Bayern Munich to focus on Vietnam, Japan, China

Admitting that the Bayern Munich brand hasn’t developed as strongly in Asia as England's Manchester United and Spain’s Real Madrid, the head of the club's International Relations Division, Martin Haegele, has announced a commitment to football development in Vietnam. “Germany’s population is over 80 million and it is the same for Vietnam, and the two countries have the same characteristic - a passion for football. That’s why I believe that cooperation between the Bayern Munich club and Vietnam Football Federation will yield good results,” he said. (Pictured: VFF Secretary General and VFF Office Chairman Le Hoai Anh receive a gift Bayern Munich T-shirt from Martin Haegele).

If the VFF agrees, Bayern Munich will send a team of former stars to Vietnam this year, including Lothar Matthaeus. It is possible that before the 2007 Asian Cup, the club will send a team with its current stars to play a friendly in Vietnam. “That’s to help you have the best preparation for the final round of Asian Cup,” Haegele said.

VFF general secretary Tran Quoc Tuan has already asked Bayern to send experts in youth development to Viernam and to host Vietnamese national teams for training at its headquarters.

Bayern Munich has won two Intercontinental Cups, four European Championships, 19 German league titles, and 13 German Cups and is on target to become the first German team to repeat the domestic double. In the Bundesliga, Bayern currently has a five-point lead with three games remaining. It has more than 100,000 members, the second largest in the world after Spain’s Barcelona FC.

On this, his third visit to Vietnam, Haegele said his club chose Vietnam as one of three Asian countries, along with Japan and China, to step up its marketing campaign.