PassionDirected by Manlep Kim Eunjoong…Full marks for emotion

“A quiet, steady, 牛步萬里-type coach.”

Kim Eun-joong (44-photo), who coaches the South Korea Under-20 men’s national football team, is a very quiet man. He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t complain, he just does his job.

After retiring from his glamorous professional career in 2014, Kim wondered what to do next. One of the people he sought out was Sporting KC CEO Shim Chan-koo. “I didn’t know him well, but he contacted me first,” he said, “and asked me to work as a coach at the Belgian 2Biz club.” Shim was the owner of 2Biz at the time. Belgium is a football powerhouse that has risen and fallen in the FIFA rankings. Its youth development system is one of the best in the world, along with the Netherlands and Germany. Kim served as first-team coach and second-team manager for three years at 2Biz. “(Kim) hated to cause conflict, so he took on everything and cut back,” Shim said, adding, “On the surface, he seemed to do the least amount of work, but he was always learning on his own.” “We hired a coach at the end of the season, and he won by changing the players differently than the previous coach,” said Shim. “It was impressive that he immediately played what he had prepared.”스포츠토토

Kim went on to become the U-23 national team coach. The head coach at the time was Kim Hak-bum, the ‘Strategist’. In four years, the pair won gold at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games and the 2020 U-23 Asian Championship. He describes Kim as a “sponge-type coach who doesn’t stick to his own ideas, but learns and utilises everything.”

His ability to communicate with younger players is one of his greatest strengths. “He doesn’t shout or yell, but he communicates what he has prepared and planned to the players in a short and clear manner,” Kim said, adding that he is a leader who fits the MZ generation with a strong personality. “He has the flexibility to create a team in any way he can under the given conditions,” said Kim, adding, “If he develops further as a leader, he will achieve even greater things.”

Kim played professionally in South Korea, Japan and China from 1997-2014. He won league, league cup and FA Cup titles and was named the K League MVP (2010). He won gold at the 1998 U-19 Asian Championship and bronze at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan. Along with Lee Dong-guk, Kim was South Korea’s leading striker, but his time with the A team was somewhat more limited, with 15 appearances (five goals). He was blinded in his left eye after being hit by a ball while playing for Northeastern. His professional record is 396 games and 105 goals. That’s a lot of hard work with one eye.

Kim learnt how to communicate with young players and guide their development in Belgium and the U-23 national team, where prospects from around the world gather, and what he learnt over nine years with the MZ generation helped him take the U-20 team from being considered the weakest in history to the World Cup quarter-finals.

Kim will face Italy in the final in La Plata, Argentina, on 9 September. South Korea are expected to use a ‘defend first, attack later’ strategy. “We’re outnumbered and outclassed, but we’ll fight as a team,” Kim said, “and we’ll give it our all once again to reach the final for the second time in a row after the 2019 tournament.”

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