‘legend’ of German soccer, coach Jürgen Klinsmann, joined Korea in March. After taking over as head coach of the national soccer team, the national team’s victory clock stopped. Fans’ expectations were high upon the appointment of coach Klinsmann, who advocated ‘offensive soccer’, but the result was only 2 draws and 2 losses. Since he was unable to secure a victory for six months after his appointment, he also suffered the disgrace of being the longest winless coach of the Korean national team in history.
Now is the time when victory is truly essential. Ahead of the second consecutive international match in September, the European players showed good condition, raising expectations for their first victory.
(From left) Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan, Cho Gyu-seong, Hong Hyun-seok
The national team will play an international match in England in September. Korea will meet Wales on the 8th and Saudi Arabia on the 13th. The Wales match will be held at Cardiff City Stadium in Wales, England, and the Saudi Arabia match will be held at St. James Park in Newcastle. The European players joined the team immediately in the UK, while the domestic players boarded flights to the UK over the next 3 to 4 days.스포츠토토
This September’s friendly matches will place a lot of pressure on Coach Klinsmann and the national team. In addition to not being able to achieve a win in the evaluation games so far, coach Klinsmann received a lot of criticism for spending his personal time abroad for a long time rather than at home. Negative public opinion exploded as the national team roster for this international match was announced in writing without a press conference. If we do not get good results in the upcoming international match, there will inevitably be more skepticism about Coach Klinsmann’s future.
In this situation, the European players’ outstanding performance last weekend is raising expectations for the national team, which is thirsty for victory. ‘Captain’ Son Heung-min (Tottenham) scored a hat-trick in the English Premier League (EPL) match against Burnley on the 2nd ahead of joining the national team, and ‘monster defender’ Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) also scored his first full-time performance after moving to Germany on the same day. He improved his condition by digesting .
‘Bull’ Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), who had been slowing down due to his thigh injury, showed off his sharp movements by scoring a header goal in the EPL game against Crystal Palace on the 3rd. In addition, Hong Hyun-seok (Ghent), who is active in the Belgian league, scored multiple goals against Club Brugge on the same day, and Cho Kyu-seong, who plays for Danish professional soccer team Midtjylland, also recorded his first assist since entering Denmark against Aarhus.
Oh Hyun-gyu of Scottish professional soccer team Celtic, who had been out for nearly a month due to a calf injury in early August, also made his return after a month by playing in the ‘Old Firm Derby’ against Rangers. It is good news for Coach Klinsmann, who is ahead of the second consecutive international match, that many European players, except Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who was not called up to the national team due to a thigh injury at the end of last month, performed well.
In the K-League, Lee Soon-min, who leads the recent ‘promoted team’ Gwangju FC by storm, has joined the team, and leading players Kim Young-kwon, Jeong Seung-hyun, Seol Young-woo, and Dong-kyung Lee of Ulsan Hyundai will accompany them on the European expedition.
This time’s opponents, Wales and Saudi Arabia, are considered relatively weaker than Korea. The FIFA rankings of Wales and Saudi Arabia are also lower than Korea, which ranks 35th and 54th, respectively, and ranks 28th. However, the first opponent, Wales, is expected to feature a number of key players from Europe, such as Aaron Ramsey (Cardiff) and Ben Davis (Tottenham), so a fierce match is expected. Saudi Arabia, the opponent in the second game, also has a history of defeating the ‘champion’ Argentina in the group stage of the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Roberto Mancini, the ‘master general’ who led Italy to the top at the 2020 European Championships, is at the helm.