“Hai’s new destination is a humble club in a small city in France. It was Hai’s decision to move here. The salary is not that high but his playing time is guaranteed. Hai is really happy with this choice because he will get to play regularly. It’s a small club but Hai feels appreciated there,” agent Nguyen Dac Van told VnExpress on Friday.
Nguyen Quang Hai takes a photo in France in early June 2022. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Quang Hai
Quang Hai, 25, is a contemporary star of Vietnamese football. National coach Park Hang-seo called him the best attacking midfielder in Vietnam. In six professional seasons with Hanoi FC, he played 126 matches, scored 35 goals and won every domestic title including V. League, National Cup, Super Cup and Vietnam Golden Ball in 2018.
Hai also played an important role in Vietnam winning second place at the 2018 AFC U23 Championship, the 2018 AFF Cup title, SEA Games 30 and Vietnam’s journey to the final round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
After his contract with Hanoi expired in April, Hai decided to seek a new challenge overseas, despite the new offer of an attractive salary and bonus from the capital club.
He was said to have an agreement with a club in the Austria Football Bundesliga but later decided to join a club in France’s second division Ligue 2 for more playing time. After signing the contract in early June, Hai obtained a work visa and is preparing to return to France for a medical check. If Hai can pass this step, his two-year contract will become effective, making him the first Vietnamese to play in a pro football league in France.
According to Van, Hai’s contract is solely based on his football ability and there's no commercial factor involved.
“He was chosen due to his creative and clever style of play. The club’s president told us that they need a midfielder who has a great football mindset because there are already many strong and powerful players in Ligue 2,” he said.
Hai’s new club are in a rebuilding phase as they are replacing many players. Their target is to be in the top half of the table next season. They also agreed to give Hai a long-term contract so that he would have time to adapt since the club don’t need immediate results. The terms of the contract don’t allow Hai to reveal the club until he completed his medical check.
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