Team K League manager Hong Myung-bo wants his players to take pride in representing Korea’s top division as they face Atletico Madrid in a preseason game on Thursday.
Team K League — a Frankenstein’s monster of an all-star team made up of 22 K League 1 players picked by fans and coaching staff for the sole purpose of playing this single game against Atletico Madrid — will not treat Thursday’s game as a mere exhibition match.
“Tomorrow’s game is not a game that determines an official win, but I personally want our players to have pride that they were picked for the team and go into the game with the pride that they represent the K League,” Hong said during a pre-game press conference at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Mapo District, western Seoul on Wednesday. “There shouldn’t be any injuries or anything, but I want the players to play an impressive game with passion for those who support the league.”
Hong is also keen to show Atletico what K League football is like, even though Team K League is made up mainly of people who have never actually played on the same team.
“We are going to train today and we will show what we’ve got in tomorrow’s game,” Hong said.
Veteran Ulsan Hyundai defender Kim Young-gwon is on the same page.
“I think the players that were chosen are the best players and I will show the best I’ve got on the pitch so I can pay the fans back,” Kim said.
Daegu striker Cesinha, who joined Team K League with the most fan votes, is excited to face such a tough opponent.
“I want to play against [Antoine] Griezmann,” he said. “It will be a new experience for me and I am honored to see those players in person.”
Thursday’s game between Team K League and Atletico will mark the very first time the Spanish team has played in Korea. 안전놀이터
The match will kick off at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 8 p.m., with the second Coupang Play Series game between City and Atletico on Sunday at the same venue.
The third Series match between PSG and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will then kick off at Busan Asiad Stadium in Busan on Aug. 3.