“I feel so good and unbelievable that I haven’t slept since yesterday,” said Hong Hyun-seok (Hent), who was called up by coach Jürgen Klinsmann after winning gold as part of Hwang Sun-hong at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.
Hong spoke to reporters ahead of the national team’s October A-match preparations at the Paju National Training Center (NFC) from Sept. 9 and shared his feelings on winning the Asian Games gold medal.
Hong scored three goals at the Asian Games, including a brace against Thailand in the second round of the group stage, the Round of 16 against Kyrgyzstan and the quarterfinal against China.
In particular, against China, he scored a stunning free-kick goal with an awl-like left-foot curl in the 17th minute, silencing the Chinese home fans in the stadium and delighting the Korean fans with a ‘shhh’ gesture.
When the Chinese media expressed their displeasure, Hong Hyun-seok said, “I didn’t care about it at all,” and showed his victorious side.
When asked about the “Dr. Hong meme” (meme – internet trending content) that has since been widely circulated online, he said, “I’ve seen that photo a lot. I’ve actually practiced, but I don’t plan to dance,” he laughed, adding, “It feels good to be called that.”
Hong Hyun-seok said, “You have the biggest stake in the gold medal, and (Baek Seung-ho), who worked so hard, also has a big stake. I want to say thank you,” before humbling himself by saying, “I’m still a long way from Kang In’s free-kick ability.”
Hong was called up by Klinsmann in June and earned his first call-up to the A team in September, where he traveled with the squad to Europe.
He started against Wales and played on the right flank before being called up to the Asian Games squad led by Hwang Sun-hong.
“I haven’t played a game in the A team that I was satisfied with yet,” he said, “and I want to score my debut goal in the A team as soon as possible.”
“I felt that I was lacking in defense at the Asian Games, and I think I need to work on my involvement, such as receiving the ball from a low position,” he said.
Now that he has resolved his military issues with a special exemption from military service, Hong has his sights set on the top five European leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France).
“I’ve always wanted to play in the top five leagues, but this is a great opportunity, and I think it will be even more important in the future,” he said.
“I’m familiar with Germany, where I played when I was younger, but I also want to play in the English Premier League (EPL),” said Hong, who was loaned to German third division Unterhaching in 2018. 스포츠토토