“I would think that my soccer life is always losing 0-1.”

At the Dong-A Media Center in central Seoul on Wednesday, Joo Min-gyu (33) said, “I will do my best to catch up with you at any time.” It was different from how he felt as a player who had the best season this year since his professional debut.

In his 11th year as a pro, he became the top scorer in the K-League 1 (minor league) this year. He is the second top scorer in his career following 2021 when he was a member of Jeju Island. This year, he enjoyed his first win since his professional debut, enjoying the joy of his best season. Nevertheless, he said, “If you think you are tying, you will feel relaxed. When you are concentrated on the cliff, you will gain extreme strength. I will not be complacent.”

These are remarks reflecting his personal history. In the 2013 K-League draft, he was not selected by the top division team and joined the secondary league Goyang (disbanded in 2017). He was a trainee, not an official player. His monthly salary was less than 1 million won. He remembers the day of the draft as the day when he cried the most in his life. He moved to E-Land, the founding team of the secondary league, in 2015, and started making his name known by ranking second in scoring (23 goals) that year. He finished his military service while playing for Sangju Sangmu, the primary league team. He returned to E-Land in 2018 and joined the Ulsan team in 2019. However, he moved to Jeju the following year after being pushed out of the competition to become the starting member. Jeju was a secondary league team at the time. After playing in Jeju until last year, he returned to Ulsan for the first time in four years ahead of the opening of this season.

“My team has been in the lead since the beginning of this season, but I personally felt it was a very long season. I hoped that the season would end soon,” he said. “As I came to a team that is strong enough to win, I tried really hard not to be told that I didn’t win because of myself.” Competition for position with Martin Adam, a former Hungarian national striker, also gave him a boost. “I used to think that I should play, but now I can more flexibly accept the situation given to me. I was able to grow because of my good teammates,” he said.

“I feel so cunning. I was a coward last year, and that’s why this year is all the more valuable to me,” said Joo Min-kyu, who regained the top scorer’s title in two years. With Cho Kyu-sung (Mit Whelan), a member of Jeonbuk, he scored 17 goals last season, but missed the top scorer title as he played in more games than any other players. This year, however, he became the top scorer even though he had 17 goals in 36 games or the same as Thiago (Daejeon). This is because Joo spent less time playing in the game.

With the Asian Football Confederation Champions League group stage match against Kawasaki Frontale on Sunday, he has completed all of his schedule for this year’s event. He will become the first Korean player to win the top scorer for two consecutive years in the K-League and his second individual team title next year. “Our team has won two consecutive league titles this year, but it was our first win since our professional debut. I want to win my second individual title next year,” he said.

He was the top scorer twice in the top division league, but he has never been selected for the national team. Ahead of the Asian Cup to be held in Qatar in January next year, the Korea Football Association will announce the list of players who will be called up for the national team on Wednesday. “I came to know that if I lack even one percent, I will never achieve anything. I am still not good enough to be a member of the national team, so I will fill every day with desperation,” he said.

토토

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *