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War of Three in Soccer

Posted February. 21, 2003 22:42,   


Coelho, the new South Korean national soccer team coach from Portugal, is mild in character, but has a great ambition. Thus, he is compared to Yoobi, a Chinese historic figure of generosity. Coach Haan from Netherlands speaks four languages and has broad knowledge about soccer obtained through his former career as a sports manager. Thus, he is likened to Chocho, another Chinese historic legend representing wisdom and knowledge. On the other hand, Zico, one of the former Brazilian players, will not compromise and takes high pride in his decisions. Therefore, experts compare him to Sonkwon, yet another figure symbolizing braveness.

Each of them made a unique statement upon inauguration. Haan said, "If not confident, I would not have put a step in this broad land." Zico stated, "Japan is overqualified. It is capable of advancing to the semifinal in the World Cup. Why should it lower itself?"

On the contrary, Coelho may have sounded a little humble. He said, "I will just do my best to help South Korea move up to the semifinal again. I will listen to others` advice.” Listening more, we would realize that is not the case. He confidently said, "I will stand on top in the upcoming Asian Cup. Then, I will put myself up for judgment for my eligibility of a coach who will lead South Korea in the 2006 Germany World Cup."

Each of them has a colorful career as a star player. In terms of coaching history, Coelho stands out. It was Coelho who led the Portugese national team to the semifinal in the European Championship in 2000. On the other hand, Haan and Zico had never coached a national team.

Each coach distinguishes himself from others in terms of strategies used. Coelho favors pressuring and fine passes. Zico tends to play a "colorful soccer" based on strong teamwork. On the contrary, Haan "worships" the "total soccer" requiring each player has a strong physical power.

Zico and Haan have one thing in common: their number one target is Coelho, who leads the South Korean national team that advanced up to the semifinal in the last World Cup. Coelho and Zico will have a bout on April 16th, when the two countries` national teams are scheduled to have an A-match.

Haan and Zico have already started training their teams. In the meanwhile, Coelho will come to Korea on February 27. Following the war among their predecessors, or Hiddink (S. Korea), Troussier (Japan) and Milutinovic (China), a new War of Three is about to be unfolded before us.

Soon-Il Kwon stt77@donga.com