Striker Le Cong Vinh, the golden boy of Vietnamese football, has been included in the preliminary squad for the AFF Suzuki Cup that kicks off on November 24.

Cong Vinh’s headed goal against Thailand won the AFF Suzuki Cup for Vietnam in 2008 and elevated his reputation to hero status among the country’s passionate fans.

He missed the 2010 tournament through injury but coach Phan Thanh Hung included him to the squad for recent warm-up matches and he scored in the 2-0 away victory over Malaysia.

Three other members of the victorious 2008 squad – midfielders Nguyen Vu Phong, Pham Thanh Luong and Le Tan Tai – also feature in the initial list of 35 players.

Vu Phong was the top scorer for Vietnam with three goals, including a vital strike in the 2-1 first leg victory over Thailand in the final.

Nguyen Trong Hoang, nicknamed “the Ox” because of his excellent strength on the ball, combined well with Cong Vinh in the win over Malaysia and has expectedly been named in the squad.

Vietnam face Myanmar (November 24), Philippines (November 27) and Thailand (November 30) in Group A of the AFF Suzuki Cup in Bangkok.

  Vietnam, preliminary squad

Goalkeepers: Duong Hong Son (Hanoi T&T), Bui Tan Truong (Saigon Xuan Thanh), Nguyen Thanh Bing (SHB Da Nang), Nguyen Manh Dung (Vissai Ninh Binh)

Defenders: Tran Dinh Dong (SLNA), Nguyen Minh Duc (Saigon Xuan Thanh), Nguyen Van Bien (Hanoi T&T), Truong Dinh Luat (Saigon Xuan Thanh), Nguyen Gia Tu (Vissai Ninh Binh), Dao Van Phong (Khatoco Khanh Hoa), Au Van Hoan (SLNA), Chau Le Phuoc Vinh (SHB Da Nang), Nguyen Hong Tien (Hanoi T&T), Vo Hoang Quang (SHB Da Nang), Tran Chi Cong (Becamex Binh Duong), Nguyen Thanh Long Giang (Navibank Saigon), Nguyen Quoc Long (Hanoi T&T)

Midfielders: Nguyen Trong Hoang (SLNA), Le Tan Tai (Khatoco Khanh Hoa), Nguyen Van Quyet (Hanoi T&T), Phan Thanh Hung (SHB Da Nang), Pham Thanh Luong (Hanoi), Nguyen Ngoc Duy (Hanoi T&T), Cao Sy Cuong (Hanoi T&T), Huynh Quoc Anh (SHH Da Nang), Nguyen Vu Phong (Becamex Binh Duong), Pham Nguyen Sa (SHB Da Nang), Vo Duy Nam (Hanoi T&T), Mai Tien Thanh (Vissai Ninh Binh), Nguyen Cong Huy (Becamex Binh Duong),

Forwards: Nguyen Viet Thang (Becamex Binh Duong), Le Cong Vinh (Hanoi), Nguyen Quang Hai (Khatoco Khanh Hoa), Hoang Dinh Tung (Hai Phong), Nguyen Hai Anh (Dong Thap)



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