Go to contents

"Let Me Handle the German Tank Gun"

Posted November. 27, 2003 23:03,   


“I will save the German tank guns no matter what I crush.”

In the World Youth Soccer Championship 2003 (under-20), Germany, which plays Korea in its opening match, is the favored team in Group F. Because of this, coach Park Sung-hwa of Korea has set up the main aim as the draw game at the match with Germany took place on November 30.

Preparing for the first match with “Tank Squad” Germany, the player who feels the most burdensome is goalkeeper Kim Young-gwang (20 years old, Jeonnam Dragons). He has “spider hands,” not allowing a single goal for the sixth consecutive game.

Kim Young-gwang, who finished training at the Al Daier Sports City in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on November 27, showed his self-confidence by saying, “If I allow a single goal, then at least we can have a draw,” aware of his responsibilities in order for the team to advance to the round of 16.

Kim’s condition is better than the best. Kim Young-gwang, who is also a regular player in the Olympic team (under 23 years old), led the youth team to no losses, including the friendly game between North Korea and South Korea, the Suwon Cup matches, and the evaluation match against Egypt after assembling the youth team last month and showing off the consecutive no losses streak.

Coach Park didn’t spare his praise, saying, “In the four-back defensive line organizational ability, Kim’s leadership takes great gravity. During those evaluation matches, in the matter of allowing no goal goalkeeper rendered distinguished service.” He has a good physique, 185 cm tall and 80 kg, and he has an innate ball sense and self-possession and rapid judgment sense.”

If Kim Young-gwang is the heart of the defense, the heart of the attack is Choi Sung-kook (20 years old, Ulsan Hyundai). At the match against Hong Kong in the Olympics preliminary on October 7, Choi injured his collarbone. But after he played at the evaluation match against Egypt on November 23 for a short while, he blasted goals at a November 27 mini game after putting a shock-absorbing sponge on his shoulder.

Choi Sung-kook was brimming with confidence, saying “My physical condition is now at 90 percent, and it doesn’t matter if I bump my shoulder against other player. Initially, I played by avoiding the injured spot without knowing myself when I trap or struggle with other players but now I learned how to shrewdly avoid.” Coach Park plans to put Choi Sung-kook as joker player at the second half.

In addition to this, Kwon Jip of Suwon Samsung, 19 years old, who played in the youth team of German FC Koeln after graduating from Dongbook High School last year, will command the center of the field as the playmaker.

It is true that “Tank Squad” is powerful. But as there are these three young Taekuk warriors, it is never a “wall that cannot be climbed.”

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com