1. Top position at Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)

At the 32nd edition of the SEA Games held in Cambodia in May 2023, Vietnam put on a remarkable performance, securing the top spot with a total of 355 medals. This included an impressive 136 gold medals, 28 more than the second-placed team Thailand. The athletes from Vietnam also broke 14 records at the SEA Games 32.

This is the third time in history that Vietnam has finished in the top position at this regional sporting event. It is also the first time they have achieved this outside of their home country.

2. Vietnamese women’s debut at 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

In a historic moment, the Vietnamese women’s football team qualified for the final round of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Placed in a tough group alongside the 2019 World Cup champions United States, Portugal, and the Netherlands, the Vietnamese team displayed fair play and left a lasting impression on spectators.

In addition, head coach Mai Duc Chung set a record as the oldest head coach of a national men’s or women’s football team at the FIFA World Cup, at the age of 72.

3. U23s successfully defend championship title at AFF U23 Championship 2023

The Vietnamese national under-23 team emerged victorious at the 2023 AFF U23 Championship, defeating Indonesia in a thrilling penalty shootout with a score of 6-5. The U23 side had an unbeaten record throughout the group stage and after a goalless 120 minutes in the final, goalkeeper Quan Van Chuan proved to be the hero by saving a decisive penalty.

This consecutive title win is the best achievement of the Vietnamese team in the history of this tournament. The other previous winners were Thailand in 2005 and Indonesia in 2019.

4. V.League 1 2023/2024 schedule aligns with international timetable

In a historic move, Vietnamese football adopted a schedule similar to the world’s top football tournaments for the 2023/2024 season. The season began in September and ended in May of the following year, following recommendations by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and FIFA to facilitate participation in their competitions.

The Vietnam Professional Football Company (VPF) also piloted the use of video assistant referee (VAR) technology during matches. Additionally, clubs were allowed to sign contracts with Vietnamese overseas players.

5. Hanoi Police FC clinches V.League 1 championship title in debut season

In a surprising turn of events, Hanoi Police FC, formerly known as Cong An Nhan Dan FC (Public Security), won the V.League 1 2022/2023 season after getting promoted from the V.League 2. The club made headlines by recruiting more than 20 players from domestic and international football clubs, including stars Doan Van Hau, Vu Van Thanh, Nguyen Quang Hai, and Filip Nguyen.

In the 2022/2023 season, Hanoi Police FC and Hanoi FC both finished with 38 points, but Hanoi Police FC secured the championship title based on goals scored.

6. Philippe Troussier takes over as head coach of national teams

After five successful years, coach Park Hang-seo concluded his contract with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) on January 31. Park’s tenure included notable achievements such as winning a silver medal at the 2018 Asian U23 Championship, clinching the AFF Cup 2018 trophy, reaching the AFC Asian Cup 2019 quarterfinals, securing gold medals at the SEA Games 2019 and 2021, and progressing to the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup.

Taking the reins from Park, Philippe Troussier signed a three-year deal with the VFF, becoming the new head coach of the national football team from March 1 to July 31, 2026. The 67-year-old French tactician sets an ambitious goal of qualifying Vietnam for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which is expected to increase the number of participating teams from 32 to 48.

7. Shooter Pham Quang Huy wins ASIAD 19 gold medal

Shooter Pham Quang Huy made history for Vietnam by securing the country’s first gold medal at the 19th Asian Games (ASIAD 19) in Hangzhou, China, on September 27. Huy dominated the men’s 10m individual air pistol final with an impressive score of 240.5 points, earning himself the top spot on the podium.

This gold medal marked a significant milestone for Vietnamese shooting, which had previously won five silver medals and 15 bronze medals at the ASIAD. In the overall medal tally, Vietnam finished 21st with three golds, five silvers, and 19 bronzes. Within Southeast Asia, Vietnam ranked sixth.