On the 12th (Korean time), after covering the match between Leicester City and Tottenham held in Leicester, England, we arrived at Milton Keynes after an hour’s drive. The Korean women’s soccer team, led by head coach Colin Bell, is staying in Milton Keynes near London. Ji So-yeon, who met at a hotel adjacent to the home stadium of soccer club MK Dons, said, “I lived in London for eight and a half years. I came to England after nine months, and it feels like I’ve come to my second home. When I arrived at the airport, I felt strange. I feel like I have to come back from a long vacation and play here again.” Ji So-yeon played in the English Women’s Super League (WSL) as a member of Chelsea Ladies from 2014 to last year.
Ji So-yeon, who joined Suwon FC in May of last year, returned to England to play her A match. She said that the 2023 Arnold Clark Cup, a four-nation friendly competition for the women’s national team, will be held in three British cities, Milton Keynes, Bristol and Coventry, from the 17th to the 23rd. Korea will meet England (17th), Belgium (20th) and Italy (23rd) in turn. Ji So-yeon, who joined with a bad ankle, said, “(England’s key player and Chelsea colleague) Millie Bright said, ‘Ji, come quickly, I want to see you.’ ‘They said that manager Emma Hayes (Chelsea Ladies) would also come to watch the game.”
England are a rising powerhouse, having reached the semifinals in the last two World Cups and winning Euro 2022. As of December last year, the FIFA ranking is 4th. In the FIFA rankings, South Korea ranks 15th, followed by Italy (17th) and Belgium (20th)메이저놀이터. Ji So-yeon said, “You shouldn’t look at the FIFA rankings in women’s soccer.” He said, “I think it’s been more than 10 years since we last played England. It was boiling then, but if you look at the recent game, you will be surprised. I heard that England is undefeated in 26 matches in a row,” he said. “Italy and Belgium have also improved a lot. We You can feel it right away when the players stick together. Europe is in the middle of the season and we are in the offseason, and if you look at the flow of world football, the order is England-Italy-Belgium-Korea. You may have to aim to avoid losing all three games.” analyzed.
In Bell’s scenario, there are no three-game losing streak. After taking office in 2019, Bell struggled to instill a ‘winning mentality’ into his national team. Ji So-yeon said, “Coach Bell’s performance is also his performance, but he hates losing. In the past, when I met China, Japan, or Australia, I was scared and entered the stadium, but after Coach Bell came, the fear disappeared. He is leading well,” he said. England coach Sarina Weigman described the friendly match as ‘perfect preparation for the World Cup’. The Women’s World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand from July to August. Korea is in Group H and faces Colombia, Morocco and Germany. Ji So-yeon said, “The last World Cup was left with regret. This time (to achieve results) is a good timing. Compared to four years ago, the matchup is better. If we catch Colombia well, we can make it to the round of 16 or higher like Bentoho. Furthermore, we can win the Asian Games. , I want to make it to the Olympic finals,” he said.
The ’15-year-old football genius’ who appeared like a comet became a 32-year-old ‘living legend’ who broke almost all personal records, such as the most A-match matches (142 matches) and the most goals (65 goals). Ji So-yeon said, “I think I’ve been on the national team for too long. Friends with a 13-year age difference come in. Players these days are sensible and kick the ball well, unlike our days. However, they lack hunger. When times are tough, their performance tends to drop. There is. At times like that, I speak strongly. I know that if I open my mouth at the training ground, I become a ‘old man’, but I can’t help it. Someone has to play a bad role.” Ji So-yeon is usually ‘
Ji So-yeon watched her idol Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain) perform the “Last Dance” at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He said, “I will be 36 years old during the next World Cup. It will be the 20th year of the national team. Wouldn’t it be a beautiful finish if I danced the ‘Last Dance’ at that time?”