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Foreign Coach to Be Hired for Korean National Team

Posted November. 07, 2007 07:24,   


After former Korean national team coach Pim Verbeek took the blame for the disappointing performance during the 2007 Asia Cup and stepped down from his position, the Korea Football Association (KFA) has announced its decision to hire a European team coach as the Korean national team’s new general. However, since the potential candidates are some of the most internationally sought after coaches, skepticism is growing regarding KFA’s ability to hire any one of them.

A KFA Technical Committee member announced on November 6 that the KFA has decided to hire a renowned foreign coach with extensive coaching experience in European teams, as soccer today is played in a more European fashion than South American.

Some of the potential candidates are: Gerard Houllier (60) of France, Mike McCarthy (former coach of Leon), and Milan Máčala (64) of the Czech team. There are two to three more names on the list of candidates, but the aforementioned three are the more likely candidates to land the job.

Houllier was the aide of Aimé Jacquet, the head coach of the French national soccer team during the 1998 World Cup. In 2001, he led Liverpool to the UEFA championship title. McCarthy led Ireland to the Sweet 16 during the 2002 World Cup. Máčala has become notorious in Korea for annihilating Team Korea on countless occasions.

The question is if any of these candidates are willing to take the plunge. Coaching Team Korea has been long known among soccer experts around the world as standing on the fine line between glory and tragedy. There’s still three more years to go until the next World Cup. McCarthy has already openly announced, “I have no intention of coaching in Korea.”

But KFA has rebutted the skepticisms by saying, “There are many coaches out there who would love to coach the Korean national team, as Korean soccer has impressed soccer fans around the world.” They added, “In order to bring Korean soccer up to a new level, we must do everything within our power to hire a great coach, no matter the cost.”

It has become known that KFA once considered coach Park Seong-hwa (52) of the Olympic soccer team as a potential candidate. A member of KFA said, “He would have made a great coach for the Korean national team, but unfortunately he is obligated to the Olympic squad, so we had to pass.” He added, “There are many talented Korean coaches with respectable coaching backgrounds, but unfortunately they lack international coaching experience. It is difficult to find a Korean coach with both great understanding of the game and a superb level of experience.” There are few Korean coaches who fully understands the young soccer gems of Korea like coach Park, as he has lead the Under 20 squad to the FIFA U-20 World Cup twice (2003, 2005) and is coaching the Olympics’ national squad as well.