‘Model student’ SON takes first place → ‘Youngest kids’ who love to play ball

‘Returning breaks’ Klinsmann’s smile “I’m here to win”

“We’re here to win.”

Jürgen Klinsmann, the head coach of the South Korea national soccer team, is determined as the team begins its first training session in Qatar. South Korea held its first training session at the Al Agla Training Center in Doha, Qatar, on Nov. 11 (KST). Initially, ‘Klinsmann Ho’ was scheduled to take a break on this day. An official from the Korea Football Association said, “In our last training session in Abu Dhabi (UAE) on the 10th, we played an 11-on-11 game. We plan to rest with intense training, with each player running an average of 9 kilometers.” However, ‘Cleansman Ho’ changed his plans after a meeting with the coaching staff.

Here’s what happened. “We had our own match in Abu Dhabi before coming to Doha,” Klinsmann said at the official press conference before training on November 11. The guys took it seriously, and when we looked at the (Qatar) accommodation, they had facilities to play futsal and stuff. We were going to prepare for recovery and so on, but they wanted to go to the training center. It was a great feeling. I told them they could come anytime and share what they wanted. In soccer, the players have to make their own decisions. The coach can dictate tactics, make substitutions, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the players. It’s good for the players to get together and talk,” he laughed.

Players who chose to train instead of rest were energized on the field. The players took to the field earlier than their scheduled training time. ‘Captain’ Son Heung-min was the first to hit the field and lace up his soccer shoes. Younger players such as Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) and Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai) followed the captain. The players stretched and cycled individually to warm up before the full-scale conditioning session. Young players such as Lee Kang-in and Yang Hyun-joon (Celtic) created a lively atmosphere by playing ball. However, Kim Jin-soo (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Lee Jae-sung (Mainz) and Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton) had to withdraw due to injury. Lee suffered a bruise on the instep of his left foot in training. Kim Jin-soo is recovering from discomfort in his left calf. Hwang Hee-chan is also resting due to muscle fatigue in his left hip. An official from the Football Association said, “Hwang Hee-chan wants to start from the first group game, but it may not be easy. Kim Jin-soo may not be able to play in the group stage.”

Klinsmann added: “In such a long tournament, injuries, big and small, can happen at any time. We’re in close communication with the medical team to see if we can get them back quickly and make sure they can recover. It’s not a problem at all. There can be bruises, muscle injuries, etc. Hwang Hee-chan’s injury is not serious. We want all the players to be together, but even if he doesn’t play in the opening match, we still have a lot of matches to play. I’m not too worried about injuries.”

“Klinsmann’s Lake” is the most hotly anticipated of the tournament. After their strongest win. They boast an “all-time great squad” and have recently won six straight official matches. When the Taeguk Warriors arrived in Qatar on Tuesday, the airport was filled with cheers. Fans from all over the world gathered. Fans from all over the world held up the Korean flag and cheered for Korea’s victory. The Taeguk Warriors thanked the fans with a big smile.

“It’s important to utilize our strengths and show them on the field,” said Klinsmann. It won’t be easy. It’s seven games. It will be a marathon. There will be tough moments. But we have a very strong team right now. I keep telling the players, ‘We’re here to win’. We have to enjoy this moment and do our best to get the result. I tell them, ‘This is your competition. I want them to show everything they can do here. I hope we can reward them with a win at this crucial time.” South Korea will begin the championship race on Friday with their first Group E match against Bahrain at 8:30pm.


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