According to the AFC, since their impressive quarter-final finish at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, Vietnam has witnessed the emergence of several new stars, with Hai standing out as one of the most prominent players in the Southeast Asian nation.

"The forward has injected new dynamism into an already talented attack, as head coach Philippe Troussier, who took over from the long-serving Park Hang-seo earlier this year, aims to guide the Golden Star Warriors into the knockout rounds for the second consecutive edition," the website stated.

Pham Tuan Hai (middle) is a rising star of the Vietnamese national team.

Hai has the potential to light up the upcoming AFC Asian Cup, having displayed his remarkable abilities during the recently concluded AFC Champions League 2023-24 group stage as a key player for Hanoi FC.

The AFC also highlighted Hai's impressive statistics in recent times. He made his professional league debut for newly promoted Hong Linh Ha Tinh in the 2020 V.League 1, featuring in 20 matches and scoring three goals, contributing to their eighth-place finish in their debut season in the top tier.

Consistent performances, which included an additional four league goals the following year, earned Hai his first senior national team cap in a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying match against Oman.

This achievement proved to be a stepping stone for Hai’s move to Hanoi, where he quickly became one of the most captivating performers in the domestic league.

Among the list of stars expected to shine at the 2023 Asian Cup are Son Heung-min of the Republic of Korea, Takefusa Kubo of Japan, Ali Mabkhout of the United Arab Emirates, Akram Afif of Qatar, Mehdi Taremi of Iran, Ali Al Hamadi of Iraq, Asnawi Mangkualam of Indonesia, and Wu Lei of China.

Vietnam are placed in Group D of the tournament, alongside Japan (whom head coach Philippe Troussier of Vietnam led to the AFC Asian Cup title) and regional rivals Indonesia and Iraq.

Vietnam's matches in the group stage are scheduled. They will face Japan on January 14 at Al Thumama Stadium, Indonesia on January 19 at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, and Iraq on January 24 at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.

The 2023 Asian Cup finals will feature 24 teams, including seven former champions, divided into six groups. The tournament will follow a round-robin format within each group. The top two teams from each group, as well as the four best-performing third-placed teams, will advance to the round of 16.

In the 2019 Asian Cup, under the guidance of Korean Coach Park Hang-seo, Vietnam advanced to the knockout round as one of the best third-placed teams, eventually losing 1-0 to Japan in the quarter-finals.

Source: VNA