“It feels like I’m being robbed. I don’t have any more.” Coach Hong Myung-bo’s Korean soccer, unfortunately Ulsan’s time has come to an end

There are always merits and demerits in the world. At least, there is no joy or pleasure of winning the first bronze medal in Korean soccer in the 2012 London Olympics.

Former national soccer players who give up playing football and play soccer in the national soccer team also have “politics” as their priority. Only a few of them point out “irregularities” when foreign candidates whom they support fail to become coaches. Those self-proclaimed “football experts” in their names are just brainstorming. The wrongdoings of the Korea Football Association (KFA) are nothing new.

After failing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, he never mentioned that he was having a hard time. It was different on the day. He presented Ulsan HD, which is ranking second in 17 years, to win the title for the first time in 17 years. In the following year, he led the team to its second consecutive K-League 1 championship for the first time since its foundation. However, fans are just throwing stones at the drop-off. Still, he keeps bowing, saying, “I’m sorry.”
Today is the day of Korean soccer. Hong Myung-bo, who has been named the head coach of the A-team for the first time in 10 years, expressed his feelings. After leading the 22nd round of the Hana Bank K League 1 2024 against Gwangju FC at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan on Thursday, Hong held a press conference on the “A-team issue.”

The past 10 years have intersected. “The most difficult period of my life was after the 2014 World Cup. My honest feelings were that I didn’t want to join the national team. I also know what happens next,” Hong said.

Since Jurgen Klinsmann was replaced early this year, Hong has been steadily on the list of candidates for the national team’s leadership. “I felt really hard when my name was mentioned in all the national power committees, associations, and the media regardless of my intention. I felt like I was being robbed,” he confessed.

However, fate was another way. Hong has repeatedly rejected requests for a meeting with Lee Im-saeng, technology development chairman who is in charge of the negotiations for the appointment. The meeting took place on Tuesday night. Lee, technology director, met face-to-face after waiting blindly for Hong to return to his home in the Seoul metropolitan area after an away match against Suwon FC.

Hong said, “Chairman Lee Im-saeng came to my house. I couldn’t resist waiting for him for two to three hours. That’s when I met him for the first time.” He said the biggest reason he changed his mind was because of the “technology philosophy” announced by the KFA. “Chairman Lee told me the ‘MIK’ technology philosophy. Of course, I was fully aware of the details when announcing the MIK. On the other hand, I was interested in the job when I was in the administration. However, there are limitations to the administration. The most important thing is implementation. People in the field are important in implementation. I think it is the coach of the A-team who should implement it.”

Hong said, “I couldn’t make up my mind on the spot. I agonized all night long and was honestly afraid. As a result, I started to see something in me. I thought this could be my last challenge in my soccer life. It is a terrible thing to think about the process of failing in the past and what happened afterwards, but it is also true that I have a strong desire to win again. I really wanted to make a new team and make a really strong team to challenge myself.”

And he said, “It was too long for me to think and agonize all night long. Because I have to protect myself. I barely had fun playing soccer and having fun with the players for the first time in 10 years, and I thought that I had to abandon myself. I abandoned myself. I don’t have any more. I only have Korean soccer.”

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced on Monday that it has appointed Hong as its next target for the national team. “The association has appointed Hong Myung-bo as its new coach for the 2026 World Cup in North Korea and the U.S.,” Lee said on Sunday. “The contract period is until the Asian Cup to be held in Saudi Arabia in January 2027.

The technical director also revealed eight reasons for choosing Hong. “First, we considered KFA’s philosophy and game model. Hong successfully targeted the back space including build-up demonstrated in Ulsan, using La Volpiana, taking the back three and so on. He displayed various performances including attack on an attack third, line breaking, attack through cross, and combination. Based on last year’s data, he ranked No. 1 in creating chances, No. 1 in build-up, and No. 1 in pressure in the K-League. “Although he was ranked 10th in terms of activity, that means he played effectively. Argentina, which won the Qatar World Cup, was also at the bottom of the list in terms of performance. That can be a lesson for Korean soccer. He also has a broad perspective in technology and administration as a leader of the A-team, 23-year-old team, and 20-year-old national team. 유흥알바

He then explained that Hong’s leadership emphasizing “one team, one spirit, one goal,” foreign coaches’ residency in Korea, comparing Hong’s performance as a leader from his 20-year-old national team to Ulsan’s second consecutive K-League victory, and giving higher ratings than two foreign candidates based on the third qualifying round for the World Cup, which begins in September, the time to apply a new philosophy to the national team, and the career of national team leaders at all levels.

When Hong pointed out problems with the system, he said, “I don’t know how the system worked. I asked him to meet me, and he said, ‘I got the highest score.’ I don’t know about the system.”

What is the picture of Hong Myung-bo in 2014 and Hong Myung-bo in 2024.

To the Ulsan fans, it is nothing but an apology. “I was so sorry. I’ve been so happy, but of course, someday I will have to leave, but I didn’t want to say goodbye like this, but I’m leaving like this because of my mistake. I’m so sorry to Ulsan fans, and I have nothing to say. When I chose Ulsan after finishing my work at the association, I chose it only for myself. I liked the time I spent in Ulsan thinking about the players, fans, and soccer. I had many thoughts today. Not long ago, the chants of support were booed, but I’m solely responsible for that. Once again, I apologize to Ulsan fans and Cheoyongjeon Hall. I’m sorry.”

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