has been invited to present the Man of the Match award in the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 semi-final between England and Croatia.
The award picks the outstanding player in every game of Russia 2018 through an online poll available on FIFA’s official website and mobile app.
Recipients of the award are presented with a tall, red trophy designed by FIFA’s official sponsor, an American brewer.
Bui Tien Dung, 21, has been invited by the sponsor to be in Russia this Thursday to present the Man of the Match award to the best fan-voted player in the semi-final clash between England and Croatia.
Joining him in the VIP section of the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow will be two other Vietnamese football stars, Le Cong Vinh and Ha Duc Chinh, who are both invited to watch the game by the FIFA sponsor.
|Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his Man of the Match trophy after he scored the only goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B match between Portugal and Morocco. Photo: Reuters|
Bui Tien Dung was one of the biggest stars emerging after Vietnam’s second place finish at the 2018 AFC U23 Championship in January thanks to both his skills on the football field and his looks.
The goalie now has over 2.7 million followers on his verified Facebook account, a surge from only a few hundred thousand before the competition in China, where Vietnam lost 1-2 to Uzbekistan in extra time in a memorable snowy finale.
Dung is now playing for local football club FLC Thanh Hoa.
|Vietnamese goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung is pictured during a training session. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Veteran striker Le Vong Vinh earned a record 85 national caps in his career and is Vietnam’s current record holder for goals scored, with 51 shots home for the national team.
Ha Duc Chinh is Dung’s teammate in the Vietnamese U23 national team and was one of the key players of the squad that made history in China.
An impressive England advanced to their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years on Saturday after headers by Harry Maguire and Dele Alli gave them a deserved 2-0 last-eight victory over a disappointing Sweden.
Meanwhile, Croatia beat hosts Russia 4-3 on penalties after the teams drew 2-2 following extra time in their World Cup quarter-final on Sunday.
The teams will clash at 1:00 am on Thursday (Vietnam time) at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, where the victors will go on to face either France or Belgium in the tournament’s final on Sunday.
|Vietnamese goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung (C) stands for the national anthem of Vietnam during the final game of the 2018 AFC U23 Championship in China on January 27, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|