August 24, 2018 10:17
Paulo Bento, the new head coach of the Korean national football team, is getting ready to take Korean football to the next level. He held his first press conference as head coach on Thursday and stressed that he will lead the team from a long-term perspective.
"I think we should provide more opportunities for young players because there are so many talented players that can be the mainstay in the future," he said. "It will be a long-term project, but I believe it's a great opportunity to develop South Korean football, not just for the Asian Cup and World Cup qualification."
Bento's office is on the second floor of the National Football Center in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, as he requested when signing a four-year contract. Bento and his four Portuguese coaches plan to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each player. The coaches' families will come to Korea in September and live here together.
Bento will make his coaching debut in upcoming friendlies next month, against Costa Rica on Sept. 7 in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province and against Chile on Sept. 11 in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province. The squad for the matches will consist mostly of players who competed in the World Cup in Russia.
Bento mentioned veteran midfielder Ki Sung-yueng and Koo Ja-cheol, who hinted at retirement from the national team after the World Cup in Russia. He said "Ki Sung-yueng will be called up for the national team this time, but we noticed that Koo is not fit yet." He added, "Ki's role in the team is important not only as team captain but also as a player."
Korea has not had a national team coach who served more than two years since 2002. Aware of this, Bento said that he understands Korean football fans have high hopes and he will do his best and work with passion.
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