‘Mexican semifinal myth’ takes to the skies

Former national team coach Park Jong-hwan, who led Korea to the semifinals at the 1983 World Youth Football Championship in Mexico (now the U-20 World Cup), passed away on the afternoon of the 7th. 85 years old.

Former coach Park, who was born in Ongjin, Hwanghae Province in 1938 and graduated from Chuncheon High School and Kyung Hee University, played for the Korea Coal Corporation. Although he was a winning member of the 2nd Asian Youth Championship held in Malaysia in 1960, he was not a star player. After his retirement as a player, he worked as a coach and international referee.

In the mid-1970s, he gained fame as a leader by taking charge of Jeonnam Mechanical Engineering High School, a weak team, and leading it to win the national championship. Afterwards, the Seoul City Hall team, who took the helm, also took the team to the top of the domestic stage several times.

From 1980 to 1983, he took charge of the under-20 (U20) youth national team and participated in two world championships. In particular, at the 1983 Mexico Tournament, the team achieved the feat of advancing to the semifinals in a tournament hosted by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) for the first time in Korean soccer history. It was the moment when Korean soccer was introduced to the world. At that time, Korea was nicknamed ‘Red Devils’ by overseas media due to its mobility and passing work, and this became the origin of the Korean national soccer team supporters’ ‘Red Devils’.먹튀검증

He served as the head coach of the national team several times until the mid-1990s, but resigned from the national team after losing 2-6 to Iran in the 1996 Asian Cup.

He also left a deep mark in the K-League. In 1989, he created a sensation in the K-League when he took over as coach of the new professional team Ilhwa Chunma (now Seongnam FC), and achieved the feat of winning three consecutive K-League titles since 1993. He served as the first president of the Korea Women’s Football Federation, founded in 2001, and worked to develop women’s football, while also serving as the manager of Daegu FC, founded in 2002, and Seongnam FC, which took its first steps in 2013.

In addition to his outstanding leadership, former coach Park was also famous for his Spartan training, but as his era changed, he was also evaluated for his coercive leadership style. Former FC Seoul coach Ahn Ik-soo, Indonesian national team coach Shin Tae-yong, Gimpo FC coach Go Jeong-woon, and former Konkuk University soccer coach Sang-yoon Lee are students who became stars after being trained by former coach Park.

His funeral was held at the funeral hall of Soonchunhyang University Hospital in Yongsan-gu, Seoul.


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