Bui Tien Dung: The safe pair of hands behind Vietnam’s footballing success story

Vietnam’s national football team set the country on fire at the Asian Football Confederation U23 Championship in January by defying all the odds, and in doing so catapulted goalkeper Bui Tien Dung to stardom. Vietnam became the first Southeast Asian team to make it to the quarterfinals, and then shocked everyone by making it to the final. Despite losing to Uzbekistan in the last minute of extra time in the final, Vietnam’s players and Dung in particular won over pundits and fans for their astonishing perfomances, with many people saying it was the best they had ever seen a Vietnamese team play. And Dung was one of the main reasons for Vietnam’s progression to the latter stages of the tournament. Dung stood firm in penalty shootouts in the quarterfinal against Iraq and then the semifinal against Qatar, and he produced some brilliant displays during normal time to get his team that far. For the 20-year-old and his team, things have changed since they returned from the AFC U23 Cup. In a recent interview with VnExpress, Dung shared how his life has changed since all that drama. How has your life changed since the U23 Asian Cup? No one knew or cared about who I was before, but now, wherever I go, people recognize me. Sometimes people even follow me to have a chat when I go out for breakfast. I’m happy but it feels a bit awkward. That sudden change has surprised me, but I always tell myself to keep… [Read full story]


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