- Hong Myungbo was named Ulsan Hyundai head coach in December 2020
- The Korea Republic legend has huge expertise on the worldwide stage
- “I will fight for the club’s honour and development but not for my personal sake.”
Hong Myungbo is not any stranger to FIFA tournaments.
As a participant, the previous sweeper figured prominently for Korea Republic in 4 FIFA World Cups™ throughout 12 years, most notably captaining the Taegeuk Warriors to a historic fourth-place end at Korea/Japan 2002. As a coach, he guided the nationwide youth facet to the final eight on the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, earlier than taking the U-23 facet to their first bronze medal within the Olympic Football Tournament at London 2012.
Managing the nationwide workforce at Brazil 2014 – the place his facet completed winless – might well have proved to be a remaining time that includes in a FIFA marketing campaign. However, Hong introduced his return to the worldwide scene when he was appointed head coach of Ulsan Hyundai six weeks in the past on Christmas Eve with the FIFA Club World Cup™ in Qatar being his first problem.
Qatar 2020 marks Ulsan’s second however Hong’s first time on the membership world showpiece. While the ambition will be to higher Pohang Steelers’ third-place end within the 2009 version, the difficulties dealing with Hong cannot be underestimated: formidable opponents, excessive expectations, departures of the membership’s prime striker Brazilian ahead Junior Negrao and veteran Lee Keunho and extra, not to point out restricted time to put together the workforce.
Throughout his storied profession, Hong has lower a steely determine and is named a odds-defying winner. Will he emulate his previous feats with Ulsan this time round? FIFA.com sat down with the 51-yr-previous to get his ideas forward of their opener in opposition to Tigres UANL.
FIFA.com: Coach Hong, congratulations on the brand new function with Ulsan Hyundai. You had stated that there was one thing lacking in your illustrious profession, however now with the Ulsan job – your first managerial job accountable for a Okay-League facet – what does the brand new teaching job imply for you?
Hong Myungbo: I got here again to the teaching function after a very long time away. I’m anticipating to organise a workforce with excessive-high quality gamers and to stay up to the expectations by our followers. Okay-League is the highest flight in our nation and Ulsan Hyundai are one of the best workforce in Asia. My ambition right here is to make one of the best use of my earlier expertise to get a great consequence. I will battle for the membership’s honour and improvement however not for my private sake.
You are one among Korea Republic’s most achieved gamers and have had success as a coach, main the nationwide workforce at Brazil 2014 and the U-23 facet to a primary-ever bronze medal on the 2012 Olympics. Does teaching a Okay-League facet really feel like a totally new problem for you?
My profession had been virtually one-sided to the nationwide groups and that is my first Okay-League workforce to be accountable for. My activity is obvious and easy: to win the Okay-League title. Ulsan Hyundai followers are hungry to win the home championship as their final triumph dates again to 2005. This certainly motivates me and I would like to full the mission and fulfill their thirst.
Your first activity in cost is, nonetheless, teaching Ulsan on the FIFA Club World Cup. So what are your expectations?
We got quick time to put together. However I consider our winter coaching camp and a few good relaxation will stand our workforce in good stead. After all, we’re coming right here not simply representing Ulsan but in addition Korea Republic and Asia.
Ulsan gained the AFC Champions League in some model regardless of having completed runners-up in Okay-League. What do you consider the workforce? How do you price their profitable marketing campaign within the AFC Champions league?
Ulsan have proven respectable soccer over the previous two years. However, the query is that the workforce generally fail on the remaining hurdle. Confidence is the important thing for the workforce and we’d like to have widespread targets. In that sense, our success on the 2020 AFC Champions League got here as a well timed enhance and our profitable mentality is again.
You are accustomed to a number of veterans of the workforce having coached them with the nationwide senior workforce and U-23 sides. What are your expectations for them?
Knowing one another is without doubt one of the fundamentals of profitable the sport. These acquainted gamers could be exemplary ones to the workforce-mates, and I anticipate them to join me and the backroom workers with the youthful gamers with their management.
What are your ideas forward of the opening sport in opposition to Tigres UANL on Thursday?
First of all, I’m honoured to have this chance to take part within the FIFA Club World Cup. Now we’re up in opposition to the powerhouses from North and Central America, and we’d like to play some good soccer in opposition to them. We’re nonetheless within the means of constructing a workforce, which might make issues a bit tough for us [during the tournament]. Nevertheless, we’ll give all the things we have now, as we’ll go on the market representing Asia.
How do you price the present squad at your disposal?
At the second, we’ve had numerous modifications within the squad, which implies we’ll have to participate on this Club World Cup primarily with a complete new workforce. Even so, we’ve nonetheless received some gamers who performed within the AFC Champions League. With these previous legs complemented by new faces, I’m going to construct a great workforce heading to the event.
Under such circumstances, do you anticipate Yoon Bitgaram to rise to the event simply as he did so by ending because the event MVP within the AFC Champions League?
Yoon Bitgaram is without doubt one of the most essential gamers in Ulsan, a playmaker who pulls the strings. He additionally has expertise within the nationwide workforce, and I’m anticipating him to lead the younger gamers in our workforce as a veteran. I’m additionally serious about utilizing him for set items to create extra scoring possibilities.
In their FIFA Club World Cup debut in 2012, Ulsan completed with zero factors. What targets have you ever set for the workforce within the world encore?
The collaborating groups on this Club World Cup are the representatives of their continents, and subsequently, are robust sides. We will strive our greatest, as we represent Asia as well. I feel Pohang [Steelers] have had one of the best end result up to now, ending third, as a South Korean facet. I’m anticipating to come again with a great end result, which will depend upon how we put together within the upcoming days.