Baek Seung-ho (26, North Korea) is looking forward to another big challenge. The 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) will kick off in September. He joined Hwang Sun-hong’s Under-23 (U-23 – U-24 this year) squad as a wildcard (a player over the cut-off age). 바카라사이트
It’s a second chance. Five years ago, a hamstring injury forced him to withdraw from the team’s preparations for the Palembang AG in Jakarta. In a recent interview with SportsDongA, Baek Seung-ho said, “I felt sad. I was working hard and wondering if I would get another chance, but I did. I just think that I have to get results unconditionally.”
The AG is a competition for age-group teams, not the A team, but the stakes are high for the athletes. Winning a gold medal earns them military service benefits, so the pressure to perform is enormous. “There’s a lot of pressure,” admits Baek Seung-ho. It would be great.”
Even if it’s not an absolute value, there’s no denying that it’s a strong motivator. Especially in football, there are many opportunities to go abroad, so it’s no exaggeration to say that those who have completed their military service are at a completely different starting point.
Baek Seung-ho is no different. He still craves the big time. He grew up in the youth ranks of FC Barcelona (Spain) and spent two years with the B team (second team) from the summer of 2015, before playing for Girona FC, CF Peralada (Spain), and SV Darmstadt (Germany).
and has worn the Jeonbuk jersey since March 2021.
Having received so much attention from a young age, it could be perceived as a ‘failure’ that he hasn’t made it to a big European club as an adult, but he doesn’t see it that way. I don’t regret it at all because I’ve always done my best in every situation.
Of course, I believe that constant challenge is better than complacency. I believe that by experiencing the limits of my abilities and overcoming prejudice, I grow more and more. That’s why I’m always looking forward to Europe, where tough competition awaits.
Baek Seung-ho. Photo: Getty Images Korea
At last year’s World Cup in Qatar, Baek Seung-ho scored in the round of 16 against Brazil with a thunderous mid-range shot. There’s a difference between losing 0-4 and losing 1-4. It’s a symbolic score that shows you’re not helpless. At the same time, the calls in Europe that had been stuck started to come through. Earlier this year, Werder Bremen and Stuttgart (both in Germany) took notice of Baek. In February, Darmstadt, who had just been promoted to the Bundesliga, contacted him. Having been with Jeonbuk from the summer of 2019 until just before his transfer, Baek had a good understanding of military matters, and the dialogue was positive, even going so far as to discuss a transfer fee.
The AG results are crucial. The double burden of enormous pressure to perform and the physical demands of a tight schedule must be overcome. “As an elder brother (wildcard), I want to help the juniors enjoy themselves as much as possible but focus on each match,” said Baek. It’s step by step. For now, we’ll just think about the first round of the group stage, and we’ll take it one game at a time, carefully and carefully.”