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[Exclusive] Rising Star Yoon Set to Shine for Soccer Team

[Exclusive] Rising Star Yoon Set to Shine for Soccer Team

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 couldn’t believe I was practicing shots with veteran Park Chu-young (AS Monaco) and exchanging passes with Park Ji-sung (Manchester United).

Midfielder Yoon Bit-garam’s 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 Cho’s 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 wasn’t 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).