Yoon Jong-kyu (25), the national team’s right fullback, headed to the 2022 Qatar World Cup with his performance in FC Seoul, his original team. Yoon Jong-kyu, who has now become the new recruit of Managing Director Gimcheon, has revealed his will to develop and his grand dreams without regret.
Sports Korea met with Yoon Jong-gyu in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do, the first winter training ground for Kim Cheon’s 2023 season, and talked about the 2022 Qatar World Cup and the player’s career in the future.
In the 26-man roster of the 2022 Qatar World Cup finals of the Korean national soccer team, Yoon Jong-kyu was the player who could be regarded as the ‘most unexpected selection’. Yoon Jong-gyu boarded a plane to Qatar even though he had only played 4 A-matches and had not played a single game in the World Cup Asian qualifiers.
The biggest factor that led Yoon Jong-kyu to the World Cup was the way he played on his original team. After coach Ahn Ik-soo took office at FC Seoul in September 2021, Yoon Jong-gyu became a ‘fish in water’. Seoul’s soccer, the so-called ‘Iksuball’, requires a fullback to actively step into the center and be involved in the development of an attack, and Yoon Jong-gyu was the right person to play this ‘inverted fullback’ role. 안전놀이터
Yoon Jong-kyu, who has strengths in physical strength and activity, quickly adapted as an inverted fullback and played 32 games in Seoul in 2021 and 2022, respectively, and rose to become the team’s main resource. Coach Ahn Ik-soo and coach Bento had a lot in common in how they used fullbacks, so Bento paid attention to Yoon Jong-gyu and selected him as a member of the World Cup after several tests in A-match.
Yoon Jong-gyu said, “I was so happy that I thought it was ‘the happiest moment in my life’ when I was selected for the World Cup team. .There are definitely regrets about not being able to play in the finals, but it was still a valuable experience. Player Jo Hyun-woo said that he couldn’t enjoy the tournament because he was under too much stress while playing in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In this World Cup, not only me but also other friends always enjoyed it. What I remember the most is what he said. After hearing that, I was able to enjoy the World Cup without regret.”
Yoon Jong-gyu continued, “From the moment the World Cup ended, I tried to prepare for the next World Cup. Even after coming to Gimcheon, I am paying attention to weight training. My goal is to fill in the points that need to be supplemented one by one through practice matches.”