The head coach of the Vietnamese national team, who will play an exhibition match against the South Korean national soccer team on Sunday, is a familiar face to domestic soccer fans.
Philippe Trousier (FRA), who coached the Japanese national team from 1998 to 2002 and led Japan to the round of 16 at the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, is currently in charge of Vietnam.
Born in 1955, Coach Trousier is obviously older than he was 20 years ago, but he still looks as smart as ever.
“We have prepared a lot for Korea, a strong team,” Trousier said at the official press conference at the Suwon World Cup Stadium in Gyeonggi Province on Saturday. “We focused on what didn’t go well in the previous matches against China and Uzbekistan, and now we are in the process of building a team with new players.”
Vietnam, ranked 95th in the world by FIFA, recently played back-to-back friendlies against China (80th) and Uzbekistan (75th), losing 0-2.
South Korea, who meet the Vietnamese at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on Sunday, are ranked 26th in the FIFA rankings.
“There are so many new players in Vietnam now, and we will learn a lot from the matches against South Korea, China and Uzbekistan, which will be a good foundation for us to become a strong team in the future,” said Trucier, who took over as Vietnam coach earlier this year.
When asked to compare the team to the one he coached in Japan, Trousier said, “Korea has improved to the point where many of their players are recognized in Europe,” adding, “Their continued participation in the World Cup is proof of this, and they continue to produce young players with good skills.”
“The gap between the top teams in Asia and the rest of the world is shrinking,” he said, “and I think it’s going to narrow even more in the future because it’s easier to bring the bottom teams up to a certain level.”
“Facing South Korea is a good opportunity,” he said, emphasizing, “We will prepare for the match with our best effort rather than any experimental matches.”
Fellow defender Do Doo-iman echoed the sentiment, saying, “Korea is a world-class team, not only in Asia, but also in the world,” and that all the players are looking forward to facing Korea.
“Korea and Japan are teams that always make it to the World Cup, but they give us hope because they are from the same Asian country,” he said, adding, “We will try our best to improve our performance.”
When asked about the news that former Vietnam national team coach Park Hang-seo will be at the stadium on Sunday against South Korea, Do Doo-iman said, “Of course, it’s good news for our players to have him here,” but added, “We will focus on the game and showcase what we have prepared in the first and last 90 minutes.” 스포츠토토