Oh Hyun-gyu and Park Ji-soo, who did not play in the World Cup, go to Europe, and the will of the players
The European football winter transfer market has come to an end. While European clubs, who wanted a sense of power immediately, spent a large amount of money to recruit high-quality players to reinforce their strength, the highly anticipated Taegeuk Warriors advance into Europe did not happen as much as expected.
In particular, in the transfer market held after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the effect of the national soccer team’s advancement to the round of 16 was not as great as expected.
In fact, only two players entered Europe through this transfer window, striker Oh Hyun-gyu (Celtic) and defender Park Ji-soo (Portimonense). Unfortunately, both players could not step on the Qatar World Cup stage.
Oh Hyun-kyu, who signed a contract with Celtic at the end of last month, became the first player to advance to Europe after playing in the K-League after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Oh Hyun-gyu was named to the reserve list as Bentuho’s 27th player at the 2022 Qatar World Cup last year and participated in the tournament, but was unable to step on the ground as he was not included in the final entry.
Park Ji-soo, who has consistently been on the national soccer team led by coach Paulo Bento, is expected to be the third defender after Kim Min-jae (Napoli) and Kim Young-kwon (Ulsan Hyundai) in the national team as a central defensive resource. However, he was unable to participate in the World Cup in Qatar due to an ankle injury in an evaluation match against Iceland, which was played just before the World Cup final list was announced.
Although they failed to show their skills on the World Cup stage, Oh Hyun-kyu and Park Ji-soo’s will to go to Europe was stronger than anyone else.
Initially, Oh Hyun-kyu’s original team, Suwon Samsung, hoped to advance to the European stage after playing one more season due to team circumstances. However, Oh Hyun-gyu visited coach Lee Byeong-geun’s room four times during his field training and expressed his intention to go to Europe, and the club eventually allowed the player to transfer.
Park Ji-soo, who completed his military service by being discharged as managing director in Gimcheon in December, resisted the temptation of money.
After he obtained free agency (FA) status, love calls from China and the Middle East followed. Initially, it was likely that he would go to Wuhan, China, offering a large sum of money, but he pursued his dream rather than money.
The word ‘challenge’ may be unfamiliar to Park Ji-soo, who is about to turn 30, but he took a risk and chose his dream at a considerable age.
Kim Min-jae, a key defender of the national team, was envious of Japanese football, which has many European fans, right after the World Cup in Qatar.
Although Japan was placed in the group of death at the World Cup, they defeated Germany and Spain to advance to the round of 16 with a confident top spot in their group. In particular, Japan’s competitiveness has risen to a world-class level, enough to fill as many as 19 of the 26 final entries for the World Cup with Europeans. On the other hand, there were only 8 Europeans in Korea. 스포츠토토
The reason Korea has fewer Europeans than Japan is attributed to realistic conditions such as military service problems and salaries. However, some point out the lack of challenging spirit by Korean players. Players and clubs are reluctant to transfer for justifications other than the so-called big leagues in Europe (England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France).
Among them, Oh Hyeon-gyu and Park Ji-soo, who failed to play in the World Cup, are very suggestive of going to Europe. The two advanced side by side to European small and medium leagues. Just taking the first step is a meaningful achievement. In the end, the decision to go to Europe for the national team players depended on their own will.