Lee Geon Sports Chosun.com Reporter Lee Dong-guk of the ‘Lion King’ sincerely rejoiced at the achievements of his ‘best friend’ Kim Eun-joong, the under-20 national team coach.
On the afternoon of the 9th (local time), Lee Dong-guk met with ‘Sports Chosun’ alone in Istanbul, Turkey. Lee Dong-guk’s appearance in Istanbul was due to his participation in the ‘Gatorade 5v5 Global Finals 2023 Istanbul’.
This competition is a youth amateur futsal competition with 13 teams from 11 countries around the world, and the winning team of ‘5v5 Gatorade Futsal’ held in each country qualified to participate. The Korean competition is hosted by HNS, a sports marketing company, with Gatorade participating as a partner and Sports Chosun participating as a media partner. P4U FS entered the event as the champion team last year. Lee Dong-guk, who is also a Gatorade ambassador, competed in this competition with a group of students called ‘Lee Dong-guk FC’.
On the morning of the 9th, I met Lee Dong-guk. The Korean national under-20 soccer team, led by coach Kim Eun-jung, lost 1-2 in the quarterfinals of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup against Italy held in Argentina. However, Kim Eun-joong made a splendid feat of advancing to the semifinals by showing fighting spirit and not giving up in every game. Now he has only 3 or 4 place matches against Israel left. Lee Dong-guk did not hold back his praise.
“I want to tell you that just getting there is a really great thing. Although the final was frustrated, there are many things to do in the future, and they are friends who will lead Korean football.
I also congratulated director Kim Eun-joong. To Lee Dong-guk, director Kim Eun-joong was more than a colleague. The two, born in 1979, were the ‘two tops of the soul’. He left a strong impression at the 1998 Asian Youth Championships. Lee Dong-guk scored 5 goals and Kim Eun-jung scored 4 goals, totaling 9 goals. Korea won the championship.
In the finals held in Nigeria in 1999, the following year, he failed to advance to the tournament with 1 win and 2 losses. That’s why I was even more delighted with director Kim Eun-joong’s achievements.
“We didn’t make it to the tournament in the world tournament we went with coach Kim Eun-joong. Still, I want to congratulate coach (Kim) Eun-joong for his good performance as a coach. What we couldn’t do then, the members probably did at that time They would have seen it all and applauded it. You did a great job.”
There were many things I felt while participating in the ‘Gatorade 5v5 Global Finals 2023 Istanbul’ competition. In particular, the Korean players who participated in this competition were ordinary students. Therefore, participation itself was more meaningful than grades. Lee Dong-guk also paid attention to that point.메이저놀이터
“First of all, I came to Istanbul as a Gatorade Ambassador. Actually, I didn’t give instruction all the time, but they were friends I met for a while. Still, it must have been a great motivation for the children. Children from all over the world approached futsal wholeheartedly. I wonder if I will feel it. While having new experiences, having such a dream, and taking on new challenges, I think it will become a memory for the rest of my life.”