“If I don’t go to Europe, it will be a regret”
Seol Young-woo, who has been linked with big European clubs, has expressed his eagerness to play abroad.
The South Korean national soccer team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, kicked off their 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup semifinal against Jordan at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan on Sunday at 0:00 a.m. local time. After conceding back-to-back goals to Yazan Al Naimat in the eighth minute and Musa Al Tamarri in the 21st minute, the South Koreans were unable to overcome the two-goal deficit and ended the tournament with a 0-2 loss.
Playing both left and right fullback, Seol was one of the tournament’s most dedicated players. Even among players who played more than 120 minutes in the round of 16 against Saudi Arabia and the quarterfinals against Australia, he was able to hold his own.
In a post-match interview, Seol said, “It was not only me who was physically tired, but all the players were as well because we are still playing. We went through a lot of hardships from the round of 16 to the quarterfinals to get to this point, but I don’t think we got over the hump today, so it’s a bit disappointing.”
Their quarterfinal opponent, Jordan, was the same team they faced in the second round of the group stage. “Even when we played them in the qualifiers, we knew they had a lot of good players. I think we knew them well, they knew us well, and we came out well prepared. We had a lot of chances in the first half and did a lot of good things offensively, but they have a lot of good counterattackers, and when we attacked, we didn’t defend as much as we should have, which was a big disappointment today.”
In the absence of defender Kim Min-jae, who missed the tournament due to accumulated cautions, Jeong said he coped with the familiarity of playing with his defensive teammates at Ulsan HD.
“Personally, I missed Minjae a lot, but (Jung) Seung-hyun and (Kim) Young-kwon have both been with me for a long time, and we know each other so well and know that they are good players, so I didn’t have any worries before the game. They did a good job, but I think the opponent played well, and that’s why we got the goal.”
Seol Young-woo was an “unsung hero” for his direct attacking points and his work behind the scenes. He has also been called Klinsmann’s “best discovery” of the tournament.
“I’m very grateful that people think so much of me,” he said, “but I realized that I wasn’t good enough when I wore the national team colors for the first time. I also realized that there are many athletes who are much better than me. I also realized that there are many players who are much better than me, and I have a lot more work to do. I will never be complacent and 토토사이트 work harder, and if I come back to the next Asian Cup, I will finish this tournament with a smile on my face,” he said humbly.
During the tournament, Seol was linked to a European transfer. English Premier League club West Ham United, Hwang In-bum’s club Tsurubena Zvezda, and even specific destinations were rumored, raising expectations. However, there were also reports that negotiations were stalled due to opposition from his current club, Ulsan HD.
“It’s true that I’ve always had a dream of playing in Europe,” he said, “but there were some teams that actively called me after my military issue was resolved. As I said before, I made it clear that I wanted to go, but Ulsan told me, ‘It’s not easy to let go.’ I was very disappointed. I was very disappointed. I think I’ll regret these situations a lot later, when a lot of time has passed.”
Seol, who joined the national team in late December after playing in the K League in the 2023 season, has been playing for a year without a break. Despite being physically exhausting, the Asian Cup was a stage of growth for him.
“I played a lot of matches and felt myself getting tired, but on the other hand, it was a year where I gained a lot of experience and was able to grow. I am so grateful as a player, and I know that I am not good enough, so I will prepare harder and harder so that the fans will like me more and more and say that I am indispensable.”