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For the big dream, how much can Quang Hai sacrifice?

Is Quang Hai in Asia “expensive” or “cheap”?

Up to this point, the future of midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai is still a big question mark attracting the curiosity of Vietnamese football audiences. According to the midfielder’s representative, Quang Hai has a painful dream of going abroad to play football and is ready to sacrifice the privileges of a star in Vietnam.

In particular, the conditions of Quang Hai’s treatment regime will be significantly affected. In a recent interview with Soha, the English coach of the Korean league revealed that one of the biggest barriers between Vietnamese players and the top continental leagues is the price.

Rumor has it that Quang Hai can completely stay in Vietnam if he agrees to a salary of 250 million VND/month and the bribe amount is not less than 7 billion VND. Thus, Quang Hai’s income will fall to more than 30,000 USD/month. Is this number large or small compared to the salaries of players playing in Korea, Japan or some mid-range leagues in Europe?

For the big dream, how much can Quang Hai sacrifice?  - Photo 1.

First, let’s compare the K-League. The two biggest clubs with the most “monumental” salary funds in this tournament are Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Ulsan Hyundai. Their total salary payable in 2021 is $14.7 million and $12.1 million, respectively. On average, each player in these two teams receives $37,000/month and $33,000/month.

With the remaining clubs, the average income of each player in a month ranges from 13,000 USD to nearly 21,000 USD. In particular, the team that is considered the “poorest” in the K-League 1 in 2021 is Gwangju, which pays just over $8,800 per player per month.

For the big dream, how much can Quang Hai sacrifice?  - Photo 2.

Jeonbuk is one of the teams that spend the most money on players in the K-League

Meanwhile in Japan, according to statistics in 2019, Vissel Kobe is the club that spends the most salary on players. On average, each player of this team receives about 131,000 USD/month. But it should also be remembered that, in Vissel Kobe’s squad at that time, there were famous names like Andres Iniesta, Lukas Podolski, Thomas Vermaelen or Sergi Samper (so far, only Iniesta and Samper are still wearing Vissel Kobe).

The salary fund of the remaining clubs in the J-League (in 2019) is also differentiated into several levels. In which, the most popular is from about 16,000 USD/month (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) to 37,000 USD/month (Urawa Red Diamonds).

For the big dream, how much can Quang Hai sacrifice?  - Photo 3.

Average salary at Japanese clubs in 2019

It can be seen that the income that Quang Hai is likely to receive in Vietnam is on par with the average amount that a player in the top Japanese or Korean football teams receives. Meanwhile, Quang Hai is anyway just a player from Southeast Asia – an area considered to have a less developed football background – with unproven abilities and contributions.

As the BLV of the K-League said, cost is a big barrier separating Vietnamese players from the top football leagues on the continent.

Can the “European Dream” come true?

For the big dream, how much can Quang Hai sacrifice?  - Photo 4.

Compared to a famous tournament in Europe and considered as a good development environment for young talents, Ligue 1, the amount of money that Quang Hai was offered by the “giants” of the V.League is also higher than the revenue. The average import of players in 4 teams is Stade Brest, FC Metz, RC Lens and FC Lorient (data for 2022).

For the remaining teams (only among the teams with the average player’s income below 1 million euros/year), the price of 30,000 USD/month for Quang Hai will still be considered high because of the amount that the players pay. This club uses to pay for players is only in the range of 43,000 USD/month to 89,000 USD/month.

The reason is as mentioned above: Quang Hai is a small midfielder from a distant Vietnamese football background with too little reputation. The ability to integrate, competition results and what Quang Hai can contribute to the team are still too big question marks.

For the big dream, how much can Quang Hai sacrifice?  - Photo 5.

Numbers don’t lie. The fact that players are treated much higher than professional capacity is a situation not only in Vietnam but also a problem with many football backgrounds in the world.

Giving up a large amount of money to have the opportunity to develop in a higher-class football environment is the first sacrifice that Quang Hai must accept. As for how much the Dong Anh midfielder can continue to sacrifice, Vietnamese football fans can only wait until this fascinating story ends.

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