[스포츠서울 김용일기자] “Olympic? If you sing, I’ll be grateful.”
Hwang Eui-jo (29, Girong Daeng Bordeaux), the solver of the national football team A’s’Bento’, once again revealed his will to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He said in a video interview with the reporter who conducted YouTube on the first day of training on the first day of the convocation of national team A in preparation for the 2nd qualifying round of the 2022 Qatar World Cup Asian region held at Paju NFC on the 31st, “If you call me (from the Olympic team), I will of course play. I am grateful to play for my juniors and Korea. I have never considered it burdensome.”
Hwang Eui-jo is a strong candidate for the Olympic team’s strong wildcard (three athletes over 25 years old in Tokyo, up to three), led by coach Kim Hak-beom. In major tournaments where strong players are lined up, the role of the one-top to shoot the point of attack is very important. Nine years ago, when Korean soccer achieved its first bronze medal in the Olympics history, Park Ju-young, who was selected as a wild card at the time, played a part. In the bronze medal match against Japan, he played a role by scoring the winning goal with a brilliant personal skill.
Earlier last month, Hwang Eui-jo showed his willingness to participate in the Olympics with the feelings of the Baek Eui-jong army. In the Olympics where representative athletes by age compete, the biggest carrot is’military service benefits (when winning bronze medals or more)’. He participated in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games three years ago as a wild card and won a gold medal and already received military service benefits. Nevertheless, he has a willingness to devote everything to the Olympics for the sake of his country. The head of the Olympic team is Kim Hak-beom, who led the Asian Games three years ago by selecting himself as a wild card. Hwang Eui-jo made a huge turning point in his football life thanks to coach Kim. Having won the gold medal in the Asian Games scorer (9 goals), he has been reborn as an irreplaceable attacking resource with Son Heung-min (Tottenham) of the same age as he transferred his excellent sense of goal to national team A. In addition, thanks to solving the military service problem, he entered the French League 1 Bordeaux in the summer of 2019 and succeeded in advancing to the European Big League.
Hwang Ui-jo scored 12 goals in League 1 in the 2020-2021 season, the second season he joined Bordeaux, and achieved double-digit goals. Park Joo-young, who played for AS Monaco in the 2010-2011 season, was on the shoulder with the most goals (12 goals) in the Korean League 1 season. At that time, Park Joo-young was selected as an Olympic wild card based on his performance in the big league, and Hwang Eui-jo wants to follow that path.
First of all, the mission given to Hwang Eui-jo is the 2nd round of World Cup qualifiers for national team A. Team A, led by coach Paulo Bento, lost 0-3 in the match-A match against Japan in March without major players such as Hwang Eui-jo and Son Heung-min. Coach Bento is preparing to restore his honor with Hwang Eui-jo in the second qualifying round of the World Cup in Sri Lanka (9th), Lebanon (13th) and Goyang Sports Complex starting with the match against Turkmenistan on the 5th. Hwang Eui-jo said, “Now (not the Olympics), I’m only thinking about the three World Cup qualifying matches. I will communicate so that the director can follow the direction he wants.” Since the launch of the Bento, he has scored 11 goals, the most among Taegeuk Warriors. This time, it is attracting fans’ attention whether it will save the desperate Bento with a hot scorer and whether it will lead to the selection of the Olympic team wild card.