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Experience in Europe adds competitive edge to Asian football teams

Experience in Europe adds competitive edge to Asian football teams

Posted December. 14, 2022 07:59,   

Updated December. 14, 2022 07:59


“The notable performance of Asian football teams is thanks to the players with experiences in Europe,” said Cha Doo-ri (pictured), a member of the Technical Study Group under FIFA and the official in charge of youth enhancement at FC Seoul. As the first presenter of the TSG Briefing in Doha, Qatar on Monday (local time), Mr. Cha said Asian teams achieved a remarkable result, defeating strong competitors in each group.

Indeed, Asia emerged as a game-changer this World Cup in Qatar, with Saudi Arabia defeating Argentina 2-1 and Japan beating Spain and Germany both by 2-1. South Korea won against Portugal 2-1, while Australia defeated Denmark 1-0. “One of the reasons behind Asian preval‎ence was the experiences they have accumulated in European leagues,” said Mr. Cha.

Indeed, eight out of 26 in the South Korean squad are playing in Europe, including Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), Kim Min-jae (Napoli), Lee Kang-in (Mallorca), Lee Jae-seong (Mainz), Hwang In-beom, Hwang Ui-jo (Olympiacos), and Jeong Woo-young (Freiburg). Japan has a total of 19 players from Europe out of 26. Australia has 15 European players.

“Many of them are based in Europe. Some are captains in the German Bundesliga,” Cha Doo-ri stressed. “The experiences give them the guts to fight their European competitors and add a competitive edge.” Endo Wataru, a Japanese midfielder, is the captain of VfB Stuttgart, a German football club.

Mr. Cha pointed to improving their strategy as another success factor. “We’ve made significant progress in terms of strategies. The players have a good understanding of strategies, and they also have the experiences of playing in different formations,” he said. “The gap is being narrowed, but they showed many problems compared to their competitors encountered in the first tournament round,” Mr. Cha explained the reason behind the failure of Asian teams to advance to the quarterfinals.

Dong-Wook Kim creating@donga.com