Team K-League and Atletico Madrid will face off in the Coupang Play Series at 8 p.m. on the 27th at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
The Team K-League consists of the ‘Fan Eleven’ selected by fan voting and the ‘Pick Eleven’ selected by the coaching staff. On the 17th, the Korea Professional Football Federation (KFA) announced the 11 ‘Fan Eleven’ who received the most votes for each position, and coach Hong Myung-bo and coach Choi Won-kwon selected the ‘Pick Eleven’ considering the detailed positions of the players and the distribution by team. ‘Pick Eleven’ consists of various domestic and foreign players who are currently showing the best skills for each position in the K-League.
Prominent players have been named to the Team K-League roster. Along with Na Sang-ho (FC Seoul), the top scorer in the K-League, Joo Min-gyu, who is in charge of Ulsan Hyundai, and national goalkeeper Jo Hyun-woo, have been selected to prepare for a confrontation with Atletico.
Meanwhile, Atletico, who is facing this, is visiting Korea for the first time. Atletico, who arrived at Incheon International Airport on the 25th, chose Korea as a pre-season tour venue ahead of the new season. Atlético, who finished third in La Liga last season, is a team that consistently maintains a top-three La Liga system with Real Madrid and Barcelona, and is a team that enjoys formidable power. Atletico will face off against Team K-League in Korea.
On the 26th, the day before the game, the managers of both teams held a press conference. The captains of both teams were also present. First, Team K-League coach Hong Myung-Bo said, “I hope that the players selected for the Team K-League will play with pride. I want to present a great game to the fans.”
Atletico manager Diego Simeone also expressed his expectations. Coach Simeone expressed his gratitude, saying, “I am grateful for the countless cheers I received upon arriving in Korea. To repay them, I want to return the love of the fans through a great game.”
Meanwhile, along with the press conference, various events were held at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on the 26th. From 3:00 PM on the day, various booths were opened where fans could enjoy various experiences. In front of the stadium, an Atletico uniform exhibition hall and photo zone were operated. It was a venue where not only Atletico fans but also K-League fans and soccer fans gathered together.
From 6:00 PM, an autograph session and talk concert for fans were held at Megabox Seoul World Cup Stadium Store 3. Na Sang-ho (Seoul), Bae Jun-ho (Daejeon), Baek Seung-ho (Jeonbuk), Seol Young-woo (Ulsan), and Lee Seung-woo (Suwon FC) participated and spent time with fans. About 150 fans selected from among 10,000 applicants participated.
Both the first part and the second part went well. In the first part, an agreement ceremony was held with EA Sports Korea, and in the second part, fans directly wrote down their questions to the players, posted them on the electronic board, and provided time for the players to answer them directly.
The first person to ask the question was Na Sang-ho. One fan said, ‘What kind of practice should I do to have speed and good shooting skills like Na Sang-ho? This is my son’s question,’ he asked. In response, Na Sang-ho said, “I think it takes a lot of effort. Speed is innate to some extent, but there are parts that require effort.”
Baek Seung-ho was curious about his serious attitude. He was the question, ‘Even when I won inside the stadium, I couldn’t see him smiling well, but I wonder what he was thinking at the time.’ Baek Seung-ho replied, “I don’t think I can express myself well because I’m focused on the game and I’m stressed.”
In addition, many questions arose. It was not an official press conference, but a place to communicate directly with fans, so more candid and free-spirited questions and answers came out. When asked what he does during his break time, Lee Seung-woo answered, “I spend my days looking for good restaurants just like everyone else.” Bae Jun-ho, when asked if he often searches for his name on portal sites, replied, “Not often, but sometimes,” and made the audience laugh.
Even though a warm atmosphere came and went, a strange tension flowed between the rivals. Seol Young-woo was asked, ‘What is the chance of winning this season?’ Seol Young-woo replied, “I think it’s about 99%,” and noticed Baek Seung-ho, a rival from Jeonbuk, next to him. It was a meaningful scene where players and fans became one.