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Klinsmann, aiming to win the Asia Cup for the first time 64yrs

The Korean national soccer team is led by coach Jürgen Klinsmann.

Klinsmann, who is attempting to win the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup for the first time in 64 years, will begin full-scale preparations from the end of this month.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said, “Starting on the 26th, we plan to convene and train key players active in the K-League in the outskirts of Seoul. “The players who will participate in the domestic convocation will be announced on the 18th,” he said on the 11th.

According to a KFA official, this domestic convocation list will be small.

Previously, 20 to 30 people gathered in the southern region to conduct convocation training for the Asian Cup. In this process, new faces were discovered and the skills of players who would later play for the national team were checked.

However, coach Jürgen Klinsmann plans to form a small roster similar to the competition roster and conduct indoor exercises and video meetings before leaving the country.

While the team convocation training is underway, the final list of players who will play in the Asian Cup finals will be announced at the end of December. In this competition, each team will consist of 23 players.

Among the players summoned domestically, the players on the final list will depart for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on January 2 next year to adapt to the time difference and local environment.

Most players playing in Europe, including Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), and Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), are planning to move directly from their teams to Abu Dhabi and join the national team.

A KFA official explained, “According to the Asian Cup regulations, players can be called up from the Monday a week before the competition opens, so players playing in Europe can join the national team from January 2nd.”

The players will begin their final warm-up by playing an evaluation match in Abu Dhabi on January 6th. It is known that Iraq is currently the likely opponent.

The Klinsmann, which underwent maintenance in Abu Dhabi after the evaluation battle, will enter Qatar, the site of the decisive battle, on January 10.

Korea, placed in Group E of the Asian Cup, will play the first match of the group stage against Bahrain on January 15 at 8:30 PM (hereinafter Korean time). Then, they will play the second match against Jordan on January 20th at 8:30 p.m. and the final group match against Malaysia on January 25th at 8:30 p.m.

After winning the inaugural Asian Cup in 1956 and the second edition in 1960, Korea has never reached the top, finishing as runner-up four times in 64 years.
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Monday, December 11, 2023
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