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Korean players determined to win World Cup opener

Posted June. 17, 2014 06:03,   


Members of the Korean national team have displayed extraordinary commitment ahead of its first group match against Russia, which has been regarded as a showdown of the 2014 Brazil World Cup. After a closed training session on Monday at the stadium of the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso in Cuiaba, Brazil, the Korean players appeared strongly determined to win the match.

Frontline striker Park Chu-young said, “It is my determination to win the match with Russia without fail,” adding, “Even when team training sessions are over, I stay longer at the training ground, and exercise shooting to improve shooting skills.” Park, who was once criticized for not adequately engaging in defense, said, “I will actively engage not only in offense but also in defense with others.” He went on to say, “Since the team has a number of players good at shooting, I am not solely in charge,” but added, “As I have exercised a lot thus far, I want to seize the chance to score when I encounter a good situation.”

Son Heung-min, who is drawing keen attention amid expectations for stellar performance at this year’s World Cup, said, “I will stage do-or-die battle in the game against Russia. We will achieve reversal (of the prevailing prediction) in the game against Russia.” On weather in Cuiaba, Son said, “The weather is not as hot as I expected. We already finished training for adaptation in Miami in the U.S. and other places. As Russia is also believed to have prepared, it is difficult to claim which team is advantageous due to weather.”

“I am confident as far as kick is concerned. I want to make the most of opportunities for set piece play,” midfielder Ki Sung-yeung said. “The kicker should kick well, and the recipient should take it well, but it also takes luck.”

“At the two exhibition matches we conducted ahead of the World Cup finals, we made poor results. But we were able to prepare ourselves to deal with our weaknesses. We have made quite some progress and the mood is favorable,” Defender Lee Yong said. “While repeating defense, teamwork, and offense drills, we are trying to correct problems that were revealed at the exhibition matches.” He added, “We are not thinking about the matches against Algeria and Belgium now, but only focusing on the match against Russia.”

Midfielder Han Kook-young said, “I cannot think of anyone. Frankly, I don’t even think of my parents. I am only thinking about the World Cup.”