Veteran defender confident S. Korea can end Asian title drought under Klinsmann
By Yoo Jee-ho
PAJU, South Korea, March 20 (Yonhap) -- If South Korea are to end their long Asian men's football title drought, center back Kim Young-gwon is confident the team's new head coach is the one to make it happen.
Kim reported to the first training camp under Jurgen Klinsmann on Monday. The German legend was named South Korea's new head coach at the end of last month and will make his coaching debut here on Friday against Colombia.
Klinsmann has stated on multiple occasions that his goal is to win the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup next year in Qatar. South Korea, despite their standing as one of Asia's top football countries, last won the Asian Cup title in 1960. They have been to the final only four times since then.
And Kim told reporters Monday he has faith in Klinsmann and his new staff to lead the team to the top.
"I think we showed promise at the World Cup in Qatar last year (by reaching the round of 16), and we came away feeling confident that we can win the Asian Cup," Kim said before a training session at the National Football Center in Paju, northwest of Seoul. "And I think when the coach has stated the objective, we as players have to believe we can get it done. It's not a mountain we can't climb, as long as we can all become one."
Kim said he and his teammates have high expectations for Klinsmann, given his exalted stature as a legendary player and a successful coach.
"He was a huge name back in his playing days, and he has a ton of experience coaching other national teams," Kim said of the tactician who previously coached Germany and the United States. "We are excited to see what he can bring to Korean football."
Klinsmann has said he will pursue an aggressive brand of football and build a team that can sometimes outscore defensive woes. As a former striker, Klinsmann said, "I'd rather win a game 4-3 than 1-0."
Kim, a defender with 100 international caps, wasn't so sure about that.
"I think it'd be better to win without conceding any goals," Kim said. "I prefer a 4-0 win to a 4-3 win. My job as a defender is to keep opponents from scoring."
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