Bunheing Rong: I once thought of leaving the national team after being insulted

Bunheing Rong used to consider leaving Cambodia National Team after he was criticized heavily by the fans, with the forward also stating that some of them have insulted him and his family a lot.

The Ministry of National Defense forward, who has scored more league goals than any other Cambodia’s local players this season, has been deployed as Cambodia’s main forward.

Bunheing Rong has yet to score for Cambodia in their first two Group A matches in the AFF Suzuki Cup as he missed a couple of good chances in Cambodia’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to Malaysia.

Despite being criticized heavily by the fans, Bunheing Rong, who won the Hun Sen Cup with Ministry of National Defense this season, still started in Cambodia’s 4-1 loss to Myanmar in their second group-stage match, with Cambodia coach Felix Dalmas giving him some advice not to give up and keep on trying.

The No. 14 has also received strong support from his family, friends, relatives, and his club during his hard time with the Cambodia National Team in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Bunheing Rong told TheMorning: “I’m very excited to be included in the national team and play in our starting XI.

“Playing as a striker [for the national team], I have some pressure when I have chances, but I couldn’t score. Then I was criticized a lot. I really want to score, but I couldn’t. That’s a problem.

“I really want to perform at the level the fans want and I, myself, want, and I really, really regret that I missed several chances to score goals for the team.

“The situation at the club is different from the national team. Playing for the club, I have less pressure, but for the national team there are many supporters who follow the games. I really want to play well, but because I have tried too much, unfortunately I missed the chances.

“I used to think of that [leaving the national team], but my family, friends, relatives, and everyone at Ministry of National Defense have explained and encouraged me a lot.

“They have asked me to keep on trying. Even though I can’t do well with the national team yet, my club still need me. I can’t give up or be too much disappointed but to give my best.

“If I am good enough, the national team will still need me. However, if I’m not, they won’t give me a call-up.

“For me, criticism is OK, and I can deal with it. Some fans insult me a lot, and I’m very disappointed with that. I discussed with Coach Felix, and he explained and gave me a lot of advice to focus on playing and improving.”

Bunheing Rong is understood to be one of Felix Dalmas’s important players due to his stamina as he is also an industrious forward, who was seen everywhere on the pitch in Cambodia’s recent matches.

However, his big problem is finish, and he has two more matches in the AFF Suzuki Cup to prove the fans wrong as Cambodia will face Laos at home before their trip to Vietnam in their final Group A match.

Photo courtesy of Football Federation of Cambodia