Former Nigeria coach, Troussier targets World Cup spot for Vietnam

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Globe trotting French coach Philippe Troussier who qualified Nigeria for the France ‘98 World Cup and recently signing a three-year deal with Vietnam has targeted the 2026 World Cup with his new team.

It will be Vietnam’s first World Cup appearance if Troussier’s dream is realised. His new deal was signed and Monday. Trousssier was sacked by Nigeria after the country became the first qualifier, outside the host s France and defending champions, Brazil, to qualify for the 1998 World Cup.

Nigeria signed him again in 2005, but the Frenchman also paid back by refusing to show up after he had been announced as the successor to Austin Eguavoen.

In Vietnam, the 67-year-old, who succeeds South Korea’s Park Hang-seo, has coached over 20 national and club teams during his long career.

He led Japan to the Asian Cup title in 2000 and was in charge of the co-hosts at the 2002 World Cup.

Troussier had a spell in charge of Marseille in 2004-2005 and he became coach of Vietnam’s Under-19s in 2019.

Vietnam, ranked 96th by Fifa, are preparing to play the 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar, with the date of the tournament still to be confirmed.

But Troussier made it clear he had his sights set higher.

“The expansion to 48 teams at the 2026 World Cup is an opportunity for Vietnam. This is the ultimate goal we all aim for,” he said during the signing ceremony, according to state media.

Troussier’s contract runs from March 2023 to July 2026, VNExpress said.

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