“If there is no other player among the central strikers who is performing as well as Lee Min-joo, then of course he should go (to the national team).”
Hong Myung-bo, the head coach of professional football’s K League One side Ulsan Hyundai, secretly hoped that the team’s frontline player, Lee Min-kyu, would be selected as a member of the national team led by Jürgen Klinsmann.
“He’s scoring a lot of goals now, isn’t he,” Hong laughed when asked about In-Joo when speaking to reporters ahead of the team’s Hana One Q K League 2023 Round 16 match against Jeonbuk Hyundai at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do on 3 March.메이저놀이터
Klinsmann will announce his squad for the June A-match on 5 June.
With Hwang Eui-jo (Seoul) and Cho Kyu-sung (Jeonbuk), who have been the mainstays of the national team’s frontline, performing less well for their clubs than they did under Paulo Bento, the spotlight will be on In-jong-kyu, who has been a consistent performer in the league.
After battling with Cho Kyu-sung for the top spot in the league until the end of last season, In-jong-kyu is now the top scorer with eight goals this season.
“I hope he (Klinsmann) takes a lot of players,” Hong said of the upcoming squad selection, adding, “I think some players should be selected in the current situation.”
“When you go to a place like that, it gives you confidence, and you can play better than you are now. I hope a lot of players go to the national team and get a lot of experience.”
When asked which players he had in mind, Hong laughed and said it was difficult to answer, but when asked about In-Joo, he said, “Of course, I don’t know what the evaluation of In-Joo will be (in the national team),” but praised him, saying, “He’s better than any centre-forward in terms of performance and things like that.”
In addition to Inhabigyu, Ulsan has players like Seol Young-woo and Uhm Won-sang who are rated among the best in the league in their respective positions.
Coincidentally, a number of Ulsan’s young flankers, including Cho Hyun-taek, have been accepted into the Korean Armed Forces Athletic Corps and will play for Gimcheon Commerce next season.
“It’s something to celebrate, it’s better than nothing,” Hong said, adding, “They’ve decided to go (to the army) anyway. In order to reach a higher goal, I think it’s better for everyone to solve difficult problems as soon as possible.”