Stronger than anyone… break through the french wall

Who will be the second Lee Kang-in (22, Mallorca)? Also, how far can our national team, which was the runner-up in the last competition, go up?

The under-20 (U-20) World Cup soccer team led by coach Kim “Sharp” Eun-joong (44) will participate in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which opens on the 21st with two topics and runs until the 12th of next month in Argentina. go out

The glory of the last tournament once again Kim Eun-jung, coach of the U-20 national soccer team (sixth from left), talks about tactics with the players at the Deportivo Godoy Cruise Training Center in Mendoza, Argentina on the 20th. Provided by the Korea Football Association

This tournament, where promising soccer players from all over the world show off their potential, is considered a gateway to becoming a superstar. Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Javier Saviola, Sergio Aguero, Brazil’s Adriano and France’s Paul Pogba, who are proud of Argentina, have also grown into top stars after enjoying the glory of the Golden Ball, the best player in the U-20 World Cup. Lee Kang-in received the Golden Ball in the national team that shined as the runner-up in the last tournament, drawing attention as a promising player in Korean soccer.

Players with potential as good as Lee Kang-in will appear in large numbers at this tournament. Among the 21 members of the national team, 17 players are active in the K-League, with Lee Ji-han (20, Freiburg) from Germany and Kim Yong-hak (20, Portimonense) from Portugal. Lee Seung-joon (19, FC Seoul), the son of Lee Eul-yong, the general manager of the Yongin City Football Center, who played a key role in the semifinals of the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, and defender Kim Ji-soo (19, Seongnam FC), who received a love call from English Premier League (EPL) Brentford, are among the candidates.

The national team, the runner-up in the last tournament, is in Group F with France, Honduras and Gambia. France, the opponent for the first game on the 23rd, is considered a difficult opponent. France, who ascended the throne in 2013, is also classified as one of the strong candidates for the title in this tournament. The national team lost 2-4 and 1-3 against France in the U-20 stage group stage twice in 1997 and 2011, respectively.

However, the momentum of Kim Eun-joong, who used the 4-3-3 tactic as a basis for strong pressure and quick air-defense transition, is not formidable. Before entering Mendoza, Argentina, the final match, the national team had 10 days of field training and evaluation matches in Sao Paulo, Brazil. They also won 3-0 in the second evaluation match against the Palmeiras U-20 team held on the 16th.

The players are full of confidence. Kang Sang-yoon (Jeonbuk Hyundai) said, “I want to win the championship because I have devoted myself to the team,” and Bae Seo-joon (Daejeon Hana Citizen) also emphasized, “I’ve prepared something so far, so I’m not worried.”

Meanwhile, in the opening game, Argentina, the host country, which is trying to win the championship for the 7th time, won a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Uzbekistan. Argentina is the team with the most wins (six) since its first championship in 1979 until 2007. In another Group A first leg, New Zealand beat Guatemala 1-0 to give them a green light to advance to the round of 16. In the first match of Group B, the USA defeated Ecuador 1-0 and recorded their first win, while Slovakia, also in Group B, won 4-0 against the underdog Fiji.

Reporter Jeong Pil-jae [email protected]

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