The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has honoured Vietnamese striker Le Cong Vinh as one of five ASEAN legends on its Facebook page.
The ASEAN legends (Source: AFC)
Vinh won 85 national team caps from 2004-2016 and netted 51 goals, making him one of top five scorers in Southeast Asia. He also has the most caps and goals in the Vietnamese national team history.
He scored the decisive goal in Vietnam’s 2-1 win over Thailand in the AFF Cup final in December 2008, bringing home the country's first-ever regional championship.
At the club level, Vinh also dominated.
In 14 years playing for Song Lam Nghe An, Hanoi T&T (now Hanoi FC), Hanoi ACB (dissolved) and Becamex Binh Duong, the Nghe An province-born player netted 120 goals. With his clubs, he earned two V.League 1 titles and one National Cup. He was voted the best player of the year in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
Vinh, now 34, was the first Vietnamese footballer to play abroad and the first to play in Europe. He played for Leixoes SC in Portugal in 2009 and Consadole Sapporo in Japan in 2013.
Vinh retired in 2016 and became the first president of HCM City FC in 2017. He resigned one year later.
He now runs the CV9 community football academy in Ho Chi Minh City.
The AFC named Vinh together with midfielder Kiatisuk Senamuang of Thailand, defender Soh Chin Aun of Malaysia, striker Bambang Pamungkas of Indonesia and Filipino goalkeeper Neil Etheridge. Among them, only Etheridge is still playing.