‘Fatherland in front, glory behind’
This was the title of an article I wrote for the JoongAng Ilbo on November 7, 2003. The Korea Under-20 National Team played an exhibition match against Colombia, and forward Jung Jo Gook scored two goals on his own and goalkeeper Kim Young Kwang made an amazing save to preserve a 2-0 victory. The sentence “Glory of the Fatherland” was coined after the two players.

Twenty years later. Chung retired after scoring 121 goals in 392 K League games and is now the head coach of Jeju United. Kim Young-kwang hasn’t hung up his goalkeeping gloves yet. He played six games for Seongnam FC, which was relegated to the K League 2 this year, and conceded 10 goals. The oldest active player in the K League (40), Kim has played 594 professional games, second only to Kim Byung-ji (retired – 706).

Kim is a “hard worker. To overcome the handicap of his short stature (183 centimeters) as a goalkeeper, he trained extensively to develop his quickness and jumping power. Even now, he is confident that his speed is second to none. I met him at the Seongnam FC clubhouse in Jeong-dong, Bundang-gu, Seongnam. Located between the Hyundai Heavy Industries headquarters and Korea Job World next to the Gyeongbu Expressway, the land costs more than 100 million won per square meter. It’s the most expensive clubhouse in the world. “The soccer field is about 2,000 pyeong, so it’s like playing on a lawn worth more than 200 billion won, and I hope the players feel a sense of pride and responsibility and work harder,” Kim laughs.

Overcoming a handicap of 183 cm for a goalkeeper

Q: You played 32 games last year, but you’ve played less this year.
A : “It’s not because I’m out of shape or injured, but it depends on the team’s performance or the coach’s preference. If you don’t play, you should have a desire, not a complaint. If you don’t have a strong desire to take that spot, you should stop playing soccer. You should prepare with that mindset and grab the opportunity when it comes.”

Q: You’re famous for your ‘I lost my country’ look after a goal, what goes through your mind?
A: “It’s disappointment and self-blame, like, ‘I couldn’t stop that goal,’ or ‘I should have checked the defender’s position a little bit better.’ I tell the defender, ‘It’s not your fault. If you get a goal, just blame it on your brother and play more confidently’. If you’re in a good team, you can make one or two saves and shine, and if you’re in a bad team, 토토사이트 you can make all the saves and still not win the game.”

Q : You’ve been a big help to Ji-Soo Kim (18-Brentford), who went on to play for England.
A: “I’ve seen a lot of defenders in my 23 years of playing professionally, and I know how to improve quickly, so I often tell new defenders that. Ji-Soo has a good size (192 cm) and has a lot to offer. I encourage him to do what he wants to do and not be afraid to make mistakes. He doesn’t panic at all when attackers put pressure on him, which is a big strength in the build-up. He has a similar style to Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), but his speed is a little less, and now that he’s in a good team, he can improve his quickness and footwork.”

Q: With just six more games to go, you will have played 600 K League games.

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