Bae Joon-ho (Daejeon Hana Citizen), who has been rumored to be headed to Europe after his performance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, has answered the call of his fans.
The U-20 national team, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong, arrived at Incheon International Airport on Thursday after successfully completing the U-20 World Cup in Argentina.
The team was drawn in a tough group with France, Gambia, and Honduras, but they pulled off an upset by defeating France in their first group game, then drew with Honduras and Gambia to reach the round of 16 with one win and two draws and second place in the group.
In the round of 16, they faced South American giants Ecuador and came away with a thrilling 3-2 victory, before defeating Nigeria in extra time in the quarterfinals. After a heartbreaking 1-2 loss to favorites Italy in the quarterfinals, Kim finished the tournament in fourth place with a 1-3 loss to Israel in the third-place match.
Kim’s performance was unexpected, as he hadn’t received much attention before the tournament. A huge crowd gathered at the airport to welcome him home after his fourth-place finish.
The most prominent name among the fans was Bae Jun-ho. Wearing the number 10, which symbolizes the team’s top ace, Bae played the role of ace.
He scored a wonder goal against Ecuador in the round of 16, as well as a lightning strike against Italy in the quarterfinals that neutralized the Italian defense. He broke down the Italian flank defense with his brilliant dribbling and won the penalty kick that led to Lee Seung-won’s equalizer.
Italian coach Carmine Nunziata singled out Bae after the game, saying, “The No. 10 (Bae) was particularly good. He was an outstanding player,” he said after the game.
Bae Joon-ho, who has been getting regular playing time with his club Daejeon, including seven appearances in the league, has been linked to overseas transfer rumors. Therefore, fans are worried that he will leave Daejeon.
At the airport, Daejeon fans pleaded with him not to leave the team.
“Regarding the European transfer rumors, I’m aiming higher, but I want to say that nothing has been decided yet,” he said. “I really like my current team (Daejeon) and I like the fans who come to Daejeon. I want to say thank you to the fans for always supporting me.”메이저사이트
Meanwhile, Bae Jun-ho explained his wonder goal against Ecuador, saying, “Others might say it came out of instinct, but it was actually the result of a lot of hard work.”
Finally, when asked about his favorite food, he said, “I’m drawn to spicy things.”