Ho Chi Minh City (VNA) – By allowing women to be involved individually, sport is proving to be a huge lever for their empowerment. Meet Captain Huynh Nhu, the most successful footballer of the Ballon d’Or of Vietnam.
|Striker Huynh Nhu (right) stands out for his speed and dribbling technique.
Photo: VNA / CVN
In 2022, for the first time, the Vietnam women’s soccer team qualified for the 2023 World Cup, which will take place in July and August in Australia and New Zealand. In May he will have the opportunity to defend his gold medal at 31I am The South East Asian Games (SEA Games 31) will be held in 11 cities and provinces in northern Vietnam.
These excellent results are linked in particular to the tireless efforts and strong determination of the whole team, obviously in particular of captain Cù Thi Huynh Nhu.
Football to combat gender discrimination
The 31-year-old striker is one of the few players to have long hair and a ponytail, alongside striker Thanh Nha and midfielder Thùy Trang. Soccer players often tend to cut their hair up to their shoulders or keep it shorter to avoid heat and tangles while on the pitch. But the ponytail has been associated with Huynh Nhu since he started playing soccer more than 25 years ago.
Huynh Nhu (left) is one of the few Vietnamese footballers to wear long hair.
Photo: Phuong Nga / CVN
His passion for this sport has passed down from his father, who was part of a municipal team in the province of Trà Vinh, in the South. “When I was little my father often took me to his club. Seeing him train with great enthusiasm on the pitch, I wanted to follow in his footsteps. Football.”shares Huynh Nhu with The courier of Vietnam.
Growing up, the young woman hoped for only one thing: that school hours would end as soon as possible so that she could go to football training with her friends until nightfall. “At that time I often played with the boys because no girl practiced it in our municipality. Most of the inhabitants thought it was a sport reserved for men”explains.
In 2001, during her final year of elementary school, Huynh Nhu made a name for herself when she became the only student to participate in the men’s tournament in Châu Thành district, Trà Vinh province. She did a lot better than participating by outshining all the boys and was even crowned Top Scorer of the tournament!
“When I’m on the pitch I’m no longer a girl or a boy. I’m just a player on the team”he said mischievously.
Given her talent, the coaches chose her in the women’s youth soccer team of this province, which was disbanded a few months later. The coaches then introduced her to the Ho Chi Minh City team. Huynh Nhu then went to the southern megalopolis with the thought of her: “Go where I can play football”.
In a short time she became the star of this team, then of the national team. In particular, she led the latter to two gold medals at the SEA Games 29 and 30, played respectively in 2017 in Myanmar and in 2019 in the Philippines.
Individually, Huynh Nhu has been voted “Vietnam Women’s Golden Ball” four times, first in 2016 and then three consecutive times from 2019-2021, equaling Don Thi Kim Chi’s feat.
A versatile striker
|Striker Huynh Nhu’s talent is widely recognized today.
Photo: CTV / CVN
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) described her as one of Vietnam’s most prolific female footballers. For 11 years with the national team, Huynh Nhu has scored 50 goals (out of 56 games), making her the top scorer in business. She does well not only as a striker but also as a midfielder when the team needs to defend more.
The Vietnamese Ballon d’Or holder says she feels “very lucky”. Football completely changed his life in a positive way, allowing him to discover himself. And even more: “It took me further than I could imagine”.
Huynh Nhu’s talent is widely recognized today. “I think we need to change the idea that a woman is not as efficient as a man”underlines Lê Thi Hoàng Yên, Deputy Director of the General Department of Physical Education and Sports.
According to her, the achievements of the Vietnamese women’s soccer team, its captain and sports in general are gradually helping to put an end to the prejudices and other clichés that are heard here and there in society.
“Vietnamese women are the pride of the country. National sports authorities are always counting on them to wear the colors of Vietnam high in international competitions.”concludes M.myself Yen. -CVN / VNA