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Overseas Korean Soccer Players, Going All Out to Attack!

Overseas Korean Soccer Players, Going All Out to Attack!

Posted November. 06, 2003 23:16,   


“Korean soccer players overseas all set out for the match!”

The second preliminary league of the 2004 Asian Cup soccer tournament was a big disappointment to everyone. Humberto Coelho, the head coach of the Korean national soccer team, was at stake of being fired for he was the man who should take responsibilities for the defeats. This time however, Coelho has set out to reclaim his pride, being fully equipped with the best Korean star soccer players from overseas.

“At the match against Bulgaria on November 18, about eight Korean players from the other countries’ soccer leagues will be able to participate,” remarked the spokesperson of KFA (Korea Football Association) on November 6.

A total of eight players from overseas will definitely show up for the game. Those included are: Park Ji-sung, Lee Young-pyo (Psv Eindhoven), and Song Jong-kook (Feyenoord Rotterdam), also known as the “Three Dutch Musketeers,” along with Lee Chun-soo (Real Madrid), Yoo Sang-chul (Yokohama), Choi Yong-soo (Ichihara), Ahn Jung-hwan (Shimizu), and Cha Doo-ri (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Kim Eun-jung (Sendai) however, has turned down the request of Coelho, for his team was falling behind in its league.

Since the overseas players joined the national team, the final entry for the match against Bulgaria, that is to be released on November 10, will not include many players from the Korean soccer league, although the team has disciplined them intensively so far.

Coelho’s determined intentions of getting a victory seems quiet unusual. The official day of call-up is November 16, but Coelho decided to have a special training for the players from overseas including Park Ji-sung, Lee Young-pyo, Lee Chun-soo and Song Jong-kook, as soon as they arrive in Korea, one by one and taking turns.

Coelho also played a part in picking the scrimmage partner. According to Coelho’s eager recommendation, “I want to have a match against a strong team.” KFA chose Bulgaria as an opponent for the friendly match, coming to an agreement with Bulgaria that they would put in their best players for the match.

In order to come through with the promise, Bulgaria has gathered up its ace striker Bladimir Manchev (Le Santpiona), aggressive mid-fielder Dahier Borimirov (Tsv 1860 Munich), Martin Fedrov (Vfl Wolfsburg), and Dimitahr Verdadof (Bayer Leverkusen), and many other powerful players scattered all over Europe.

Bulgaria was left out of the making of the 98 France World Cup and the Euro 2000 tournament. But, as a result of drastic reform on its national team, it has bottled up Croatia and Belgium in the preliminary league of the Euro 2004, going straight into the final league as the first place of Group eight. As a rising nova in European soccer, Bulgaria might be a good sparring partner for Korean team.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com