Posted August. 13, 2010 11:29,
When I first came to the stadium to warm up, I felt like I was dreaming. I was shivering. I couldnt believe I was practicing shots with veteran Park Chu-young (AS Monaco) and exchanging passes with Park Ji-sung (Manchester United).
Midfielder Yoon Bit-garams name was cited more than that of coach Cho Kwang-rae after the national soccer team beat Nigeria, 2-1, in an exhibition game Wednesday at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Gyeonggi Province. Yoon scored the opening goal in the win.
I felt nervous in practice but when the game started, I could even hear fans calling names, Yoon said. I will aggressively absorb the strengths of senior players like a sponge and be on this team for a long time.
After the end of the game, experts in unison called Yoon a gifted player who finally demonstrated his potential, adding he can be righteously called the prince of Chos squad.
The Dong-A Ilbo interviewed Yoon after gathering questions from four soccer experts.
○ Jeju United coach Park Kyoung-hoon
― You have understood soccer well even when playing for the national under-17 team (which Park coached at the time). How have you been studying soccer?
Yoon: I often watch videos of matches I played in. I watch games in which I did poorly. I repeatedly watch games in which I played badly until I think of ways to correct my mistakes. I also often read books and watch videos on soccer.
― You play the same position as Koo Ja-cheol (Jeju) and are of a similar age. So it is fair to call you two rivals? What advantages and disadvantages do you and Koo (who is older) have?
Yoon: Ja-cheol is clever. Even when squeezed by defenders, he can penetrate on his own. In contrast, my strengths are non-stop passes and a wide view.
○ Myongji University professor Shin Moon-sun
― What is your long-term goal as a player?
Yoon: My goal is to start for the national team at the next Olympics and World Cup. I want to become a full-fledged player like Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona, who is good at passing and skilled in leading games. If I get the chance to play overseas, Spain would be ideal.
― What in your opinion is the most important quality to become a successful player?
Yoon: Soccer intelligence. A professional player needs speed and power to a certain extent. The ability to understand tactics and make judgments stems from the brain.
○ KBS soccer commentator Han Joon-hee
― Hailing from a pro team that represents citizens of a province, you are also on the national team. Is it fair to call you a role model for players on smaller teams of the K-League?
Yoon: Nobody knows what will happen to somebody in the future (smiles). I performed poorly for the under-17 team. I wasnt even assured of making a pro team. When I felt confused over my situation, the answer was exercise.
○ SBS soccer commentator Park Moon-sung
― What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses?
Yoon: My strengths are quick passing and shooting that are one step ahead of others. My weakness that needs improvement is sluggish transition from offense to defense.
― Who did you find the most impressive among players when you first joined the national team?
Yoon: Of course, veteran Park Ji-sung was the most impressive. He looked confident and relaxed perhaps because of his ample experience in big matches. Though I only had a short time with him, I learned a lot about what a genuine pro player is like. I wish to be able to approach him more comfortably next time (smiles).