“I don’t want to repeat such a sad victory.”
The voice of Gangwon FC coach Choi Yong-soo over the phone was still. His voice trembled in the middle of the conversation, as if he was crying. On the morning of the 27th, before the afterglow of the bloody battle between Gangwon and FC Seoul in the 9th round of the K-League 1 (26th), which became a hot topic, I interviewed coach Choi, who was preparing for recovery training.
The match held the day before was called ‘Choi Yong-soo’s derby’, and in the official interview after the game, I was curious about the story behind ‘Choi Yong-soo’s derby’ that I hadn’t heard before because I was focusing on ‘the first win in 9 games’. The reaction was completely unexpected. In the interview the day before, coach Choi said, “I’ve had many victories, but this victory will be remembered for a long time,” and gave a sigh of relief with a slight smile. Since he reported his first win after 4 draws and 4 losses, it was not something to be happy about, but it was also not something to cry about. He did it all the more as it was a thrilling theatrical win for his home fans.
In fact, it was a miraculous victory for Gangwon. It was difficult to predict Gangwon’s victory before the game. Seoul’s entry was lined with terrifying solvers such as Na Sang-ho, Lim Sang-hyeop, Hwang Eui-jo, Willian, Ilyuschenko, and Palosevic. On the other hand, Gangwon’s 22-year-old Yang Hyeon-jun, Park Sang-hyeok, and Kim Dae-woo stood in the front, and three foreign players excluding Gallego, who were on standby on the bench, did not even make it into the entry. In addition, Seoul was tied for first place in team scoring (18 goals), and Gangwon was the lowest (6 goals). Gangwon’s probability of victory was close to ‘zero’, but ‘Young Gun’ Yang Hyeon-joon, who was silent, ‘Storm Dribble’
I thought there would be an afterglow of that ‘thrilling’, but that wasn’t what Choi was thinking. Until now, he had never frowned in front of reporters in difficult situations or lost his characteristic ‘talking talk’, but when the word ‘Seoul’ came out, he became solemn.안전놀이터
Coach Choi stuttered for a moment, saying, “While returning to the Gangneung clubhouse after the Chuncheon game, my excitement calmed down and I calmly thought about many things. But suddenly…” Coach Choi, who said he tossed and turned all night because of his complicated feelings, said, “I was saddened by the memories of Seoul passing by like a kaleidoscope, thinking, ‘Why is the opponent I met after 9 games in Seoul?'” He said, “The team that brought me to where I am now is Seoul, what kind of fate is this… even after winning, it was painful.” Coach Choi says he is still grateful for his ‘parent team’ Seoul. ‘Eagle’ Choi Yong-soo is a ‘Legend of Seoul’ no matter what anyone says. As a player, he won Rookie of the Year and MVP in Seoul, and transformed into a leader and led Seoul in its heyday. In the meantime, leader Choi Yong-soo has come this far, gaining a reputation as a ‘winner’, ‘militant master’ and ‘crisis solver’.
Director Choi and Seoul’s ‘unfortunate destiny’ were similar a year ago. Last season, Gangwon went well with 2 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss in the beginning, but fell into a draw in a row after Dino was injured, and then won (1-0) in 9 games, but the opponent was Seoul. ‘Victory after 4 draws and 4 losses’ is the same as last year.
Given Gangwon’s current power structure, it was not even possible to use a ‘trick’ to beat Seoul. There was no place to back down anymore, so I just held on like ‘no teeth, gums’, but the opponent was Seoul.
The box office product ‘Choi Yong-soo Derby’, which was newly created after taking office in Gangwon, will be fun for fans to see, but it seems to have been a ‘sad victory’ for coach Choi, who has been through a strange meeting for two years in a row. “However, this kind of feeling is a luxury in a way from a position where you have to win more. You have to wake up and prepare for the 10th round,” said Choi, who hurriedly headed to the training ground and soon returned to the ‘eagle’.
Article provided by Sports Chosun
Mansik Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)