Continuous interest and investment is needed to foster talent.”
On the evening of the 24th, the Korean U-24 soccer team, participating in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, played the first match of the men’s soccer group stage against Bahrain. Prior to this, the 22nd Denso Cup Korea-Japan college soccer match was held at Anyang Sports Complex.
While all the attention of soccer fans was focused on Hwang Seon-hong, who participated in the Asian Games, the Korean university selection team lost 1-2 after a close match with the Japanese university selection team.
The Korean university selection team lost 0-1 at the 21st Denso Cup held in Japan last March, resulting in a disappointing record of 2 losses in two matches this year.
Korea has been known as the leading player in East Asian soccer, but in fact, considering the recent situation, it is becoming a thing of the past.
Korea has long been behind Japan not only in the number of players playing on the European stage but also in the FIFA rankings. In the September FIFA rankings, Japan ranked 19th and Korea ranked 26th after Iran (21st), ranking third in Asia.
Korea also won the Asian Cup, which determines the strongest player in Asian soccer, twice (1956 and 1960). Japan held the status of the country with the most wins, reaching the top four times (1992, 2000, 2004, and 2011).
While Korea won the championship 63 years ago, Japanese soccer has grown by leaps and bounds, winning four times since the 1990s.
Recently, it was difficult to hear news of victory in the age group competition against Japan.
Jeju International University coach Seo Hyuk-soo (49), who led the Korean university selection team in the 22nd Denso Cup, also paid attention to Japan’s growth. Coach Seo is a defender-turned-leader who played 216 games for Jeonbuk and Seongnam in the K-League.
In an interview with Yonhap News on the 27th, Director Seo emphasized continued interest and investment in nurturing talent.
In particular, in a reality where it is not easy for college players to compete in national competitions, the Denso Cup is a special experience that allows players to develop their abilities and broaden their horizons.
The Denso Cup is a competition that Denso, a Japanese auto parts company, has consistently sponsored for over 30 years to develop soccer and foster future soccer talent. The Korea-Japan University Regular Tournament celebrated its 22nd anniversary this year.
Starting this year, competitions for first and second year college students and women’s college competitions have been added. This means that college athletes have more opportunities to gain experience on the international stage.
It is enviable that it is difficult to find a corporate culture in Korea that consistently sponsors such competitions.
Coach Seo, who played in the Denso Cup, said, “The loss was disappointing, but I felt like our players had grown to the next level. The process of being selected as part of the Korean starting team, training together, and competing in national competitions was a special experience that improved my abilities and broadened my horizons as a player.” He said.메이저사이트
Coach Seo also agreed that the gap in soccer between Korea and Japan is widening.
Coach Seo said, “I felt once again that Japan is good. In the past, I thought only their skills were good, but now I can see that they have grown in various aspects such as power and speed as well as linkage play. I have been watching Japanese soccer for over 10 years, and it has been consistent throughout that time.” “I grew up,” he explained.
He said, “Japanese players have good individual abilities, so I tried to put pressure on them with physicality. The Japanese players did not panic and did well. They have good basic individual abilities, movement to receive the ball, and ability to connect the ball while looking at the surrounding situation.” “It was great,” he said.
So what changes should Korean soccer pursue?
Regarding this, Coach Seo said, “College soccer is a part of the future of Korean soccer,” and “Japan has continued to develop college soccer through the Denso Cup for a long time. Such efforts serve as a foundation for the growth of good players.” said.
He went on to point out, “Our country also has world-class players playing overseas, and there are many promising players in college soccer. However, continued interest and investment in nurturing talent is urgently needed.”