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Ronaldo, Rooney, and Giggs vs. Lee, Ki, and Song

Posted July. 20, 2007 03:12,   


Although the Korean national youth team failed to make the final 16 of the Canada FIFA under-20 World Cup, critics said that their play “indicated the way that Korean football was headed.” This refers to the team’s systematic, fast and aggressive playing style, which is grounded on precise passes. Core members of the junior national team will test their potential in a match against English Premier League champion Manchester United.

Youth team members who will run in the match are FC Seoul’s Lee Cheong-yong, 19, Ki Seong-yong, 18, and Song Jin-hyeong, 20. Ahead of the friendly match against Manchester on July 20, at 8 p.m. at Seoul World Cup Stadium, FC Seoul’s coach Gunes mentioned the names of these three players at a fan meeting held at the Adidas store in Myeong-dong, Seoul, on July 19, and said, “We will play a great match centered around the young players of our team.”

In particular, Lee Cheong-yong is the main star of the ‘Gunes Storm’ that blew in during the first part of the season as he made his first debut goal in the season’s opening match against Daegu FC, and recorded six assists during the cup tournament. Lee is a side midfielder whose specialty is fast breaks and edge-cutting passes, and he fully showed off his ability during the Canada FIFA U20 World Cup against strong teams like the United States and Brazil.

Song Jin-hyeong is responsible for the ‘waist’ section of the junior national team and has gained trust through his secure and stable play. Ki Seong-yong is a capable multi-player, as his position as mid-fielder on his team and his spot on defense on the national team well shows.

Manchester’s offensive is also led by ‘young blood,’ 22-year-old Wayne Rooney and Christiano Ronaldo. Rooney’s reckless frontal breakthrough and powerful shooting skills, and Ronaldo’s brilliant dribbling and deliberate passes are top class. In particular, Ronaldo, whose outstanding play last season earned him the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards from England’s Professional Footballer’s Association, plays the same position opposite Lee Cheong-yong, so it will be interesting to watch their showdown.

Meanwhile, FC Seoul’s ‘football genius’ Park Joo-young, 22, will likely not be able to run in the game as he has not fully recovered from an injury.