Vietnamese soccer players have discovered facebook as an interesting means of keeping in touch with fans.
|Half-back Thanh Luong, member of the Vietnam national soccer team on Facebook|
Coach Calisto was one of the first people to join facebook in the Vietnamese soccer village. He has been part of this global virtual world for four years now. He spends his free time posting pictures of himself and his trainees and shares news with friends and relatives in his homeland.
The Vietnamese football team in Dong Tam Long An has been a pioneer in using facebook to connect with friends. Tuan Phong gave up writing after Yahoo shut down its blog 360, but later he joined facebook at Calisto’s instance and found it more interesting than blogging or the yahoo messenger.
The number of Vietnamese soccer players joining facebook in recent months has increased substantially and every Vietnamese football team now has members linked to facebook.
Interesting nicknames like Lee Nguyen, Viet Thang, Thanh Luong, Mai Tien Thanh, Tang Tuan, Nhu Thanh, Sy Manh, Phuoc Tu, Tai Em, Minh Chau and Trong Hoang can be found on this popular social networking site.
Calisto’s fan following has reached over 1,400 and is still rising, most of them being Vietnamese football fans.
When the Vietnamese team failed to reach the semifinal round of AFF Cup 2010, many fans consoled Calisto through facebook. Unfortunately, the Portuguese coach cannot read Vietnamese unless his language assistant Tuong Minh is beside him, though he sometimes takes help in translation from his pet pupil Tuan Phong.
Each player has his own unique style in expressing himself. Guys like Van Khai, Tuan Phong and Viet Thang post funny photos, video clips and share jokes with friends. For them it is a great way to relax.
Meanwhile, injured players like Van Quyen used facebook to share his feelings when he was injured. A lot of his friends sent him encouraging messages when he found he was missing his team members while in hospital.
After the AFF Cup 2010 semifinals in My Dinh Stadium, attacker Viet Thang expressed his feelings on facebook and hoped that people would not turn their backs on the national soccer team.
He wrote on facebook, ‘Football is really harsh, when you win, you have all and vice versa. We had played regardless of various traumas for our beloved fans and country. However, we failed to enter the final round…It is really painful.’ These words had a calming affect on his fans who expressed their sympathy as well.
Tai Em was one of the first persons to buy a laptop in the Vietnam national soccer team. However, he did not register on facebook until coming to Malaysia for the semifinals of AFF Cup 2010.
After visiting the social networking site a few times, he discovered a photo of himself in prison clothes standing behind bars, with a caption ‘A wanted dangerous criminal, be careful.’
Tai Em immediately investigated and traced the culprits, who turned out to be his comrades Tuan Phong and Van Khai. He tried to persuade both to remove the photo but after he found they were not relenting, he decided to take a similar revenge!
Attacker Nguyen Quang Hai, also bought a laptop just before the day the team was flying to Malaysia for the semifinal round and is enthused about finding good websites to listen to music and play games.