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France to Put Out Its Bests in Korean Match

Posted May. 24, 2002 08:44,   


¡°We are to observe Henry’s recovery from knee injury until the 26th, and his final test will in the match with Korea,” said coach Roger Lemerre of the French national football team during a press interview on the 23rd. He also added, “We might have to reexamine the offense line, if the Korean match brings a bad outcome”

French striker Henry’s name had been known to the Korean fans for a long time, as he led his team in the international youth tournament in 1997 to beat the Koreans by 4-2, scoring 2 goals himself. He also scored a tie-record of the most goals (24 goals) ever in the England’s Premier League, which ended at the beginning of this month. He has been suffering from knee pain since then.

France, which set his training camp in Ibusuki, Japan, played a friendly match with J-League’s Urawa Reds on the 22nd, and claimed big victory of 5-1, even though starting players like Henry and Zidane stayed at bench. Veteran Youri Djorkaeff (34) scored a hat trick on the day, and rookie Djibrill Cisse (21) a goal.

“It was a good opportunity to gain back confidence over the defeat from Belgium. I wish all the players will show their best spirit even in the Korean match,” said Lemerre after the match, hinting that a wide variety of players is to be appointed.

“Our team’s strength is with high team spirit, regardless of win or loss. I don’t want to disappoint my fellow players,” said Henry, who is concentrating on training with taping over his injured knee, with strong will to play.

Meanwhile, the Korean national soccer team prepared itself by holding two training sessions of set-plays and shooting at Paju training center on the 23rd. The players are, especially, determined to wash off the painful memory of the 0-5 defeat against France during last year’s Confederations Cup.

“I’ll show everything I have, even if I fight against some super stars,” said confident Ahn Jeong-Hwan (Perugia), who had encountered Zidane twice in Italy’s Serie A.

Coach Guus Hiddink emphasized, “We need some rest now after recently playing 3 evaluation matches. Although other teams in the same group will be watching the French match for analysis, we have nothing to hide and will put out everything we have.”

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com