South Korea U-20 national soccer team forward Lee Young-jun (Gimcheon Sangmu) has revealed his aspirations and role models for the remainder of the tournament.
The South Korean national team, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong, will face Nigeria in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup on Friday at 2:30 a.m. ET at the Santiago del Estero Stadium in Argentina, where they defeated hosts Argentina.
South Korea forward Lee Young-joon was interviewed ahead of the game and expressed his confidence in the match.
“Nigeria is a really good team. I expect it to be a difficult match. Some people might think we’re underdogs, but I think we can step up to a bigger stage based on what we’ve done so far. If we do what we’ve been doing, we can do it,” he said, adding that the team is looking beyond the quarterfinals.
Lee has impressed with his decisiveness and versatility at the U-20 World Cup, opening the scoring in South Korea’s 2-1 group stage win over eventual champions France on March 23, and then scoring a stunning volley against Ecuador in the round of 16 to send his team through to the quarterfinals.
“When you get a chance like that, you can’t go in thinking it’s going to go in, that’s not what I was trying to do. I grabbed it and hit it with tempo and scored,” he recalled.
In addition to his goals, Lee has also shown his strength in playing and linking up with his height and physicality, and is being touted as the next big thing for the Korean national team.
“I like Kane,” he said of his role models. His shooting is his strength, but he’s a good all-around player. I look up to him as a role model.” In terms of his own strengths, he said, “I have an advantage in height and physicality. My strengths are in the header competition and post play.”
In addition to his strengths and role models, Lee vowed to improve, saying, “I think I need to practice more in terms of linking up with my teammates, my quickness, and my technical ability to shoot in front of the net,” adding that he is always thinking of areas to improve.
Meanwhile, when asked about the Korean team’s quarterfinal performance at the tournament, Lee expressed his ambition to reach higher. 스포츠토토
“Every country came to the tournament with the goal of winning,” he said. We have been practicing to perform well since we were first called up. We came here to perform at the world championships, and of course, we believed in our coach, we believed in ourselves, we believed that we could come this far, and we believed that we could go further,” he said, adding that he was not satisfied with the quarterfinals and would challenge for the title.