Coach Park Hang-seo.
"I plan to cooperate and open a youth football training academy in Vietnam. I will use my experience as a coach in both Vietnam and the Republic of Korea to contribute to Vietnamese football in the future," Park said at the farewell meeting with local fans in Hanoi this week.
The Korean coach officially ended his five-year journey on January 31 as the head coach of the national, Olympic, and U23 teams.
"During the past five years in Vietnam, I have no regrets because I have lived and worked hard with the support of my dedicated assistants," Park said.
The fans' love helped him become "the happiest coach in the world", he said.
Park came to Vietnam by chance, thanks to his wife's suggestion and support. He intended to work in Southeast Asia and contacted the agent Lee Dong-jun in 2016, but it was not until a year later, when the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) opened a search for the head coach that Lee put forward Park.
Park said that at first, he was a bit reserved because he didn't know anything about Southeast Asian football and thought he would start at the club-level.
Park's ensure started with a 0-0 draw with Afghanistan in the 2019 Asian Cup qualifying round at the My Dinh National Stadium on November 14, 2017, a month after officially signing the contract with the VFF.
He said in that first match, he was very worried because he couldn't even remember the players' names.
"If the result was not good, I may have to go home. Fortunately, that match was a draw, so now I'm still sitting here with everyone," he said.
Since then, Park has coached 98 matches with Vietnamese teams, including 57 wins (55.8 percent).
More importantly, Park brought the Vietnamese football position to a new level in regional, continental and international events, setting a Southeast Asian record of five consecutive years in the world's top 100.
The departure of Park caused regret for many people, although all understood that it would open new opportunities for the national teams and Vietnamese football.
Park said he would stay in Hanoi until June before returning to the Republic of Korea and left open the possibility of returning to Vietnam soon to launch a new plan.