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‘Soccer Genius’ Gets Mixed Reviews

Posted February. 24, 2006 03:06,   


Soccer fans have been saying recently that “Soccer genius” Park Ju-young (21, FC Seoul) is overrated, pointing to his below-average performances in recent overseas matches.

Skeptics argue that he reached his limit, while others insist that he still is the best striker Korean soccer has ever had.

His Time Will Come-

“Park has many good qualities as an attacker. But at the moment, Dick Advacaat’s focus is not on the team’s offense but on the defense,” says KBS TV commentator Yi Yong-su. “The team’s offensive line will probably be upgraded as early as May. Advocaat will need Park when that time comes.”

“Park must have felt what national team soccer is all about throughout the overseas training camp. He has been playing gentlemen’s soccer until now. If he wants to take on European teams, he needs to develop a thicker skin,” says MBC TV commentator Kim Ju-seong, Doggedness and combative sprit are what made Lee Chun-su and Jeong Gyeong-ho stand out during the overseas training camp.”

“Everyone agrees that Park is best striker Korea has. But like any other athlete, he will have ups and downs. He is just in a slump right now,” says SBS TV commentator Shin Mun-seon. “Park will be a great help to the team in the upcoming World Cup. To do that, he must first help himself.”

SBS TV commentator Gang Shin-wu says, “Some people just don’t like any attempt to criticize Park. That cannot be healthy for Park’s growth. It is a fact that Park avoided physical contact and played passively during the overseas training camp. He must learn to accept criticism and try to correct these problems. The overseas training camp was a valuable lesson for him.”

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com