“In the round of 16 match against Italy, Korea deserved to win”
In an interview published by Italian media Gazzetta dello Sports on the 18th (local time), Ahn Jung-hwan said, “I remember it as if it were yesterday.
It was a very special game for me and my country.”
Korea lost a golden opportunity in the first half due to Ahn Jung-hwan’s miss of a penalty kick and were taken 0-1, but Seol Ki-hyeon’s equalizer in the second half followed Ahn Jung-hwan’s golden goal in the 12th minute of extra time to overturn the game.
As a result, Korea reached the quarterfinals beyond reaching the quarterfinals, and in Italy at the time, there was a controversy over the biased judgment of referee Byron Moreno (Ecuador), who was the referee for the round of 16 match.
Moreno took issue with the decision to send off Italy’s Francesco Totti in overtime.
Regarding this, Ahn Jung-hwan said, “No one believed that we could defeat Italy.
The referee’s decision is still controversial.” “We have always respected the referee’s decision.
“The judgment is final and irreversible,” he said.
He continued, “Irrespective of whether referee Moreno made a mistake, if there is no VAR system, a problem may arise whenever the referee’s whistle is blown.
We accepted all of them, even if the consequences were painful.”
Ahn Jung-hwan also emphasized that Korea deserved to win the match against Italy.
“You just have to look at the way we prepared the game.
Coach Guus Hiddink made us a strong team physically and mentally.
“No one was afraid,” he said. “We prepared well for Italy.
We analyzed the details of all Italian players,” he explained.
The cost of destroying Italy was severe.
Perugia’s owner, Luciano Gauchi, said he would not renew his contract, accusing Ahn Jung-hwan of ruining Italian football at the World Cup.
Afterwards, Alessandro Gauchi, the son of the owner of the club, came to explain that there was a misunderstanding due to the media’s distorted reports, but Ahn Jung-hwan’s life in Italy came to an end.
After twists and turns, Ahn Jung-hwan headed to Japan’s J-League Shimizu S-Pulse, and went through Yokohama Marinos (Japan), Metz (France), and Duisburg (Germany).
After returning to Korea, he played at Samsung Suwon and I-Park in Busan, where he played for Dalian Shide in China from 2009 to 2011 before retiring.
Ahn Jung-hwan said, “I had no choice but to leave (Peruza).
The owner of Gauci said he would not pay any more, and that I had ruined Italian football.
But I have no regrets.”
“I ask the Italians,” he said.
Please don’t hate me anymore.” “As a Korean player, I played for my country.
I didn’t want to hurt anyone.
I had a great time in Italy and worked harder than anyone else.
In the match against Italy, I wanted to repay the trust of the fans with a goal.”