On the 15th, when the professional soccer team FC Seoul was sweating ahead of the opening, a player stood out laughing with his teammates at the Kokubu Athletics Stadium in Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. It was captain Ilyuchenko (33) who was tall and attractive with tanned skin. Even without the captain’s armband because he was wearing a training suit, the leader’s dignity was evident in the scenes where he led the training or delivered a separate message. Seoul coach Ahn Ik-soo looked at Ilyuchenko and welcomed him, saying, “This is my first training as captain, and he is doing well.”
The appointment of Ilyuchenko as captain is a symbol of the change in the K-League this year. The number of foreign players, who are said to have a large share of annual farming, has increased from ‘3 + 1’ (3 people regardless of nationality + 1 person from AFC member country) to ‘5 + 1’, and now there are one or two clubs with foreign players even captains. is happening Two foreign captains are on the ground, including Daegu FC Sejingya, who has been captain for two consecutive years following last year. In terms of Seoul alone, after Osmar in 2016, Ilyuchenko produced the second foreign captain.
The idea that the captaincy, which should serve as a bridge between the coaching staff and players, is the responsibility of domestic players is now in the past. It is also a natural trend as foreign players account for up to 6 out of 18 players participating in a game.
“It was a surprise for me,” Ilyuchenko said. “The coach said that I would be ‘professional and set an example for young players’. He wants to be a captain who lacks nothing in leadership and communication.” At the same time, he added, “The language difference according to nationality is not a problem because most people can안전놀이터 communicate in English.”
In fact, what attracted attention in the appointment of Ilyuchenko as captain was not his nationality, but his years of service. After leaving Jeonbuk Hyundai last summer and joining Seoul, he became the captain of the soccer team representing Seoul, the capital city, within two years. His nationality and ability to pass over the number of years he joined became the background for his unconventional decision.
Ilyuchenko, who played in the second division of the German Bundesliga, jumped into the K-League in 2019 when he joined Pohang Steelers. He scored a passing score with 9 goals and 2 assists in his first year and a half in Pohang, and became a sensation the following year with 19 goals and 6 assists. As his target-type goalscorer, he became popular in that he had an incredible connection ability and a knack for sniffing the goal. It is only natural that Ilyuchenko passed through Jeonbuk Hyundai and established himself as a long-lived foreign player playing in Seoul.
Seong-yong Ki, former captain of Seoul, said, “I think he will do well as captain because he has a stronger fighting spirit than anyone else.” Ilyuchenko said, “Actually, I lived in Korea alone for three and a half years, but the cultural part is still difficult. He responded by saying, “I try to get help by communicating with experienced players.”
As Ilyuchenko assumes the position of captain of Seoul, attention is drawn to what changes will occur. Seoul was a prestigious school representing the K-League, but its performance over the past two years was only 8th and 9th, respectively. However, since Osmar won the K-League 1 championship in 2016, when he was the first foreign captain, there are many people who expect a rebound this time too.
Ilyuchenko’s attitude is the same. The goal of captain Ilyuchenko is to raise Seoul, which is familiar with the lower ranks (7th to 12th), to at least the upper ranks (1st to 6th). Ilyuchenko said, “(Osmar) brought good results at that time, I believe that I am a sign that expects good results.” I want to entertain the fans from the opening day,” he promised.