“It’s not sad that we lost to Thailand. Parting with the director Park Hang-seo, whom I love, is just heartbreaking.”
“It feels like saying goodbye to my father or teachers.”
“Thank you for raising the level of Vietnamese football over the past five years. Happy New Year and be happy anytime, anywhere.”
The 2022 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Cup, which ended on the 16th in Korean time, ended the five-year partnership with coach Park Hang-seo and Vietnam. Vietnamese fans as well as Korean soccer fans hoped that Coach Park’s ‘Last Dance’ would end in victory, but their wishes did not come true.
The final against Thailand was a close match. In the first leg in Hanoi, Thailand and Vietnam drew 2-2. In the second match held in Thailand on the 16th, Vietnam needed an unconditional victory. This is because in the case of a 0-0 or 1-1 tie, Thailand took the championship cup according to the away goals principle.
However, Vietnam, who scored the opening goal in Thailand, made mistakes every time they had a chance and were unable to score an equalizer. Vietnam, which fell behind by a total of 2-3 in the first and second games, had to look with envy at Thailand’s second consecutive victory. And this match was the last tournament coach Park Hang-seo led the Vietnamese national soccer team.
Coach Park expressed his feelings after the tournament. “I’m comfortable with the thought that it’s over, but I’m also sad, sorry, and hurt. However, there are encounters and partings in life, and it was an inevitable choice for Vietnamese football. It’s time for a new change for me too. I made a difficult decision.”
When he left for Vietnam, Park’s situation was not all good. He was even treated as a ‘outdated manager’ who went down to the 3rd division in Korea. It is also true that when he was appointed to Vietnam, there were voices of criticism saying, “Why did you bring in such a coach?”
However, Vietnam, which was ranked 136th in the FIFA rankings before Park’s appointment, now ranks 96th, jumping 40 places in the rankings. He garnered the support of his players through his characteristic ‘papa leadership’. There are as many as three medals awarded to coach Park by the Vietnamese government.
Director Park and Vietnam did not sign a 5-year contract from the beginning. There was a point in the middle where the contract expired. Director Park recalled, “I never thought I would be in Vietnam for five years.” By the time his first contract expired, Park was already a star in Vietnam. ‘Leave while applauding’ was the torch from the people around. It was a worrying advice that if his contract is extended once and the results are not compared to the past, even the career he built with difficulty in the second half of his managerial career could be ruined. Even they saw that Park’s splendid winning rally would be difficult to sustain.
However, coach Park developed his team at a faster pace after the difficult ‘decision to renew the contract’. Leading the Vietnamese team to the final qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be seen as one of Park’s greatest achievements. This is because it is a strong sign that the Vietnamese team, which stayed at the level of Southeast Asia, has been raised to the level of the best in Asia.
It’s not that it’s not sad that it’s a planned breakup. Many fans who loved Park Hang-seo are expressing their regret. Local articles announcing Park’s breakup have thousands of comments. Most said, “I don’t want to let Director Park go. Thank you so much.”
“Hello, Director. Without the coach, Vietnamese football would never have reached the top. Through generosity and fighting spirit, he made football a beautiful and explosive moment. I wish you good health and thank you for your journey.”
“Regardless of the outcome of this final, Coach Park will always be in the hearts of Vietnamese soccer fans. thank you. May the director and his family be healthy.”
“Thank you for everything you do for Vietnamese football. Goodbye, see you again.”
When I think of Director Park during my stay in Vietnam, there is an anecdote that first flashes in my head. It was a Shinhan Financial Group event held in Ho Chi Minh City. At the time, it was a fairly large event attended by the chairman of Shinhan Financial Group and high-ranking officials from Vietnam’s financial authorities. 토토사이트
People gathered so much that the large hotel grand ballroom exploded. Director Park sat at the head table as an advertising model for Shinhan Bank Vietnam at the time.
All events have a procedure for introducing VIPs. It is a process in which the person whose name is called stands up and greets, and the attendees clap a little insincerely.
It was the same at this event. Names such as Chairman A, Representative B, and Director C were called one after another, but the situation was not different.
However, the atmosphere in the hall changed only when the announcer introduced Park Hang-seo. It was like a car with a turbo engine, when you step on the accelerator pedal deeply, the car explodes forward after a slight lag. Right after ‘Park!Hang!Seo!’ It wasn’t a throaty sound. It was such an image that the energy condensed in the Danjeon pours out of the body through the vocal cords.
During the break, Director Park barely had a meal. This is because Vietnamese fans lined up to get his autograph. Perhaps he is the most beloved foreign sports coach in Vietnamese history. Park Hang-seo left Vietnam.