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Yoon Jung-Hwan, “Running As If This Is The Final Chance”

Yoon Jung-Hwan, “Running As If This Is The Final Chance”

Posted March. 19, 2002 08:24,   


`Smart` Yoon Jung-Hwan (29. Cerezo Osaka. Picture) returned to the Korean national soccer team after 9 months.

Yoon arrived in Spain on the 18th, where the team’s field training camp is located, along with other `J-Leaguers` including Yoo Sang-Chul, Hwang Sun-Hong (both Kashiwa Reysol), and Choi Yong-Su (Jef United Ichihara).

Yoon has worn the uniform again since last year’s Confederations Cup, and said, “I shall do my best thinking this is my last chance.”

His return to the national team was much debated. Besides, he almost was excluded from the match with Finland on the 20th. The reason was that his left ankle was injured from a deep tackle during the match on 10th. Fortunately, the injury was not severe, and he has now recovered to the level where he can manage 70 minutes in the 17th’s match.

“My ankle swelled a little because of long flight, but no problem,” said Yoon.

It would be interesting to observe Yoon’s plays in the Finland match, while the situation for lack of appropriate `playmakers` continues. Coach Guus Hiddink is anxious since Song Jong-Kuk (Pusan Icons) and Lee Chun-Su (Ulsan Hyundai) were placed as offensive midfielders in the match with Tunisie on the 13th, but they failed to open effective opportunities for attack.

Hiddink’s expectations on Yoon are half-half, so far. After acknowledging Yoon’s `brain-play` and `abundant experiences`, Hiddink said, “I’ll have many conversations with him about how he can adjust to the team.” According to Hiddink’s style that emphasizes on `multi-player`, however, it may well be true that he does not have full trust in Yoon who has no other position except `offensive midfielder`. Besides, Hiddink is questioning Yoon’s stamina.

In response, Yoon carefully said that “there is a difference between running in Japan and running against European players”. Although Yoon said, “I don’t know what Hiddink would order me to do, ” he already has organized the `structure` of the match in his heart.

¡°I want to take the position of offensive midfielder just below the frontline strikers. I feel comfortable there,¡° said Yoon.

Sung-Won Joo swon@donga.com