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Seoul Says Ju-yeong; Ulsan Says Cheon-su

Posted December. 09, 2005 07:38,   


“Surely the MVP is Park Ju-yeong.”

“No. Lee Cheon-su was better.”

Recently, sports reporters assigned to pro football are being harassed with phone calls and text messages that are pouring in from FC Seoul and Ulsan-Hyundai.

Seoul wants their player, Park Ju-yeong, to be the MVP, and Ulsan thinks Lee Cheon-su is entitled to the honor. The MVP selection by reporters will be announced on December 28.

Park had an incredible run as a rookie this year, scoring 18 goals and four assists in cup games and in the regular league. On average, 20,000 spectators flocked to every game Park played, vitalizing Korea’s pro football.

After his unsuccessful run in the Spanish football league, Lee Cheon-su got back into the K-League in the middle of the season. Lee then led his team to the top with seven goals and five assists in the playoffs. His brilliant performance also includes a hat trick in the championship final.

It sounds like they are evenly matched.

That is why both clubs are lobbying for their player to be picked as the MVP.

Seoul wrote in their special edition of a newsletter, “Ten reasons why Park Ju-yeong must become the MVP,” and has been sending text message to reporters that says, “Help us put the finishing touch on the season.” Park Ju-yeong himself sent e-mail to the reporters that say, “Thank you for paying close attention this season.”

Seoul also has been promoting the results from a research conducted by a marketing research company SMS, which states that Park Ju-yeong’s contribution to the Korean economy this year was about 17 billion won.

SMS reported that Park contributed a direct economic effect of 1.26 billion won, an indirect effect of 6.13 billion won, and an advertising effect of 10.16 billon won, totaling 17.55 billion in economic effects.

One official from the club said, “Lee Cheon-su played a pivotal role in our first victory in nine years. Having only joined the club in the middle of the season, he led the team to the playoffs, and then to victory. He should not be compared to Park Ju-yeong, whose team didn’t even make it to the playoffs.”

There are heated, on-going debates about the MVP selection in cyber space as well.

KFA welcomes such strong lobbying from both sides and the fans’ responses on the web that all seem to say, “The season is over, but the K-League is still going on.”

Three major sport papers voted 2 to 1, favoring Park with two votes. Who will have the last laugh?

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com