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Going To the “Big League,” After K-league

Posted February. 28, 2005 23:08,   


Why take a break from school and go to the professional league?-

It seems that Park Joo-young has figured that playing in the professional league is more advantageous to make inroads into the European “big leagues.” Under the best coaching staff in Korea and scientific management of players, Park will be able to focus only on training and receiving systematic support. By choosing to take a temporary absence from school, instead of quitting, he still has the possibility of returning to school.

Shin Moon-sun, commentator of SBS, said “Park Joo-young is currently in a very important growth process. If he competes against the best players of Korea, develops his competency, and learns the professional mindset at this important point, he will be able to grow further. It will be much easier for him to adapt to European leagues, if he plays in the K-league first.”

How much money will he receive?-

The term of the contract is three years, starting this year to 2007. His yearly salary, the highest amount among first-year rookies, is 50 million won. Due to the rules of the Korean Football Association (KFA), first-year rookies don’t receive earnest money. However, he can receive more money when renewing their contract after a year. FC Seoul plans to preserve him more money through TV commercials, considering his value of 2~3 billion won. By inserting content that says FC Seoul will promote Park’s transfer to the European league within the season and will divide the transfer fees, FC Seoul opened up a possibility for Park to transfer to the European league even within the season.

His course?-

Park Joo-young’s first aim is transferring to a team in the English Premier League. FC Seoul also said that the team will provide full support for him to become a world soccer star and boost Korean soccer to the world. The World Youth Championship, which will be held in June in the Netherlands, will be very important in making inroads into the European league.

The K-league and the “Park Joo-young effect”-

The K-league, which received its highest popularity right after the 2002 World Cup ended, lost many of its fans when Song Jong-gook, Lee Eul-yong, Lee Chun-soo, Lee Young-pyo, and Park Ji-sung transferred to European teams. Park Joo-young’s entrance into the K-league will be very helpful for the league to regain its fans. The Korean soccer world is expecting a great upsurge in popularity this season, thanks to Park Joo-young, who possesses both skill and performance.

Han Woong-soo, the head of FC Seoul, said, “Even with the name Seoul, the capital of the nation, not many people watched the team’s games, since there was no star player on the team. The team first planned to recruit Park in 2006. However, the team figured that Park was the only card they could play to solve the problem of having no star players, and advanced his recruitment by persuading Korea University.”

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com