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Coach Metsu, Just Be Like Hiddink

Posted May. 31, 2004 22:19,   


Will there be another sun of hope soaring for Korean soccer which is in jeopardy?

The Taegeuk warriors who realized the myth of the World Cup 2002 semifinals show high hopes for Bruno Metsu, who is now unofficially arranged to be the next coach of the Korean national soccer team.

Waiting for the two friendly matches against Turkey on June 2 (Seoul World Cup Stadium) and June 5 (Daegu World Cup Stadium), which commemorate the second anniversary of the World Cup 2002, the Korean soccer national players gathered at the National Football Training Center (NFC) in Paju on May 31 and poured out their curiosities and expectations for Metsu.

The “multi-player” captain, Yoo Sang-chul (Yokohama F Marinos) said, “Frankly, I don’t really know Metsu. It will be clear once you actually get to work with him. What matters is how he will put us through the mill. When he leads well, the players will follow well,” and added, “We have met many foreign coaches so far and only Coach Guus Hiddink has succeeded. Hopefully, Coach Metsu will come to fruition as well.”

He also commented, “All of us are learning from the failure of Coach Umberto Coelho and are sure to show a new image, wide awake from the self-conceit of a World Cup semifinalist.”

Park Ji-sung (PSV Eindhoven) stated, “It is important that he be persistent with his own philosophy and display every knowledge and know-how related to soccer.” Song Jong-kuk ( Feyenoord) commented, “It is a point at which the players’ states of mind are more important than which coach is joining. We want to rightly establish Korean soccer by endeavoring together with Coach Metsu.

“Seolvaldo” Seol, Ki-hyun (Anderlecht) counted on him, “I hope Coach Metsu will be a strong man. He has to lead the players with powerful leadership in order to boost the stagnated Korean soccer.” Choi, Jin-chul (Chonbook Hyundai Motors) also said, “Coach Metsu is known for great commanding power. I hope he leads the players with robust charisma and help advance Korea soccer to a new phase.”

The Korean players, who lost to Turkey 2-3 in the third and fourth match in the Korea-Japan World Cup on June 29, 2002, are fully resolute with readiness to greet Coach Metsu with a fantastic victory in the return match. Acting Coach Park Sung-hwa made preparations for the match against Turkey by arranging a recovery training for K-league players and an intensified training for overseas players.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com