Right after a friendly match against a foreign team, a rookie in the K-League would come to mind. Our opponent this time is Atletico Madrid.
Team K-League and Atletico Madrid will play the first leg of the Coupang Play Series at 8:00 pm on the 27th at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. Team K-League consists of players selected from 12 teams in K-League 1. It has a strong ‘All-Star Team’ personality. Hong Myung-bo, head coach of Ulsan Hyundai, is in charge of Team K-League.
Team K-League was also invited to the Coupang Play Series last summer and played a friendly against Tottenham Hotspur. A young star was born in this game. Cho Kyu-seong, then a member of Kimcheon’s managing director, scored a header between Eric Dyer and Dabinson Sanchez in the extra time of the first half.
Another star also appeared. Yang Hyeon-jun, who was a member of Gangwon FC, easily beat Sanchez and Dyer and hit a shot. He slightly missed the goal post, causing regret. In the second half, he played with the Tottenham defense with a Marseille turn. Previously, there was little recognition, but after being selected for the Team K-League and playing against Tottenham, the value rose sharply.
Cho Kyu-sung and Yang Hyun-joon both gained confidence and soared from the Tottenham match. Cho Kyu-seong became the top scorer in the K-League 1 and became a national star at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. He recently left Jeonbuk and moved to Mitwillan, Denmark, to achieve his dream of advancing to Europe.
Yang Hyun-jun also won the K League 1 Young Player Award and was selected for the soccer team for the first time in his life. On the 24th, he left Gangwon and transferred to Celtic, a prestigious club in Scotland, and signed a five-year contract. He was an unknown K-League prospect a year ago, but has now grown into a rookie on the European stage. The local media expected Yang Hyun-joon, saying, “The second Son Heung-min is coming from Korea.”
Among the K-League players on this team, there are several players whose value will rise vertically, such as Cho Kyu-seong and Yang Hyun-jun. A number of young and promising players were selected, including Baek Seung-ho, Jeong Tae-wook (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Bae Jun-ho (Daejeon Hana), Lee Seung-woo (Suwon FC), and Hwang Jae-won (Daegu FC). Among them, Bae Jun-ho and Lee Seung-woo have recently been rumored to move to Europe.
At a press conference ahead of the match against Atlético, Hong Myung-bo, coach of the K-League team, said, “It is a game that can give dreams to young people. In particular, in the All-Star Game, the best players in the league participate. Through this event, we can gain more popularity.”
Also, “Only a certain player will not play 90 minutes. I will distribute my time as much as possible. There are players who only have to play for 60-70 minutes to prevent injury,” he said, announcing that he would give the opportunity to participate to as many players as possible.
On the other hand, Atletico, which Team K-League faces, is a historic team founded in 1903 in Madrid, the capital of Spain. Along with Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, it is considered one of the three leaders of La Liga in Spain. The number of La Liga wins is also ranked third (11 times), following Real Madrid (35 times) and Barcelona (27 times).
Atletico coach Diego Simeone summoned all the key players as he embarked on the Korean tour this time. Antoine Griezmann (France), Jan Oblak (Slovenia), Alvaro Morata, Cesar Azpilicueta (Spain), Rodrigo De Paul (Argentina), Joao Felix (Portugal), Memphis Depay (Netherlands), Yannick Carrasco, Axel Witzel (Belgium), etc. will face Team K-League.