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`Mercenary Coaches`, Pride-Confrontation

Posted April. 26, 2002 09:49,   


The Korean national soccer team’s manager Guus Hiddink (56) and China’s manager Bora Milutinovic (58).

The two coaches have a common feature of being `mercenary commanders` with the mission of advancing Korea and China into the final 16. Hiddink has been systematically training the Korean national team since last year, and Milutinovic also has put the Chinese soccer into the World Cup for the first time in history.

The two internationally renowned leaders are to face each other at Inchon’s Munhak World Cup Stadium on the 27th.

Hiddink is evaluating on China by a level lower. When he said that “the goal of this evaluation match is to find replacement defenders by using good defensive midfielders like Yoo Sang-Chul, Song Jong-Kuk, and Hyun Young-Min” about the point of the Chinese match on the 24th, he had full confidence.

Hiddink is also focusing on developing various scoring routes by letting in two foreign-based players Sul Gi-Hyun and Choi Yong-Su one after another, and appointing Yoon Jung-Hwan as the playmaker. Also, the `set-play`, which was intensely mastered in a recent secret training session, is to be applied in the Chinese match.

Standing against this, Milutinovic is under pressure of Chinese fans’ desire to “beat Korea at least once”. China has an absolute numerical inferiority of 8 ties and 15 losses to Korea in total of 23 matches since 1978, and all of China is ordering that this match must change the history.

Because of this, Milutinovic is in full load of all the best members. He arrived in Korea on the 25th, bringing all the elite players.

Every team Milutinovic led, including Mexico, Costa Rica, U.S.A., and Nigeria, achieved the World Cup final 16, and he definitely does not want to hurt his career this time.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com · buddy@donga.com