Stars honoured at awards ceremony
HCM CITY — National team midfielder Pham Thanh Luong and goalkeeper Dang Thi Kieu Trinh yesterday won their first Golden Ball awards for outstanding contributions to Vietnamese men's and women's football during 2011.
|Recognition: Luong, (left), Trinh (centre) and Hoang pose for photos after the awards ceremony. — VNS Photo Tien Thanh
The annual awards were first instituted by the Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper in 1995.
Luong, who plays for the Ha Noi FC, beat other players including midfielders Nguyen Trong Hoang, Nguyen Van Quyet and naturalised striker Huynh Kesley Alves to win the award for the second time after he first palmed it in 2009.
Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA)'s Hoang was placed second for the Silver Ball while Sai Gon FC's naturalised striker Huynh Kesley Alves ranked third for the Bronze Ball award.
The women's Silver Ball went to Le Thi Thuong of Khoang San, while winger Nguyen Thi Muon of Ha Noi bagged the Bronze Ball.
The Junior Footballer prize went to midfielder Nguyen Van Quyet of Ha Noi T&T while Foreign Player of the Year was awarded to prolific striker Gaston Merlo of SHB Da Nang.
The first Golden Ball was won by the national team's former striker, Le Huynh Duc in 1995, when he played for the former HCM Police team. — VNS