Lee Geun-ho (Ansan Greeners), who is preparing to return after a long rehabilitation, expressed his desire to concentrate only on soccer from now on.
On the 6th, a press conference was held in Ansan for the ‘2023 K-League Winter Field Training Media Camp’ at the Seogwipo Cal Hotel in Seogwipo, Jeju. Ansan, who set up a camp in Seogwipo, Jeju this winter, is concentrating on training in one place for a long time, dreaming of a leap forward in the new season.
Lee Geun-ho, who joined Ansan ahead of this season, begins the second act of his career in a new place. He has come a long way in the meantime. He made his debut in 2018 with great attention at Pohang Steelers, but he could not continue his performance while going through Jeonbuk Hyundai and Jeju United. Recently, he even suffered a major injury. He spent about two years in rehab after suffering a series of cruciate ligament injuries.
As the time off the field has increased, he has become hungry for football. Lee Geun-ho, whom we met ahead of a new start, said, “I played a lot until now. Now I just want to play soccer. Looking back, I don’t have that many days left to play soccer. There are 7 or 8 years left. For the remaining 7 or 8 years, I just want to play real soccer.” He expressed his determination to return. Below is the full text of Lee Geun-ho’s interview
- How do you adapt to the new team?
I did it quickly. There are many new players. Adaptation was easier because we had the mindset that we should be close to each other. Existing players also helped a lot.
- There was a long period of not being able to run due to a series of serious injuries. It must have been a tough time
The same area was operated twice. So rehabilitate and treat, rehabilitate and treat… I had the most fun time of my life. It was really hard. Now that I am preparing for my comeback, I think it is a memory, but at the time it was very difficult. No one’s words were comforting. He devoted himself to rehabilitation alone. I think the expression ‘endurance’ is accurate.
- You must have thought a lot as the rehabilitation period got longer.
I was worried about whether I would be able to perform the same as before the injury. I didn’t watch football. Watching soccer makes me want to play in the stadium, but my body can’t do that. I hardly watched soccer for a year and a half. (Qatar World Cup?) Ah, I saw the World Cup. It was the final stage of rehabilitation. Also, I can’t miss the World Cup (laughs).
- The Qatar World Cup was a tournament in which many players of your age participated. Was it motivation at the end of rehabilitation?
There were many players who played on the same team. For example, in the case of (Cho) Kyu-seong and (Oh) Hyeon-gyu, who received a lot of attention in this World Cup, they played together at Kimcheon Sangmu and were in the same position. Nearly half of the national team were players I played with, so I was even more impressed and encouraged. I also thought that if I had done better, I would not have been there. Motivated me a lot.
- After rehabilitation, I came back to Ansan. What was the background of the decision to transfer to Ansan?
Director Lim Jong-heon played a big role. While I was still in rehab, I heard from the coach that he wanted me in Ansan. There was even a saying that if they recruited me, they would not choose a foreign striker. It wasn’t that I was doing well, and it was a story that came out while I was in rehab. it was passed I thought that I could make a comeback while doing a ‘win-win’ with the club.
- As soon as I transferred, I was immediately appointed vice-captain.
When I first came, I talked too much (laughs). Since the kid who just joined is talkative, I think the coach made him the vice-captain to raise the atmosphere of the team. He was just average in age. Isn’t it possible for veteran hyungs or young players to take on such a role? I have a sense of responsibility and am trying to make the team atmosphere as good as possible. (I wonder if I accepted the offer right away) Rather than an offer, I was almost notified (laughs). We talked about where everyone was gathered together. It was hard to refuse. I didn’t even have the heart to refuse.
- Coach Lim Jong-heon said Lee Keun-ho’s current physical condition is between 7 and 80%. What is his current physical condition?
I think the director is misunderstanding. Now it’s about 60%. I guess you don’t know how much I was before I got hurt (laughs). can make a better appearance. (When will it be 100% normal operation?) It’s still cold, but when the weather warms up, I think my condition will improve quickly. I think it could go up to 90% from May.
- After a long rehabilitation, you are finally about to return. Are you prepared?
Played a lot so far. During my rehabilitation, I traveled quietly to change my mood, and when it was difficult to get around, I took a lot of rest. I just want to play soccer now. Looking back, I didn’t have that many days left to play soccer. 7 or 8 years left. For the remaining 7 or 8 years, I want to only play real soccer. 안전놀이터
- Will there be a dream comeback?
When I go to a game, I think it will feel like a debut match. It may seem awkward, and it seems to be out of mind. I hope we win coolly before coming back. 3 to 0? The goal was scored quickly in the beginning, so I want to start again with a comfortable mind.
- What are your goals for this season?
Caught 20 attack points. The goal is to score at least 10 goals and 10 assists each. Wouldn’t it be better to think that each game is played one by one? It seems like you have to put in a lot of effort.