40 years ago, there was something that surprised the world about Korean football. The 4th World Youth Soccer Championship (now U-20 World Cup) was held in Mexico in June 1983. It is a legendary story that sprinted to the semifinals, receiving praise as ‘Red Devils’ (Red Furies at the time).

It was dramatic from the start. Originally, China and North Korea were knocked out of the Asia East Regional Preliminary. However, at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, North Korea was dissatisfied with the decision and assaulted the referee, and was banned from participating in international competitions for two years. Then, the opportunity returned to Korea, which came in 3rd place, and Korea won the right to participate through the final Asian qualifiers again. Now (only) under 20 years old, but at the time, it was under 19 years old. It was a real ‘youth’ competition. Korea is known as a strong player in Asia, but it is a ‘frog in the well’ that has never played in the World Cup since 1954. Such a country achieved the feat of winning the quarterfinals by beating the world’s strong players one after another.

The journey was ‘deja vu’ at the 2019 U-20 World Cup (runner-up in Korea). After conceding his first match (0-2 against Scotland in 1983 and 0-1 against Portugal in 2019), he has been on a winning streak. After a bloody battle against Uruguay, Shin Yeon-ho (59, then Korea University), the current Korea University coach, scored two goals and won 2-1 to advance to the semifinals. Shin Yeon-ho’s shot in extra time was also lucky to be deflected by the opponent’s defense. In the semifinals, they faced the strongest Brazil (winner of the tournament), played by Dunga and Bebeto, and even though Kim Jong-bu (58, former coach of Hebei FC, China) scored the opening goal, they lost 1-2 and unfortunately retreated. However, even the Mexican spectators of the home team, which lost to Korea in the preliminaries and failed in the quarterfinals, were fascinated by the fighting spirit of these young people from far away. Shin Yeon-ho said, “Mexicans surrounded our squad bus and cheered and came to the training ground and stadium. He untied the watch he was wearing and asked to ‘sign the clothes,’” he said.

As is well known, coach Park Jong-hwan (87, Seoul City Hall at the time) treated the players harshly. He wore a cotton mask and ran more than 20 laps of the 400m track when training in Korea, considering that the competition is held in the highlands of Mexico over 2000m above sea level. It was to prepare for the lack of oxygen. The mask was wet with sweat and his breathing became rough, but Park did not let go of the reins. Even if the achievement was not scientifically proven, it was enough to arm the players’ minds. He was also subject to strict discipline and corporal punishment. Lee Ki-geun (58, Hanyang University at the time), former coach of FC Lee Ki-geun, said, “I was scared just by looking at Coach Park’s eyes. It was an era when he did not even dare to step on the shadow of his teacher, so everyone silently followed the training.” 메이저사이트

When he went to the field, he used a strong-and-on strategy. Even if he made a mistake, rather than get angry, he said he waited for me so that I could show my full potential. In the quarterfinals, Noh Noh (60, Korea University at the time) blew away the opportunity to take the first penalty kick, which was difficult to obtain in the first half. Originally, the kicker was Shin Yeon-ho, but Noh No-woo took the ball saying, “I will kick it.” Coach Park appeased the players’ appetites by finding vegetables locally and making kimchi stew and soybean paste stew. Then, when they lost 1-2 in the match for 3rd and 4th place, they took offense at Kim Poong-ju (59, Daewoo Royals at the time), who was the goalkeeper at the time. Lee Ki-geun said, “He kicked a water bottle and screamed. He was too scared just to look at him from the sidelines. At the time, there was a story that if we came in 3rd place, everyone would get an apartment of 30 pyeong in Gangnam, and I don’t know if that’s because of it,” he laughed. The viewership rating for the semifinal game against Brazil is about 83%. It is the highest among the Korean soccer viewership surveys that still remain (2nd place is 79% against Mexico in the 1998 World Cup in France).

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