Updated May. 23, 2014 05:46
Dear my friend Myung-bo,
More than 24 years have passed since we met in the national soccer team. I miss the time when we were sharing a room and dreaming of our future as the youngest members of the national team. While running errands for our seniors, we would shed tears and also laugh. The national flag was our pride as well as tremendous pressure. We were really happy when we won the match, but we were hurt a lot when we lost and were under fire. We were criticized when I could not take advantage of a critical chance as a striker, and when you made a critical mistake as a defender. That was the price that we have to pay for representing the Republic of Korea.
Myung-bo, you are leaving for Brazil a few days later. I feel sorry for letting you carry a large burden. Unlike any other time, the whole country has a high expectation for the national team. As you have to give a hope and joy to the people who are in sorrow in the wake of the Sewol ferry disaster, you must be pressured more than any other World Cup.
You have to endure it, however, as long as you carry the national flag. I believe in you as it is you, Myung-bo. You have always been strong in times of a crisis as a soccer player and as a coach. You have long been a member of the national team and learned a lot from good coaches. You have always worked hard to win something bigger the 2009 U-20 World Cup in Egypt, the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, and the 2012 London Olympics. Whenever people predicted that you would face tough situations, you got them over. Koreas first-ever Olympic football medal was earned thanks to your excellent crisis management.
This time, it will not be easy again. Russia, Algeria, Belgium are tough in Group H of the competition in Brazil. People are more pessimistic than optimistic about results. Korea has been always like that before the World Cup games begin. Despite the negative forecasts, Korea made it to the semi-finals in 2002 and the first round in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, an away game, for the first time.
Myung-bo, this World Cup is another challenge to you. I am sure that you can make our distressed people happy when you push for what you believe. I believe in you.
-Hwang Sun-hong, Pohang Steelers coach