7 May 2024

Ki Sung-yueng, who chewed up the K-League at the age of 18, advised young players, “In Europe, people don’t see me as young as 21-22 years old…”I hope you have a big goal and grow up”

By pestfood.com

“Captain Key” Ki Sung-yueng (35) joined FC Seoul in 2006 at the age of 17 and made his professional debut the following year. Although he was in his late teens at the time, Ki, who had been under the spotlight for his extraordinary talent from an early age, steadily became the starting player as he received opportunities. For the three years until 2009, Ki Sung-yueng played 93 games (9 goals, 13 assists) in all competitions while playing in the Seoul uniform.

Notably, Ki was named the “Best 11” in the K-League for two consecutive years in 2008 and 2009, and was also named the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Player of the Year in 2009. In addition, Ki made his debut by playing as a starting player in an A-match exhibition match against Jordan on September 5, 2008, and playing for 76 minutes. It is no exaggeration to say that Ki, who appeared like a comet, changed the K-League’s fortunes at the time.

Afterwards, Ki continued his career in Celtic (Scotland), Swansea City (Wales), Sunderland, Newcastle United (England), and Mallorca (Spain). He played 187 matches in the English Premier League alone, paving the way for his juniors to advance to the European stage. Then, he returned to his former team Seoul in 2020.

Ki is still an indispensable core in Seoul. The role of distributing balls while coordinating matches in the mid field is still a “top class” within the K-League. Against this backdrop, Ki is still a regular starter even though he is in his mid-30s. Ki has played full-time in the opening 11 consecutive games of this season. He could face limitations physically, but he has displayed his best performance in every game.

Recently, Seoul coach Kim Ki-dong (52) has been increasingly injured and is sending in a large number of young players to change the mood. Kang Sung-jin (21), Park Sung-hoon (21), Lee Seung-joon (19), Lee Tae-seok (21), and Hwang Do-yoon (21) have participated in the recent two consecutive games to gain the opportunity. Son Seung-bum (20) was also given the opportunity. They are encouraging energy by banking on their youth and spirit, and are playing the game based on their daredevil appearance.

Ki Sung-yueng is in charge of coordinating and leading these young players behind, beside, and in front of them. As a veteran and captain, he is also a mentor for young players to grow further. “He is well-centered among young players and good at mental support. That is why he seems to be unable to make the roster of players,” Seoul coach Kim Ki-dong said about Ki Sung-yueng, the “ground commander.”

Ki Sung-yueng also started in the 11th round home game of Ulsan HD and Hana Bank K League 1 2024 held at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on the 4th. On the same day, young players including Kang Sung-jin, Park Sung-hoon, Lee Seung-joon, Lee Tae-seok and Hwang Do-yoon played for Seoul. Unfortunately, however, Seoul lost 0-1 in the final minute of the game, allowing a run by allowing a penalty kick (PK).

Ki Sung-yueng, who met with reporters at the mixed zone (co-coverage zone) immediately after the game, said, “Many fans visited us. I sincerely thank you.” He said, “I have to win when many fans came to see us, but I’m really sorry that I couldn’t. I have to take responsibility and work hard to give our fans better performance and results.”

He also sent a message to young players, who have been steadily receiving opportunities recently. “Young players are doing so well with the recent number of injuries. I don’t have much experience, but I can see the effort and will to energize my team,” Ki said. “I just hope the young players are not satisfied here and set a bigger goal and move forward.” 메이저놀이터

He continued, “Although (the young players now playing) are said to be young, there are many players in Europe who debuted professionally at the age of 17-18 and performed well. I hope the young players set big goals in that regard. I think 21-22 is young, but I don’t see this age group as a young age in Europe. I see him as a player who has improved to some extent.”

Ki Sung-yueng said, “From me, I will continue to talk to young players personally and give them feedback. I think that helping these players develop will definitely lead to a positive impact on the competition system within the team. We will be able to maintain a healthy competition system because the existing players are alert,” he said.