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Former coaches call on Hong to ‘make people happy at World Cup’

Former coaches call on Hong to ‘make people happy at World Cup’

Posted May. 21, 2014 06:18,   

Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00

한국어

“We sincerely wish that the national soccer team will give hope to people in sorrow.”

Almost all former national team coaches of Korean native gathered at the National Football Center in Paju, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday. They are Kim Jeong-nam (1986 World Cup in Mexico), Lee Hoi-taek (1990 event in Italy), Kim Ho (1994 in the U.S.), Cha Bum-kun (1998 in France), Huh Jung-moo (2010 in South Africa), and Cho Kwang-rae who served as coach for Team Korea at qualifying matches for this year’s event in Brazil. They got together to cheer up Coach Hong Myung-bo, who aims to lead Korea to the quarterfinals for the first time in an overseas event. “World Cup is World Cup after all. The coach will naturally feel burdened,” said Coach Hwang Sun-hong of the Pohang Steelers in the K-League.

The World Cup brings together all world-class players, who perform best matches. They are given the best of honors as well. Fans stage highly enthusiastic cheering campaigns. At times, coaches also come to face unbearably harsh criticism, however. Coaches would feel extraordinarily heavy pressure from a World Cup event. Experience from a World Cup is important to not only players but also coaches.

In this regard, Team Korea has already dispelled at least one concern. Of the coaches of the 32 countries that participate in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Hong is among the most experienced when it comes to the World Cup.

As player, Hong took part in a total of four World Cup events (1990 in Italy, 1994 in the U.S., 1998 in France and 2002 in Korea Japan). The number of his participation at World Cups is thus the largest among the coaches of the 32 nations. Even in terms of the number of matches he played at World Cup events, Hong (16 matches) ranks second only after Coach Jurgen Klinsmann (17 matches) of the U.S.

Coach Kim Ho said, “Currently, Korea is having difficulties (due to the aftermath of the ferry disaster). By renewing commitment, I hope that the national team will make the people happy.” Coach Cha Bum-kun also said, “Coach Hong gave a new hope to Korea by winning the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. I sincerely hope that he makes the people smile once again at the Brazil event.”

Coach Huh Jung-moo, who led Korea to the second round for the first time at a World Cup finals event overseas, said, “The current national team is comprised primarily of players who have performed with Coach Hong for a long time, which is promising. I hope that the entire team members do their best with strong confidence.” Cho Kwang-rae said, “Coach Hong was always confident as player. If the national team increases the ratio of ball possession in midfield with strong sense of confidence, the team will achieve good performance. Historically, a team that had a high ratio of ball possession in midfield displayed good records.”

Lee Hoi-taek said, “Coach Hong is a person with a good luck. Despite many crises at the London Olympics, he enabled the national team to win the bronze.”

Meanwhile, Choi Kang-hee (Jeonbuk Hyundai), former national team coach, was not able to attend Tuesday’s event due to his team’s friendly match with Olympique Lyonnais of France, which will take place at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.