“We’re talking to each other and saying, ‘We’ve come this far and it would be a shame to finish fourth.'”
Bae Joon-ho (Daejeon), the ace in the hole for Korea at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023, is determined to make the final match against Israel his own.
Speaking at the national team’s training center in La Plata, Argentina, on Tuesday (Nov. 10), a day ahead of the third-place match against Israel, Bae said, “My physical condition has improved a lot, my stamina has increased a lot, and I think it shows in my performance. I think I can do well in the next match,” he said, expressing confidence.
As Kim Eun-jung-ho’s flanker, Bae Jun-ho is the player whose stock has risen the most through the tournament.
Initially, he was unable to play due to injury, but he gradually improved his physical condition and began to show his true colors, especially in the semifinals against Italy, where he showed off his brilliant individual skills even in a 1-2 loss, earning praise from fans and opposing managers alike.
“There were a lot of Korean fans at the game against Italy, and they applauded every single play,” Bae said. I was very grateful, and I gained a lot of confidence during the game,” he said.
“I don’t really feel it, but I’m getting a little bit of it from fans and acquaintances,” he smiled, referring to the increased attention after the Italy game.
The third-place match against Israel at the La Plata Stadium on June 12, starting at 2:30 a.m. KST, is a chance for Bae to culminate this atmosphere and finish the tournament with a smile on his face.
“There’s a big difference between third and fourth place. Of course, I want third place. The players are also preparing well as a team, saying, ‘It would be a shame to finish fourth after coming this far, so we should take home a medal,'” he said. “We didn’t make it to the final, but we want to win this game and take home a medal.”
Israel, who will be battling for third place, are the “surprise team” of the tournament. In their first appearance at the U-20 World Cup, the Israelis were a force to be reckoned with, beating the likes of Brazil to reach the quarterfinals.토토사이트
“I think Israel is a well-organized team like us,” Bae said, but stressed that “no matter how they came up, we should win, and we are confident enough.”
“My teammates are struggling a lot, so I think there are some things I need to do in terms of counterattacking and breaking through the flanks,” he said, adding, “I think it’s time for us to be aggressive and score some goals.”