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“I Am a Cut Above What I Was Before”

Posted November. 11, 2003 23:05,   


“Victory is the best present I can give to my fans. I will make use of the soccer I learned in Spain and, with no questions, we will defeat Bulgaria.”

It has been a long time since Korea’s first “big leaguer,” Lee Chun-soo (age 22; Real Sociedad), has visited his native country of Korea on November 11. It has been exactly four months since he departed to Spain on July 12.

Lee Chun-soo assured that by playing this A-match (National Team match) against the eastern European power, Bulgaria, on November 18 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, he will do his best to support the Korean national soccer team head coach, Umberto Coelho, who has been going through hard times due to the recent consecutive losses against Vietnam and Oman.

The “young and outspoken” Lee Chun-soo has played in a total of 13 games in the Spanish Primera Liga and the European Champion’s League but has not yet been successful in scoring a goal. His only attack point came from an assist he made on August 31 against Espanyol. Lee has been going through some hard times because he has been spending much more time on the bench than on the field.

-Your [Lee’s] opinion.

“I am very glad to come back to my native country. Life overseas is harder than I had expected. I would like to revitalize myself in Korea before departing again to Spain.”

-The Korean National Soccer Team has been going through some tough times lately.

“I was shocked when I heard about the news of the losses to Vietnam and Oman through the Internet. However, since the best members of the team are together this time, we will defeat Bulgaria and give the fans joy.”

-What do you think of coach Coelho?

“He is a very quiet man with few words. I believe he is going through a tough time lately. We will win and remove some of the burden off his shoulders.”

-Some words to the fans.

“The taste of soccer is victory. If I am successful at scoring an awesome goal and winning, it will be the best homecoming present I have to give to the fans.

-You have not yet been able to perform a goal ceremony in the Primera Liga.

“I want nothing else more than to score a goal. I was impatient at first, but now I don’t really care. Goals are just waiting to be scored. A person’s first goal is important. Once the first goal is successful, goals will start pouring in.”

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com