Park Hang-seo (64), former head coach of the Vietnam national soccer team, was selected as the winner of the 17th Pony Chung Innovation Award on the 3rd안전놀이터.
Chung Mong-gyu, chairman of the Pony Chung Foundation, explained the reason for the selection, saying, “After taking office as head coach of the Vietnam men’s national soccer team, Park Hang-seo played the role of a bridge to strengthen friendly relations between the two countries by breaking the record for the best ever.” The Pony Chung Innovation Award was established in 2006 after the nickname of Chung Se-young, the late HDC Group honorary chairman and founder of Hyundai Motor Company. Awards are given to individuals or organizations that have brought positive changes to society through innovative thinking. The awards ceremony will be held on the 26th of next month at Pony Chung Hall, I’Park Tower, Gangnam-gu.
At the time of the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, coach Park, who helped Guus Hiddink as the head coach of the Korean national team and contributed to the legend of the semifinals, was appointed as the Vietnam command tower in 2017 and achieved remarkable results for five years. He is evaluated for laying the foundation for the development of Vietnamese football by combining his unique ‘papa leadership’ with training methods that respect local culture and customs.
In 2018, he brought Vietnam to the top of the Mitsubishi Cup (then Suzuki Cup) for the first time in 10 years, and won another championship at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) in 2019, causing a ‘Park Hang-seo craze’. In addition, at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, he emerged as a ‘national hero’ by leading Vietnam to advance to the Asian Games semifinals for the first time in history and advance to the final qualifiers for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Vietnam, which was ranked 134th in the FIFA rankings in 2016, entered the top 100 under Park’s leadership. As of April, it is ranked 96th.