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Korea Soccer Team Makes Overseas News

Posted February. 07, 2006 04:10,   


The Korean national soccer team, currently in overseas training, is making news outside the field. It was reported that Park Ju-young finally satisfied the public’s curiosity over his famous “prayer” goal ceremony with an explanation. Park, who is not known for being much of a conversationalist, visited a Korean church in Los Angeles yesterday where he spoke at the pulpit. “It is my way of giving thanks to God who allows me to score goals despite my limitations.” The congregation was surprised by Park’s eloquent speech that lasted for about four minutes. The national team’s coach and former Los Angeles Galaxy athlete Hong Myung-bo also garnered the attentions of Korean fans in Los Angeles. An official from the Los Angeles Galaxy explained the endearment of fans over Hong. “He was a model athlete when he played for the Galaxy, and we at the club knew how popular he was in Korea.” Hong was hounded by the Japanese media who wanted an interview when the national team was attending Hong Kong’s Four Nations Tournament. Coach Hong received so much more interview requests than did the players that a Korea Football Association’s official jokingly remarked, “Pay 500,000 yen if you want an interview with Coach Hong.”

Another curiosity of the fans concerned the weight of veteran goalie Lee Woon-jae. Foreign reporters who remember Lee from 2002 World Cup commented that he looked heavier. Official records state that Lee weighs 88kg, but Lee remains silent about his weight.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com