Soccer fans are very interested in the appointment of the next coach of the Korean national soccer team, which has recently become vacant. Already, the names of several famous directors are in the media as candidates. However, the Korea Football Association is still silent about the voiceless rumors without a certain affirmation or denial.
The only thing that has become clear so far is that ‘foreign director’ is the priority negotiation target this time around. Analysts say that the decision by the Korea Football Association to appoint a foreigner, Michael Müller, for the first time in history to the head of the National Team Strengthening Committee, which is responsible for nurturing and managing the national team, was made with the recruitment of a foreign coach in mind.
So far, candidates for the Korean national team’s head coach include Jose Bordalas (Spain), Chichi (Brazil), Torsten Fink-Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany), Marcelo Bielsa (Argentina), and Vahid Halilhodzic (Bosnia). Most of them are leaders whose reputation has been verified on the European or world stage. The foreign media has revealed the people who have been mentioned as candidates for the Korean national team coach, and some people claim that they received an offer from Korea first. However, it is unclear whether the Korea Football Association actually contacted and negotiated with them.
The problem is that among the directors mentioned as candidates so far, there are not many cards that seem to have ‘reality’ in terms of justification or publication. Among the candidates, Klinsmann-Bielsa-Cichi can be cited as world-renowned directors with high recognition. However, to recruit these directors, the ‘ransom price’ is too expensive.
Former manager Bento (Portugal) is known to have an annual salary of 1.35 million dollars (approximately 1.6 billion won), and it is expected that to recruit them, an investment of at least 4 billion won and at most 10 billion won will be required for the individual coach. In addition, if he brings his coaching staff to the division like coach Bento, his cost increases even more. 스포츠토토
Among the former coaches of the Korean national team, Guus Hiddink, Dick Advocaat (above Netherlands), and Bento have already been known worldwide. They were able to be recruited at a relatively low price by taking advantage of the condition that Korea had already gone directly to the World Cup finals, such as the host country, or that the manager himself was in a downward trend at the time, and the ransom was low and he needed to restore his honor. However, in reality, it is never easy to find a leader with a big name and a cheap ransom that can meet the expectations of soccer fans.
In the case of coaches such as Bordalas-Pink-Halilhozic, they are not world-class masters of the Hiddink class, but they are renowned figures in the football world and are regarded as leaders with the possibility of realistic negotiations under various conditions.
However, each of them has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Bordalas has spent most of his career with clubs in the lower half of his home country’s Spanish league, and has never coached an overseas league or national team. Pink also has experience in the Asian league, but has experience leading the national team.
Halil Hodzic is a familiar figure to domestic fans as he played for the Algerian and Japanese national soccer teams and faced off against Korea several times. In the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, he defeated Hong Myung-bo and brought Algeria to the round of 16.
However, even after leading Japan in 2018 and Morocco in 2022 to advance to the World Cup finals, he also set a record of being hardened one after another just before the tournament. Halil Hodzic is evaluated for his ability, but his history of conflicts with the association and players is brilliant because of his self-righteous and uncompromising fiery personality. Ironically, Japan and Morocco rebounded with better-than-expected results in the World Cup after kicking out Halil Hodzic.
Korean football has already experienced foreign coaches with various nationalities and philosophies, but not all have been successful. The lesson learned from the trial and error of failed foreign coaches like Coelho-Bonfrere-Stielike is that foreign coaches are more important in their philosophy, sincerity, and consistency in how stable they can be with Korean football than in sticking to the value of their name.
Coach Bert van Marwijk (Netherlands), who was mentioned as a candidate for the Korean national football team in 2014, was a ‘big name’ leader who drew attention by leading the Dutch national team to runner-up in the World Cup in 2010, but in negotiations with the Korea Football Association Negotiations broke down after putting forward absurd conditions. It is good to bring in a world-renowned big-name leader, but he left a lesson that it is better to exclude people who demand unaffordable ransom or conditions from the candidate list early on.
Also, there is no need to cling to the title of ‘foreign director’. In 2014, it was unavoidable that negotiations with coach Van Marwijk fell through, but the fact that Uli Stielike was the leader chosen by the association as the next best thing brought about a bigger disaster.
Stielike was a star player who was considered a legend in Germany and Real Madrid in his days as a player, but as a manager, he was a person whose career was short-lived. Nevertheless, the reason why the association selected Stielike was Ja Chung-soo, driven by the pressure to somehow bring in a plausible foreign coach in a situation where public opinion of distrust of domestic coaches increased at the time. As a result, coach Stielike was sacked in disgrace amid poor performance and various stories during the World Cup qualifiers, remaining as one of the best dark history in the history of foreign coaches in Korean football.
If it is difficult to bring in a foreign coach who can satisfy the eye level of football fans anyway, opening up the possibility to a domestic leader can be an alternative. The lack of ability of domestic directors is also a kind of vague prejudice. Rather than worrying about negative public opinion about a domestic coach, the worst case scenario is to make the mistake of bringing in a clumsy foreign coach at the level of Stielike in pursuit of time and conditions.
Former coach Bento is a person whose name appeared as a candidate quite late when he was appointed as the manager of the Korean national team in 2018. The reason why Bento, who had not received much attention in Korea at the time, emerged as the coach of the Korean national team because he had a brilliant career as coach of the Portuguese national team, but above all, the direction of the football philosophy he pursued coincided with the Chukhyeop.
At the time, Director Kim Pan-gon (currently the Malaysian national team) said in an interview with Bento that he was deeply impressed with the advocacy of ‘football that occupies and actively dominates the game’ and explained the reason for the appointment. In fact, Bento has been supported by Korean players with a systematic training system and player management, claiming consistent share soccer for 4 years, and achieved the result of reaching the round of 16 in the World Cup.
Currently, nothing is known about what standards and philosophy the next national team coach will pursue, except for the fact that a foreign coach is influential. Looking at the director candidates known so far, it is difficult to find a similar connection in terms of continent, nationality, career, and leadership style, from Bordalas to Chichi and Halilhozic. It is also unclear whether it will continue the share philosophy of the Bento era, or whether it will seek a new style from the very beginning. Chairman Müller, who took the real power in appointing the next coach, said, “It is a new start from a blank slate. The principle is to select a person with the same philosophy as the association,” but the specific content of that philosophy was left ambiguous.
Even soccer powerhouses such as Spain-Brazil, or neighboring Japan, pursue the unique color and continuity of their national team from a long-term perspective. It is natural for the Korea Football Association to attach the real names of candidates for national team coaches to security, but clear principles and directions must be presented as to what criteria they will appoint as the next national team coaches. That way, unnecessary misunderstandings or speculations about the next coach, whether foreign or domestic, can be prevented in advance. As now, it is not desirable for the unconfirmed foreign director candidates to swarm through the media and to repeat exhausting speculative debates.