Update: 09:53 | 13/06/2019
Nguyen Thanh Khoi, captain of Hoang Anh Gia Lai U19s, has been chosen as the Vietnamese representative in the ASIAN ELEVEN team for the JapaFunCup international friendly football match with the U-18 Tohoku Selection team, set to take place at J-Village Stadium in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture on June 22.
The game will be held as part of “Asia in Resonance 2019”, a celebration of cultural exchange between Southeast Asia and Japan, presented by the Japan Foundation Asia Centre.
Nguyen Thanh Khoi is the only Vietnamese player named in the ASIAN ELEVEN team.
ASIAN ELEVEN is made up of 21 selected U18 players from Southeast Asia, including one from Vietnam and two each from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor Leste.
Vietnam’s Nguyen Thanh Khoi entered the Hoang Anh Gia Lai – Arsenal JMG Academy in 2013 at the age of 12. After five years of training, he demonstrated fine leadership qualities and was assigned to wear the captain’s armband for Hoang Anh Gia Lai U19s whilst attending the 2019 National U19 Championship finals. Thanks to his impressive display, Thanh Khoi has been called up for Vietnam’s national U-18 football team. Despite his small physique, the midfielder is good at contesting for the ball, blocking and reading the game.
The ASIAN ELEVEN team will be coached by Takuma Koga from Myanmar Football Academy (Mandalay), while Hiroshi Teguramori, JFA Supervisor of Regional Youth Directors, will lead the U18 Tohoku Selection team.
Initiated in 2014, the “ASIAN ELEVEN” football exchange project, jointly launched by the Japan Foundation Asia Centre, the Japan Football Association (JFA), and the Japan Professional Football League (J. League), aims to create a higher level of “Asian football” together with the people of the ASEAN through sharing knowledge and experience of Japan’s football, and at the same time enabling nations to come together hand-in-hand through football to foster relationships as friendly rivals.