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Hiddink Wants to Bring Them All

Posted April. 16, 2003 21:56,   


"I will bring both of Choi Sung-kook and Lee Chun-soo."

Former South Korean World Cup team coach Guus Hiddink hinted at his "bring`em all" intention by the remark. In other words, he wishes to have as many South Korean World Cup team members as possible over to his pro team in Netherlands.

A renowned English soccer columnist to The Dong A Ilbo, Rob Hughes told reporters, "Mr. Hiddink recently expressed his wish to bring both of Lee and Choi to his team, PSV Eindhoven." Hughes added that Hiddink made the remark at the A-match between Brazil and Portugal held on March 30.

Right after the 2002 World Cup, Hiddink hired Lee Young-pyo and Park Ji-sung over to Netherlands. This year, Hiddink to tap on Lee and Lee is about to sing up a contract with PSV. Now, Hiddink`s attention is falling on Choi.

Then, why is Hiddink so eager to have more South Korean players? KBS sports commentator Lee Yong-soo explains it as follows:

First, all players Hiddink wants are young. Thus, after two to three years of hard training, they could be "sold" to the major European teams with a high premium. At the same time, the players themselves want to make inroads into English and Spanish leagues. In short, both sides are helping each other.

Second, PSV wants to tap on the South Korean market. With more South Korean players in, the team has raked in a considerable amount of money by, for example, selling the right to broadcast its games. PSV`s South Korean agent said, "It has determined that it needs more promotional efforts to boost its image among South Koreans. And, now, it is strengthening its marketing efforts in Korea. In other words, hiring more Korean players constitutes part of the marketing drive."

The third reason is the 2006 World Cup in Germany. For now, Coelho is leading the South Korean national team. But no one knows what will happen in the future. If Coelho fails to win the trust of the Korean fans, who should take the helm? Of course, it is Hiddink. That is why Hiddink is believed to be maintaining a good relationship with South Korea.

In the meanwhile, Choi, who is aiming at the English market, says, "I will gladly follow Mr. Hiddink."

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com