Byun Sung-hwan, the future of South Korean soccer, is headed to the 2023 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Under-17 World Cup.
The U-17 national team, led by Byun Sung-hwan, will compete in the U-17 World Cup in Indonesia starting Nov. 10. South Korea qualified for the tournament after finishing runner-up at the U-17 Asian Cup in June.
The tournament will feature some of the most promising youngsters in Korean soccer, who will compete against players from around the world. The U-17 team, which convened at the National Training Center (NFC) in Paju on Nov. 30, will have a final tune-up in Korea until Nov. 5 before departing for Indonesia for the final match on Nov. 6.
Speaking to the media before training, captain Kim Myung-jun (Pohang Steelers U18) said, “It’s my first World Cup, so I’m excited and looking forward to it. We want to show and prove our team’s soccer at the World Cup,” said Kim, who will be competing in the U-17 World Cup.
South Korea’s best result at the U-17 World Cup is a quarterfinal appearance. They reached the quarterfinals in 1987, 2009, and 2019. But Byun Sung-hwan is looking beyond that. “First of all, the team goal is to reach the quarterfinals, so I really want to reach the quarterfinals. If we reach the quarterfinals, the final is right in front of us, so I think we have to reach the final,” he said.
He also revealed his personal goals. “As a striker, I want to score a lot of goals. I want to score one goal per game,” he said, “I want to focus on the team winning first. No matter how many goals I score, I will be satisfied if the team wins and achieves its goals.”
Kim Myung-joon is a tall frontline striker who is often compared to Harry Kane (England) for his style of play. “I’m grateful to have Harry Kane as a role model,” Kim said with an embarrassed expression.
“I think the posture and form are similar,” he said, “and I think the style of play is similar because I watch a lot of videos of Kane and try to imitate him, so I watch a lot of linkages and movements and try to imitate them. Things like selfless play seem to be similar.” 안전놀이터
The role of the ‘captain’ is just as important as the role of the ‘striker’. When asked about the mood of the team, Kim said, “It’s the first day, so there’s a little bit of excitement. So I think we need to control it well and prepare calmly,” he said. He added, “We don’t have a captain leading the team, but we have a lot of friends helping us. There is no difficulty because there is an atmosphere of one team working together,” he added.