“It’s harder to compete professionally than in school,” says ‘Seoul National University Krigger’ after 32 years of existence

“I’m grateful for the attention, but I need to improve my skills.”

There is a player who joined Gyeongnam FC in the K League 2 this season and has only played in one league game, but he is already famous among fans. This is Yoo Jun-ha (22, Gyeongnam), the ‘SNU Neymar’.

He has attracted attention for his unique resume as a professional footballer from Seoul National University. He was a guest on the 194th episode of tvN’s You Quiz on the Block, which aired on the 17th.먹튀검증

A week after the episode aired, Yoo Jun-ha started as a frontline striker in the FA Cup fourth round (round of 16) match against Incheon United on the 24th. Although he had to watch his team lose 0-3, he lived up to his nickname of “Seoul National University Neymar” with several dazzling dribbles against the first team.

It was his fourth game for Gyeongnam, and Yoo Jun-ha felt ‘inadequate’. He told Mixzone after the game, “I was outclassed by first division players in terms of physicality and stamina. “It was my first time playing in a football stadium, and it was refreshing to be close to the crowd,” he said.

While playing football as a child, Yoo Jun-ha did not neglect her studies. After training, he would study and read in his spare time. As a student at Gangneung Jungang High School, he was ranked first in his class for all three years, which led to his admission to the Department of Physical Education at Seoul National University.

For him, joining a professional team was perhaps more difficult than studying. While studying at Seoul National University, Yoo Jun-ha never gave up his dream of playing football and joined Nowon United in the K4 League in 2021. After four years as a student and a player, he became a professional in December 2022, wearing a Gyeongnam jersey.

Thanks to his unique background, appearing on a popular broadcast programme was an unforgettable experience for Yoo. “I was really nervous because it was my first time (broadcasting) in front of so many cameras. Fortunately, the two MCs (Yoo Jae-seok and Cho Se-ho) made me feel relaxed and reacted well. I think I had a different experience,” he said. “Even after the broadcast, they said, ‘We will continue to support you. Thank you very much for doing a good job.”

Yoo Jun-ha holds several unusual records. He is the first Seoul National University student to graduate from Gangneung Jungang High School, an industrial high school, in 40 years, and the first Seoul National University player to debut in the K League in 32 years. Previous SNU players to play in professional football include Hwang Bo-kwan (1988), Yang Ik-jeon (1989) and Lee Hyun-seok (1991).

“I have a sense of responsibility to do well,” he said. I’m proud of myself,” he said. “I’m actually a rookie who has played one league game, but it’s thanks to the school that so many fans are showing interest. I’m grateful for that. But I think I need to work harder and improve my skills.”

Yoo has a 4.0 GPA out of 4.3 at Seoul National University. But professional life is another story. “Within Seoul National University, there is competition for grades, but other than that, I don’t think there is any direct competition. Professionals compete within their teams and compete in leagues. It’s a little harder (than university) because it’s direct competition. I think I need to work hard.” His goals for this season are to play 15 games and score five offensive points.

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