Vietnam's top striker set for surgery in Portugal

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Vietnam's football ace Le Cong Vinh will undergo a knee operation in Portugal, the V-League club Hanoi T&T striker said on Wednesday.

Vinh, 24, who won the golden ball in 2004, 2006 and 2007, and helped Vietnam take the Southeast Asian championship in 2008, was diagnosed with broken knee tendons and third-degree torn cartilage on May 18.

After reviewing Vinh's records, Dr. Jose Carlos invited the star footballer to Portugal for the procedure on June 16.

Dr. Carlos said the total cost including recovery expenses would be about US$35,000, with a recovery period of about 75 days, according to Vinh.

Vinh asked his club for financial support upon hearing the news from Dr. Carlos.

Club owner Do Quang Hien said the team would take care of the cost of Vinh's surgery as a matter of principle.

"But we have also asked the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) for financial assistance for part of the cost because Vinh has made huge contributions to the national football team. However, I have so far received no reply from VFF."

Also on Wednesday, Vinh asked football agent Tiago Calisto to help him get a visa for Portugal. If everything goes well, Vinh will get a visa next Thursday and will fly to Portugal three days later for the operation.

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