The Portuguese coach of the Vietnamese national football squad didn’t watch Cong Vinh’s debut in a Leixoes jersey but still paid tribute to it as a historic moment in Vietnamese football.
Calisto played an role in Cong Vinh moving to Portuguese club Leixoes on a four-month contract. It was his recommendation that sealed the deal and after a month’s training Cong Vinh’s debut came in a striking role against Leiria on October 4.
Reports stated that while he played the full 90 minutes he didn’t score any goal, though he had two opportunities.
“Don’t pay much attention to whether Vinh scores a goal or not,” said Calisto. “Please remember that he is the first Vietnamese footballer to play in a football league in Europe. That is a historic event for Vinh and for Vietnamese football. He had a successful game. He didn’t make any mistakes, though he missed two opportunities”.
He added: “Vietnam’s football benefits from this event because the world will know more about us. If Cong Vinh continues playing well, he will indirectly provide opportunities for Vietnamese teammates to play abroad. I think Vietnam has several players who are capable of playing in bigger leagues than V-League”.
Calisto was happy with Cong Vinh’s first appearance but had some advice for the Vietnamese striker: “After the match, Vinh called me to share his joy. I stressed that it is just the first step. To stay with Leixoes, Vinh has to exert even more effort”.