Go to contents

Hong Myung-Bo, Core Player of National Soccer Team

Posted May. 22, 2001 07:59,   


`Everything is up to him.`

Hong Myund-Bo, the best defender in Asia, joined the National Team for the 2001 Confederation Cup, and he is now participating in the training of team tactics. Recently he has drawn a huge attention because the team performance may change according to his position.

Hong has been a main pillar of Korean soccer. He has participated three times in a row in the World Cup, and has played 119 games between national teams (A-match). Hence he has been praised aptly as `the best defender in Asia`.

Hong is the core of tactic of Head Coach Hiddink, especially because he is an experienced player with excellent techniques. Hence, the team tactics may change according to the way how Hiddink will use him.

Hiddink placed Hong in the center of `four-back system` in which four players set a defense line in the Carlsberg Cup and the Dubai International Soccer Competition. But Hiddink involved him in the offense in the situation where there were no active playmakers.

However, Hiddink led the victory at Cairo Cup last month by using the `3-5-2 system` that places a sweeper in the rear. Therefore, Hiddink is seriously considering to place Hong in a sweeper position in the Confederation Cup, in which Korean team has to face such teams as France and Mexico.

It is the Hong`s position on which coaching staffs have chiefly concentrated in the 1990 Italy World Cup, the 1994 US World Cup, and the 1998 France World Cup. Hong played as a sweeper in the 1990 World and 1998 World Cup. And he played as a playmaker as well as a sweeper and scored goals in games with Spain and Germany.

Hong Myung-Bo told that ``I`m concentrating on physical training because physical strength is necessary in order to play any position.``

Soccer specialists such as Huh Jung-Moo, KBS soccer commentator, anticipated that ``It could be effective to use the sweeper system that places Hong in the rear of the field in games with the strong teams. But the `four-back system could be more effective in order to win games because Hong could be actively involved in the offense.`` This suggests that Hong`s position may change according to the opponent team.

Kwon Soon-Il stt77@donga.com