Recently, two goalkeepers have advanced to the Japanese J-League. The main characters are Song Beom-geun (25) and Park Eui-jeong (18).
Song Beom-keun, who represented Jeonbuk Hyundai, the ‘K-League prestigious’, left for Shonan Bellmare, and Park Eui-jung, the next-generation goalkeeper, who is about to graduate from high school, left for Kashima Antlers.
Only in the J-League, the number of ‘Korean goalkeepers’ increased to five. Kwon Soon-tae signed a one-year contract with Kashima, and Jung Sung-ryong (37) is also active as a solid starting gatekeeper at Kawasaki Frontale. In addition, Kim Jin-hyeon (35) is also playing for Cerezo Osaka.
Six years ago, more teams in the J-League bought and used Korean goalkeepers. An official familiar with the Japanese soccer situation said, “Inside the J-League club, it is judged that it is difficult to find a good Japanese goalkeeper.” The goalkeeper’s save rate has increased. It’s becoming a trend among clubs.”
In particular, Kashima even made a long-term plan with the effect of Kwon Soon-tae. The strategy is to foster Park Ui-jung, who is 1m92 tall, left-footed, agile, and has good build-up ability, and uses it as the next Kashima gatekeeper.
Korean 스포츠토토 goalkeepers have already entered the Middle East. Kim Seung-gyu (32), the main goalkeeper for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, is playing for Al Shabab in Saudi Arabia. Kim Seung-gyu also moved to Al Shabab this summer after Vissel Kobe (2016-July 2019) and Kashiwa Reysol (2020-July 2022).
Increasing the number of goalkeepers playing overseas is not a bad thing for international competitiveness. However, the competitiveness of the K-League is relatively low.
The dream of field players is to advance to Europe. However, in Europe, Asian goalkeepers are not preferred. Therefore, the best option for Korean goalkeepers is the Japanese J-League. Daewoo is also better than the K-League. If you advance to the J-League, your salary will increase at least two to three times. With the money power of the J-League, which has been backed by broadcasting rights worth more than 2 trillion won for 10 years, the K-League is helpless and unable to prevent the outflow.
Within the A national team, which coach Paulo Bento has held the helm for the past four years, the atmosphere of prioritizing overseas players has become more prevalent. The same goes for the goalkeeper, a special position. During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Cho Hyun-woo, who was the main goalkeeper of Daegu FC at the time, kept the goal, but the baton passed to Kim Seung-gyu, who was playing overseas again after 4 years. As the perception that they have to move abroad to be selected for the A national team is growing, even young players are turning their eyes abroad.
The K-League regulations are gradually changing to emphasize the human rights of players. However, the absence of star players in the K-League is only a factor in a vicious circle, such as fans turning away, poor box office performance, and poor marketing.