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If indeed the 2022 World Cup has 48 representatives, it will be the biggest opportunity in history for us to greet the world of football.

With 48 tickets, Asia will have 7.5 tickets to attend, not to mention the home team Qatar has a ticket available. Thus, there are 8.5 exports for Asia, and Qatar, as we all know, is the Asian champion. It is good news to knock out such a strong opponent in the race. If by 2026, the World Cup has 48 real teams, with 7.5 appearances and including Qatar, the competition will be much more fierce.

In a beautiful dream, we all believe that our national team that has just entered the group of 8 strongest teams in Asia can aim for this ticket. A clever arrangement of fate. However, FIFA did not please the country’s football fans.

World Cup
The dream of the World Cup has come very close to the Vietnamese team

Not 48 teams, which means there will only be 4.5 for Asia to attend the 2022 World Cup. Of course, Qatar is still present, meaning the remaining 46 Asian football federations still have a 1/10 chance to get to the World Cup. In fact, this rate is still the second highest in history when excluding the 2002 World Cup when the world’s largest continent featured two host representatives. However, for us, the opportunity is much smaller.

Looking at the 4 big players of the current continental football, Japan, Korea, Iran and Australia, almost 4 official tickets are already available. Even if we are really the 8th strongest team in Asia, there are still a few opponents on our level.

And a long list of competing representatives such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Uzbekistan, China, North Korea … are all tough names. All those groups still have only half a chance to participate because it is a play-off ticket to compete with the representative of Oceania. The chances are obviously much smaller.

But what if the 2022 World Cup really has 48 representatives? We can believe we are in the top 8 in Asia but there is no denying that the road to the World Cup is not so easy. Too many competitors find the opportunity for an open race and the competition will be no less fierce. One reality to face is: Do we deserve to go to the World Cup?

The first and only Southeast Asian team at this time Indonesia in 1938 when they were still known as the Dutch East Indies. But it was a painful tournament for the Indo people that they don’t want to repeat. Losing in the only match with a score of 0-6, the Indo people are clearly not worthy of this world’s biggest stage.

Many other representatives of Asian football have also suffered such heavy defeats. The 1998 World Cup was a sad memory for the Japanese when they first attended. In 2002, China also left many disappointments. Those are all great lessons for any team entering this field for the first time.

Let’s look at the current national football scene. Despite the strong rise of a group of young players that can be said to have crossed the region, in reality we still have too many problems. If we really go to the World Cup, how will we deal with a weak force of international experience and an unorganized federation like now?

We can’t binge. Japan needs 20 years to step to the World Cup and needs many more years to assert its certain position as it is today.

We may be over-hyped with a generation of talent fortunately led by the right coach. But we should not forget that the level of Vietnamese players so far has not been close to world-class.

The fact that Van Hau or Quang Hai came to play in the Bundesliga hy La Liga is still just a rumor. While bright foreigners are being targeted for the national team like Phillips Nguyen or Alexander Dang, they all play in the lower divisions of Europe. Are they worthy of playing in the world’s biggest playground?

Mr. Park, a great coach who has been passionate about Vietnamese football in recent years, has also talked about the Vietnamese people’s dream of the World Cup. But he also insists it is future tense, not now.

As someone who has experienced the World Cup, Park Hang Seo understands the challenge for this tournament. Even his hometown team, despite making history in 2002 and continuously introducing world-class stars, still could not make it past the group stage again. Let’s be real, big playing fields need big players.

We do not have to be self-conscious about our abilities. National football is developing, and will continue to grow. After Hoang Anh Gia Lai is Hanoi FC. After that, VPF, Viettel, Binh Duong, Da Nang, Hong Linh Ha Tinh have also been strengthening youth football.

To follow Quang Hai, Van Hau will be many more talented players and even more professional football management minds. That is the real improvement in quality and quantity for football in the country.

World Cup
Vietnamese football needs to improve both quality and quantity to achieve the goal of the World Cup

A hasty preparation for the 2022 World Cup goal could ruin such a long-term roadmap. The opportunity will remain, not Qatar it will be North America 2026 or later. The important thing is that when we were there, we really deserved it.

OLDWe need goals to dream, but let’s be realistic. Let’s keep fighting, right now, the goal must still be the second qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup in Asia, where the top 10 best teams in the continent will compete. That’s the way to Qatar.

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Long Win

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