Ulsan Hyundai’s soccer is not only about the players but also our fans.”
Kim Ki-hee (34), the ‘captain’ of Ulsan Hyundai in the K-League 1 professional soccer team, expressed his gratitude to the fans by saying this after succeeding in becoming the club’s first team to win two games in a row.
Ulsan won 2-0 in the 35th round of K League 1 2023 against Daegu FC held at Ulsan Munsu Soccer Stadium on the 29th. With this victory, Ulsan reached the 70-point mark and confirmed an early victory regardless of the remaining schedule. Last season, the championship was confirmed in the 37th round with the final match remaining, but this year, he took the throne at a faster pace. It took 17 years to wear the third championship star on his chest, but it took just one year to win the fourth championship.
The reason Ulsan’s win is attracting attention is because they had a difficult season this season with noise aroused both inside and outside the team. As a result, Ulsan maintained first place for a whopping 224 days since mid-March, but the past three months have been a series of difficult times. In particular, in June, former captains Park Yong-woo (Al Ain), Lee Kyu-seong, Lee Myung-jae, and Jeong Seung-hyun were embroiled in controversy over racial discrimination, which led to a backlash as the first racial discrimination-related rewards and punishment meeting was held since the launch of the K League.
It was Kim Ki-hee who was newly given the captain’s armband. As a veteran, he shared playing time with Kim Young-kwon and Jeong Seung-hyun and continued to play. Even in the match against Daegu, where he was able to secure an early victory, he confidently started as a starter, played the full game, and fired off a congratulatory gun. Kim Ki-hee met with reporters in the mixed zone after the game and said, “Everyone knew the importance of the game. “Maintaining high concentration was the key to victory,” he said with a smile.
Kim Ki-hee has also been embroiled in controversy. On September 30th, after a game against the Pohang Steelers, he received a fine for making a ‘fist-potato’ gesture towards Pohang fans. Regarding the various negative issues that occurred during the season, he acknowledged, “First of all, changing the captain during the season was not a good phenomenon,” and added, “There are many veteran players on our team. “There were many problems, including racial discrimination, but the entire team worked together and tried to focus on soccer as much as possible,” he said.카지노사이트
When the reporters then asked, ‘Please compare it to last season’s championship race,’ Kim Ki-hee said, “We all pledged that we should show a stronger performance than last year. He was thinking of putting his first win in 17 years (in 2022) behind him and taking on a new test. “All of the players worked hard to improve their quality and focused on playing Ulsan’s own soccer through good competition.”
Meanwhile, when Kim Ki-hee was asked to ‘pick the most decorated player to win this season’, he said, “I will pick my partner (Kim) Young-kwon.” He played an active role as the focal point of build-up play even in a difficult schedule. “Because Yeong-kwon kept our focus, we can all play together comfortably,” he praised.
Lastly, Kim Ki-hee smiled and said, “Compared to the past Ulsan expeditions or during the COVID-19 period, there are really more Ulsan fans,” and then greeted the fans by saying, “Ulsan’s soccer was created by working together with not only the players but also the fans.”