Go to contents

“I Trust You, Lee Chun-soo”

Posted July. 29, 2004 22:11,   


“Chun-soo should fill in for Ji-sung’s vacancy.”

Kim Ho-gon, coach of the Korean Olympic soccer team, is very happy that big leaguer Lee Chun-soo (Real Sociedad) is joining his team. He was very much worried about losing Park Ji-sung (PSV Eindhoven) to the national team and excluding Song Jong-gook (Feyenoord) from the entry list due to his injury.

Coach Kim is planning to put Lee Chun-soo in as an offensive midfielder, a position that Park Ji-sung used to play, and ask him to control the offense and defense in the final rehearsal match against Australia on July 30 at the Seogwipo Worldcup Stadium. Although he had tried putting Choi Tae-wook (Incheon) and Kim Doo-hyun (Suwon) in place of Park Ji-sung, who was absent due to the rejection of his transfer by Gus Hiddink, it did not work very well.

The position requires witty sense, accurate passing, and skill to make goals. This makes Lee Chun-soo, who plays wings as well as offensive midfielder, qualified for this position. Also, Lee Chun-soo made a goal in the final preliminary match against Iran on March 17 and led the team to a 1-0 win. Coach Kim plans to make goals with a 3-4-1-2 formation, with Lee Chun-soo as the playmaker.

Lee Chun-soo, who had underwent an operation on the right shoulder and underwent rehabilitation training in Spain, showed his readiness, saying, “I will show it with goals.” Lee plans to make goal chances through sensuous and tempo-ahead passes to Cho Jae-jin (Shimizu S-Pulse) and Choi Sung-gook (Ulsan), and make goals himself when there are opportunities.

“My shoulders are perfectly fine now. I’ll be able to make beautiful goals, because I’m in perfect condition after going through the hard team training held at high altitude.”

Coach Kim also plans to put Lee Chun-soo in as left wing, and fully utilize Lee.

Kim Doo-hyun and Kim Jung-woo (Ulsan) will be playing defensive midfield, Kim Dong-jin (Seoul) and Park Gyu-sun (Junbuk) playing the wings, and Kim Chi-gon (Seoul), Yoo Sang-chul (Yokohama F Marinos), and Park Yong-ho (Seoul) playing three-back. Kim Ji-hyuk (Busan) is likely to play goalkeeper, since Kim Young-gwang (Junnam) injured his finger during training.

Greece is the first team Korea will play against in the Athens Olympics. The Australian team, which has a similar playing style as the Greek team in the way that they play with power and height, is suitable as the team’s final trial match before the Olympics. The Australian team, led by Coach Frank Farina, will aim for the goal led by midfielder Karl Baleri (Inter Milan), who played in the World Youth Championships.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com