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"I will Defeat Japan"

Posted September. 15, 2003 23:20,   


`Lee Cheon-soo (Spain Real Sociedad) not available, and neither is Park Ji-seong (Netherlands Eindhoven) …`.

The test match against Japan on the 17th will be played without the key players. Lee Cheon-soo and Park Ji-seong cannot join the national team due to their team circumstances.

Still, the National Olympic team manager Kim Ho-gon showed confidence to defeat Japan with launching the training at National Training Center (NFC) Paju on the 15th. He believes Choi Tae-wook (22. Anyang LG), who grew up to be the best side attacker in Korea` can fill up the vacancy.

Choi Tae-wook is the hero who made the 27m middle-distance shot to score a goal in the away game against Japan last July. (1-1 tie) He is a fast player who runs 100m within 11 seconds to show excellent capacity for penetration, and also shows good skills regarding shooting.

He is the fixed member of the national and Olympic representative team playing the right middle fielder, and is also the only one player that has experience in the World Cup 2002. He has many experiences in the big matches and scored 3 goals after joining the Olympic team, playing the key role as a `senior` with Jo Jae-jin, the striker.

Choi Tae-wook is adding credibility to the coaching staff with different playing style this year. He was evaluated as a `half qualified` player showing insufficient combative spirit. He suppressed the high school soccer stage with Lee Cheon-soo when he was in high school (Bupyeong High School), but fell behind Lee after debut in the professional soccer due to `disposition` rather than ability.

Choi suffered contempt becoming a scrub last season in his team, and stayed in bench throughout the World Cup, but he changed with accumulation of experience in the big games, and guts as well.

Yamamoto Masakuni, manager of National Team of Japan, said something after evading defeat with Jo Byeong-guk`s suicide goal that presents what is different with Choi Tae-wook recently. “Choi Tae-wook is a player who is able to run well. It was hard for us to defend him anyway, and our defensive line were afraid of him.”

Choi relaxed himself to get over the fatigue from professional league participation, saying “To be frank, I envy Cheon-soo who is playing in one of the best leagues in the world. I will make the best efforts to advance to the Europe league after this season.”

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com