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Direction for Korean soccer to take after Brazil World Cup

Direction for Korean soccer to take after Brazil World Cup

Posted July. 15, 2014 06:10,   


“There is need for a Korean standard system to prepare for the World Cup.”

On Korean soccer that suffered humiliating losses at the World Cup in Brazil, Lee Yong-soo, professor of Sejong University and KBS soccer commentator, stressed, “The national team should find a way to conduct adequate exercise at least for the World Cup events.” He pointed out that "special measures" are required to upgrade conditions of Korean players.

Lee said, “Korea’s strengths are physical stamina and teamwork, but the team never used its strengths at this year’s event at all. Korea can increase competitiveness of its own only when it boosts these two factors by securing adequate training time in consultation with pro league teams at least for World Cup events.” These remarks are in line with what Coach Hong Myung-bo said, “Korea should find a way to elevate conditions of Korean players who are playing in European leagues as well as in the K-league,” when resigning as national team coach. Lee suggests that players active in European league who sit in the bench in their pro teams, and K-league players who play at matches in the league be harmonized nicely. Lee stressed again, “Since Korea has a narrow base of soccer players unlike soccer powerhouses, it should prepare for a World cup only with a limited number of players. In order to prevent Korea from suffering `humiliating Brazilian losses` again on the global stage, Korea needs a unique style of its own.”

At the 2002 World Cup Korea-Japan, Korea placed its national team under the leadership of Coach Guus Hiddink for as long as 18 months, before achieving the legendary performance of its advance to the semifinals. Since then, Korea has been following FIFA rules that call for assembling players for an A match three days prior to the event, and a World Cup match 30 days before the event. Lee’s argument is that Korea should take into consideration the reality of Korea that ranks 57th in the FIFA rankings. As a World Cup that takes place every four years has huge impact as an issue of interest for the entire public, Korea should make preparations in a way that is different from that for ordinary soccer matches in order to prevent "hopeless defeat." Countries that made a splash at this year’s World Cup, including Chile (round of the final 16 teams), Costa Rica (quarterfinals), and Colombia (quarterfinals) also prepared for the event by banking on their own unique styles.

KBS soccer commentator Han Joon-hee said, “Korea needs to galvanize its own national pro league like Mexico, Chile and Colombia and increase its competitiveness.” Korea is facing a situation where it can easily lose out good players not only to Europe but also to Japan, China and the Middle East "with deep pockets.” Due to this situation, the quality of the K-league is deteriorating. This is the reason the K-league needs to be invigorated and promoted all the more.

Korea also needs a long-term project to nurture winning players just like Team Germany that has achieved the fourth World Cup championship by appointing Joachim Loew as assistant coach in 2004 and retaining him in the leadership as coach for eight years from 2006. Experts also said Korea needs to read and follow the trend in the global soccer community including Germany, Argentina and the Netherlands, which defeat the opponents by using three to five different formations.