“When I first joined the pro team, four goalkeepers wore numbers 1, 21, 31, and 41. I received number 41, the last of them, and said, ‘I will make this my starting number’. I clenched my teeth. I made it like that in a year and a half, and with that heart, I came this far.”
Goalkeeper Kim Yeong-gwang (Seongnam), who holds the record for the most appearances (588 matches) among active players in the K-League, is celebrating his 22nd professional season this year.
Still wearing the number 41 he received in his first season, he is preparing for another spring with an unchanging ‘desire to win’ at the age of 41 in Korea.
Kim Young-kwang, who met on the 2nd in Namhae, Gyeongnam, where the K League 2 Seongnam FC team was training for the second round, laughed, saying, “I am sharing a room with a junior (Park Hyun-bin, born in 2004) who is 21 years younger than me and is like a son.”
For him, who has been wearing the modifier ‘veteran’ for a long time, it has become an important daily routine of winter training to pass on the know-how he has endured as a pro for over 20 years to his juniors, in addition to preparing for the season.
Kim Young-kwang said, “I saw a lot of players who quit after 3-4 years in the pros, and players who couldn’t endure even if they entered the draft as the first rank.”
When asked about the only thing they must have to survive, the answer came back: ‘the desire to win’.
Kim Young-kwang said, “Competing with other players in the team, competing with other teams, and competing with everyone, so if you don’t have the desire to win, you can never survive. I don’t want to lose to my juniors, so I work hard. “he emphasized.
He continued, “Anyone can think ‘I have to beat that player’. It is important to invest time, effort, and everything to do so.”
This may be what Seongnam needs most, as it stayed at the bottom of the K-League 1 last year and spent this season in the second division.
Kim Young-kwang said, “We are having the most difficult winter training than any other year. Focusing only on soccer, it is a training that has no choice but to greatly strengthen both the body and mind.”
He said, “I couldn’t participate in the first training due to a hamstring injury, but when I joined, the players’ eyes are alive enough to feel that the atmosphere is bloody. It seems to be a team full of fighting spirit.”
Kim Young-gwang, who has played in 588 games, the most in his career and second in history after Gangwon FC representative Kim Byeong-ji (706 games), will now break through 600 games if he plays 12 more games in the league. 슬롯사이트
Regarding this, Kim Young-kwang said, “This is something that cannot be achieved by the player alone. It is not a matter that I can choose, so I try not to dwell on the record.”
“I have to block goals, but I also eat them, but I still hate scoring goals,” he said. “Conceding goals because my opponent kicks well is different from giving them because I’m lacking. I will be your target until I take it off.”
Here, Seongnam’s revival and a wonderful end to his career are his remaining hopes.
Kim Young-kwang said, “When the team was relegated to Division 2, it felt like it was my fault, so my heart ached and I always felt sorry for the fans.” I want to leave,” he said forcefully.