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|Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam in Vietnam's national jersey. Photo: VNExpress|
"We are pleased to inform you that Dang Van Lam has decided to join us," their website says.
"Due to the new entry restrictions by the Japanese government, Lam will enter Japan as soon as possible and, after a medical check, a contract will be signed."
The Vietnamese star said: "It’s a great honor for me to be a part of Cerezo Osaka and to play in the best league in Asia. This is a huge step in my career. I’m confident that in the near future the demand overseas for Vietnamese players will increase even further. I want to thank the fans for their support. And thank you Vietnam, for everything."
Lam is a Russian national who recently acquired dual Vietnamese citizenship.
Lam’s agent Andrey Grushin first spoke about a possible move to Osaka from Thailand’s Muangthong United on January 7.
He said the club had violated contract terms and so the 27-year-old keeper had the right to move to another club.
The Thai have filed a lawsuit against him and Osaka for approaching him without informing them. But Lam and his agent are confident they would win the legal battle against Muangthong, VNExpress reported.
On January 27 FIFA allowed Lam to leave Muangthong and granted him a transfer license. Nevertheless, the football governing body will send a team to look into Muangthong’s accusations.
Lam will be the fourth Vietnamese to play for a Japanese club, after Le Cong Vinh (Consadole Sapporo), Nguyen Tuan Anh (Yokohama FC) and Nguyen Cong Phuong (Mito Hollyhock). But Osaka is in the J1 League while all three of his predecessors played in the J2 League.
Vietnamese-Russian Lam spent his youth at Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Moscow. In 2011, he returned to Vietnam to play for Hoang Anh Gia Lai. After unsuccessful spells in Laos and Russia, his career finally took off when he joined Hai Phong FC in 2015. In the next four years, he retained his excellent form, got called up to the national team and became its number one choice.
In 2019, Lam joined Muangthong United and had 42 appearances for the club over two seasons.
Cerezo Osaka is a Japanese professional football club started in 1957 in Osaka. The club has won four Japanese league titles as yet.
They won the J.League YBC Levain Cup in 2017 as well as the Emperor's Cup and Xerox Super Cup in 2018.
The club ranked fourth in the 2020 season of the J1 League and also secured a spot in the qualifying rounds of the 2021 AFC Champions League.
Liverpool winger Takumi Minamino played for Cerezo Osaka from 2012 to 2014.
Minamino moved to Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg in 2015 before signing a four-year contract with the Merseyside club last year.
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