Thailand U-21 coach: Rivalry between Vietnam and Thailand “is like Real Madrid and Barcelona”

Thailand U-21 head coach Julian Marin Bazalo compares the clash between fierce rivals Thailand and Vietnam as the Southeast Asian “El Clásico”, which is the name given to matches between Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Bazalo and his side arrived in Vietnam to participate at the International U-21 Football Tournament, which will take place in Can Tho, Vietnam from December 12-22.

In an exclusive interview with Vietnamese news outlet Thanh Nien on Tuesday, Bazalo admitted that he did not have much knowledge about Vietnam football. However, the Spaniard had a certain impression with Vietnam U-21 team after observing them playing at the World Cup U-20 in Korea in May.

“I think every clash between Thailand and Vietnam is similar to the rivalries Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain,” Bazalo said.

“I’m not sure there has been hostility between Thailand and Vietnam, but obviously both sides have developed fierce competitiveness. All the matches against Vietnam have been drawn attraction from Thai football authorities to local fans. Thai people were disappointed and unhappy after the U-20 team could not qualify for the World Cup finals like Vietnam U-20 team did.”

This year, the annual tournament will feature five teams, including defending champions Yokohama FC U-21, Thailand U-21, Myanmar U-21, Vietnam U-21 and U-19 teams.