Teenage footballer wins sports scholarship to Qatar

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Nguyen Thai Sung, 16, has won a three-year scholarship to train and study at the Aspire Academy in Qatar, the institution announced Thursday.

Sung competed with two other Vietnamese teenagers, Dang Anh Tuan and Ma Van Tuan, as well as teenagers from 13 other countries including Nigeria, Cameroon, Uruguay and Costa Rica, for the position.

Sung played midfield during the three-week-long examination in front of coaches from Spain's La Liga giant Barcelona.

When the 2009-2010 school-year ends, Sung will fly to Qatar for a three-year intensive football training course that also includes a high school education.

Sung will receive US$275 per month in the first year, $300 per month in the second year and $325 per month in the third.

The Football Dreams program aims to help developing countries nurture young football talent.

The program is conducted by Qatar's Aspire Academy in cooperation with Barcelona.

In 2008, three Vietnamese teenagers tried out for the spot in Qatar but none of them made the cut.

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