Vietnamese goalkeeper says hi to Japanese club fans

Vietnam’s leading goalkeeper Dang Van Lam was formally introduced Sunday to Cerezo Osaka fans after arriving a fortnight earlier as a foreign expert.

Dang Van Lam, Cerezo Osaka, Muangthong United, J1 League, goalkeeper

Lam’s introduction happened during the halftime break of a J1 League match between Osaka and Urawa Reds. He had earlier spent 14 days in quarantine.

Wearing the number 1 jersey, Lam was introduced alongside Australian forward Adam Taggart.

"Hello everyone, I’m Dang Van Lam, a goalkeeper from Vietnam. I’m really happy and excited to be here for the first time. I will train really hard to play well and contribute to the club," Lam said.

Osaka is currently fourth on the table after 12 J1 League rounds. The club is slated to play in the AFC Champions League tournament. To get a regular spot in the team, the 28-year-old keeper will have to prove his worth and compete against other keepers in the team like South Korean Kim Jin-hyeon and Japanese Kenya Matsui.

Lam, who grew up in Russia and spent his youth at Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Moscow clubs, moved to Vietnam in 2011 to play for the Hoang Anh Gia Lai club. After unsuccessful spells in Laos and Russia, his career finally took off in 2015 after he joined Hai Phong FC.

He retained his excellent form for the next four years, got called up to the national team and has become its number one choice.

In 2019, he transferred to Muangthong United for $500,000 and put in 42 appearances for the Thai club.

He will be the fourth Vietnamese to play for a Japanese club, after Le Cong Vinh (Consadole Sapporo), Nguyen Tuan Anh (Yokohama FC) and Nguyen Cong Phuong (Mito Hollyhock). All three predecessors played for the J2 League, making Lam the first Vietnamese to play for a J1 League team.

Lam was in the news earlier this year when he decided to end his contract with Muangthong United and move to Osaka. Muangthong has reported him to FIFA for contract violation, but Lam’s agent said the player has every right to terminate the contract since the Thai club had cut his pay without telling him.

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