Vietnamese Golden Ball Award 2009 race has come to an end. The final outcome was announced on May 7. ACB Ha Noi midfielder Pham Thanh Luong won the most illustrious award of Vietnamese football as he earned most votes from pundits.
Golden Ball: Pham Thanh Luong (301 votes)
Silver Ball: Nguyen Vu Phong (245 votes)
Bronze Ball: Bui Tan Truong ( 197 votes)
Best young player: Nguyen Trong Hoang (SLNA)
Best foreign player: Gaston Merlo (Da Nang)
Let's find out more about these players:
1. Golden Ball: Pham Thanh Luong:
Club: ACB Ha Noi.
International level: Vietnam U23 captain.
Pham Thanh Luong is the first Golden Ball Award winner that doesn't play in top Vietnamese competition (currently the V-League). Luong is best known for his magical left leg that makes his famous nickname Luong "dị" ("dị" can be understood as "weird", referring to his left leg). Consistence and enthusiasm is what people always see in his performance. In Vietnam national team, Luong is a favoured player under Calisto's reign. He was appointed as Vietnam U23 captain last year and played very well to help his team reach the final of SEA Games 25. This season Luong's club ACB Ha Noi are dominating in the First Division and making firm steps to return to V-League. His loyalty and simple lifestyle is also highly rated by his fans and teammates.
2. Silver Ball: Nguyen Vu Phong
Club: Binh Duong
Nguyen Vu Phong is a famous name in Vietnam. He is an important member of Binh Duong. Last year, Vu Phong played outstandingly to help his club reach the semi-final of AFC Cup and contributed a lot of crucial goals in V-League as well.
3. Golden Ball: Bui Tan Truong
Club: Dong Thap
Despite young age, Bui Tan Truong is widely considered one of the best Vietnamese goalkeepers at this time. He played brilliantly last season and became number-one goalkeeper of Vietnam U23 during SEA Games 25.
4. Best young player: Nguyen Trong Hoang.
Club: Song Lam Nghe An.
SLNA is well-known for producing a lot of Vietnamese football talents such as Van Sy Hung, Pham Van Quyen and Le Cong Vinh and their fans hope Nguyen Trong Hoang will soon become a new symbol of SLNA. This 21-year-old attacking midfielder is now one of the most important players in Vinh-based club. He is also a member of Vietnam national team and Vietnam U23.
5. Best foreign player: Gaston Merlo.
Club: Da Nang
The Argentine striker is well-deserved with the Best Foreign Player Award as he played very well last season, contributing 14 goals to help Da Nang win the V-league 2009 title. Merlo is now a key player of the Han-river team and still keeps his brilliant scoring form with 9 goals in 9 games of this season.