In preparation for the October A-Match, 23 members of the Clean Sweepers gathered at Paju NFC on September 9 to begin muster training. 14 of them are Asian Games gold medalists. The team has won three consecutive titles.
The Korean Asian Games soccer team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, won the gold medal after defeating Japan 2-1 in the final of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games. It was the first time in history that the team won three consecutive titles, joining Incheon 2014 and Palembang 2018 in Jakarta.
Jung Woo-young (Freiburg), who joined Paju NFC on the ninth day after the Asian Games, kept his gold medal in his pocket. In a video released by the Korea Football Association (KFA), Jung proudly showed off the gold medal in his room, and Kim Seung-kyu (Al-Shabab) playfully replied, “I have one too.”
In fact, the team includes more than half of the players who won gold medals at the Asian Games, including Kim Seung-kyu and Jung Woo-young.
Kim Seung-kyu, Kim Jin-soo (Jeonbuk) and Lee Jae-sung (Mainz) won gold at Incheon 2014 and Cho Hyun-woo (Ulsan), Song Bum-geun (Shonan), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), Hwang In-beom (Tsubena), Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton) and Hwang Eui-jo (Nottingham) won gold at Jakarta 2018.
If you include Jung Woo-young, Seol Young-woo (Ulsan), Hong Hyun-seok (Ghent), and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who joined the team immediately after winning gold at Hangzhou 2022, the total is 14.
It seems that the best players in their respective age groups, whose confidence was boosted by the honor of winning the Asian Games, have carried the momentum to the national team.
In particular, they received special military service benefits along with their gold medals, making it easier for them to develop their careers after the Asian Games.
All 10 current gold medalists from the last two Games have established themselves as mainstays of the national team, with eight of them playing overseas. This is the legacy of Asian Games gold.
This gold medal marks a major inflection point for the players on the Asian Games team, who are expected to grow and advance to Europe. As they grow into national team roles, Korean soccer will have another gold medal legacy.
“In the long run of my soccer career, it’s a good opportunity to solve the military issue,” said Seol Young-woo, “and it may open up even better opportunities in the future. 안전놀이터
Hong Hyun-seok, who is already playing in Europe, said, “My goal has always been to reach the top five European leagues. I can’t say that the military exemption is a guarantee of success, but it’s a great opportunity.”