Huynh Kesley (orange).
In 2011, the Vietnamese national team did not compete at many international events, while the U23 national squad failed at the Southeast Asian Games. For that reason, it is very difficult for experts to choose talented candidates for the Golden Ball Award 2011. The organizing board has opened the door for naturalized footballers to this annual selection. Huynh Kesley is the most outstanding foreign-origin nominee.
Last year, Huynh Kesley scored 16 goals to help his FC – Saigon Xuan Thanh – to jump from the First Division tournament to the V-League.
Among 20 naturalized footballers in Vietnam, Huynh Kesley holds many “records”: maintaining good performance for the longest time and being the most ‘Vietnamese’ player since he has got married with a Vietnamese girl named Le Loc for seven years and they have two sons.
Huynh Kesley came to Vietnam in 2004 as a striker of the Binh Duong FC. In his first year in Vietnam, the Brazilian impressed Vietnamese fans, won the title Best Scorer and was the most outstanding foreign player of the year.
He left Binh Duong to Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC in 2005. However, he did not play well in HAGL’s jersey. Returning to Binh Duong, Huynh Kesley “revived” and highly contributed to this FC’s two consecutive V-League championships. In 2009, he was granted the Vietnamese citizenship and called up to the national team.
At V-League 2012, the 31-year-old captain of Saigon Xuan Thanh FC has played very well, scoring eight goals.
In his eight years in Vietnam, Huynh Kesley has received many titles and awards: the First Division championship, two V-League championships, the Best Scorer, the Vietnam Golden Shoe and the Best Foreign Player. If he wins the Vietnam Golden Ball award, Kesley will have almost all titles and awards of Vietnam’s football.
Huynh Kesley with his wife and his first son.
The Vietnam Golden Ball Award organizing board will deliver votes on October 14. The awards will be presented to the winners on April 20, at the HCM City Opera House.
The nominees for men’s Golden Ball Award 2011: Nguyen Quang Hai (Navibank Saigon), Nguye Trong Hoang (Song Lam Nghe An), Pham Thanh Luong (Hanoi Club), Nguyen Minh Phuong(Danang), Bui Tan Truong (Dong Thap– Saigon FC), Le Phuoc Tu (Saigon FC), Le Tan Tai (Khanh Haa), Huynh Quang Thanh (Binh Duong), Le Cong Vinh (Hanoi T&T-Hanoi Club), Huynh Kesley (Saigon FC), Nguyen Hoang Helio (SLNA – Binh Duong), Nguyen Van Quyet (Hanoi T&T).
The nominees for women’s Golden Ball Award 2011: Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh (Hanoi), Tran Thi Kim Hong (HCM City), Nguyen Thi Hoa (Hanoi), Nguyen Hai Hoa (Thai Nguyen), Nguyen Thi Muon (Hanoi), Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet (Hanoi), Tu Thi Phu (Hanoi), Nhieu Thuy Linh (Vinacomin), Dang Thi Kieu Trinh (HCM City), Nguyen Thi Kim Tien (Hanoi), Le Thi Thuong (Vinacomin), Bui Thi Nhu (Ha Nam), Luong Thi Xuyen (Thai Nguyen), Le Thi Tuyet Mai (HCM City).
The nominees for the Best Young Player: Bui Xuan Hieu (Hoang Anh Gia Lai), Nguyen Van Quyet (Hanoi T&T), Nguyen Huu Khoi (Nam Dinh), Hoang Nhat Nam (Nam Dinh), Ha Minh Tuan (Danang), Ngo Hoang Thinh (Song Lam Nghe An).
The nominees for the Best Foreign Player: Philani (Binh Duong), Gaston Merlo (Đà Nẵngn), Antonio (Dong Tam - Saigon FC), Samson (Dong Thap-Hanoi T&T), Evaldo (HAGL), Timothy (Hanoi Club). S. Tung