National striker Le Cong Vinh of the Song Lam Nghe An Club yesterday won his second Golden Ball while defender Dao Thi Mien of the national women’s team and the Ha Tay Club won her first.
The awards for the best Vietnamese footballers of the year are given out every year by Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper.
The 22-year-old Vinh scored 347 points in a poll of 137 coaches, football officials and reporters, beating his national teammates Nguyen Minh Phuong and Le Tan Tai.
It’s the third straight year Le Cong Vinh has been nominated and rewarded; he won the 2005 Silver Ball and the 2004 Golden Ball.
“This noble award is the dream of every footballer. Although only one player can win, I think each and every one of my competitors in the poll deserves it,” he said.
Midfielder Minh Phuong, who plays for Dong Tam Long An, won the Silver Ball with 172 points, and Le Tan Tai of Khatoco Khanh Hoa the Bronze Ball with 124 points.
In women’s football, Dao Thi Mien won her Golden Ball with 292 points, outdoing Ho Chi Minh City midfielder Doan Thi Kim Chi and Ha Noi striker Bui Thi Tuyet Mai. Kim Chi won the Silver Ball with 221 points and Tuyet Mai the Bronze Ball with 199 points.
Saigon Port striker Elenildo De Jesus was named the Foreign Player of the Year, while the Junior Player of the Year award went to defender Nguyen Thanh Long Giang of the Kien Giang Under-21 team.
Here are some scenes from yesterday’s award presentation at the Lan Anh Club in Ho Chi Minh City:
|From the left: Le Tan Tai, Le Cong Vinh and Nguyen Minh Phuong with their balls (Photo: H.U)|
The awards ceremony at the Lan Anh Club (Photo: H.U)
|From the left: Bui Thi Tuyet Mai, Dao Thi Mien and Doan Thi Kim Chi, the top three female footballers of 2006 (Photo: H.U)|
|Top three male and female footballers, Foreign Player of the Year Elenildo De Jesus (fifth from the left) and Junior Player of the Year Nguyen Thanh Long Giang (sixth from the left) (Photo: H.U)|
2005: Phan Van Tai Em (Golden Ball), Le Cong Vinh (Silver Ball), Le Tan Tai (Bronze Ball)
Note: In 2002, the poll only voted for the Golden Ball in the women’s football, while the poll in 2001 did not separate female and male players for selection.