It was 20 years ago. Coach Guus Hiddink, who made it to the semifinals at the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, left Korea with the words, “I want to say ‘So Long’ instead of Goodbye.”
He promised a day to meet again, not an eternal farewell. In fact, he maintained a string of ties as a ‘special advisor’ to the Korea Football Association. Although he gave up the position of ‘special advisor’, the relationship continues to this day. He is actively interacting, such as attending an event for the 20th anniversary of the Korea-Japan World Cup last June.
On the other hand, coach Huh Jeong-moo, who advanced to the round of 16 in the World Cup for the first time in South Africa in 2010, said ‘goodbye’. Coach Huh put down the baton, saying that he would have time to recharge at the Korea Football Association’s offer to renew his contract. He no longer had any links with the Football Association. He continues to lead a ‘one-way life’ in the K-League.
Coach Paulo Bento, who presented the World Cup round of 16 for the third time in 12 years, parted ways with Korean football on the 13th. He left the country through Incheon International Airport that night. He headed to his native Portugal via Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Director Bento is not Hiddink’s ‘So Long’. It is an ‘eternal farewell’ when the contract has expired. He does not even hold positions 안전놀이터 such as ‘advisor’. The long journey of 4 years and 4 months came to an end with the round of 16 match against Brazil at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
On the 7th, coach Bento made a golden return with the players. He said goodbye by saying, “The past four years have been very satisfying. Korea will remain forever in my career as well as in my life.” Coach Bento has been organizing his life in Korea after attending a dinner at the Blue House presided over by President Yoon Seok-yeol with the players on the 8th.
On August 17, 2018, coach Bento took the helm of the A national team. He led the team to advance to the World Cup finals 10 times in a row, and presented even greater joy in Qatar. He also left a name in Korean soccer history. He was named the longest-serving coach of the Korean national team. He also broke the record for most wins (35 wins, 13 draws and 9 losses) during his single tenure. But there is no more companionship.
The 53-year-old faced a turning point in his coaching career through this World Cup. He was recognized for his leadership as he was the only foreigner coach to survive in the group stage. Regarding his future, he said, “I will think about the next one after taking a break,” but it is said that love calls are already continuing. He will likely continue to be on the bench, whether for club or national team.
The Korea Football Association is also speeding up the appointment of the next A national team commander with Bento’s departure. On this day, the board of directors held a decision to appoint a coach for the A national team by February next year. The National Team Power Reinforcement Committee, which holds the key to appointing a coach, decided to recommend a suitable leader both at home and abroad.
To this end, the policy is to finalize the selection criteria within this month and select the first candidates. In January next year, the final candidates will be selected and their capabilities will be checked through direct interviews. In February, we plan to conduct individual negotiations in order according to the priority of the negotiation target, and finally appoint a director.
However, the contract period is likely to be 4 years. It has already been proven through the Bento. Taegeuk warriors also testify that long breathing helped stable team management and World Cup results. The Football Association has no reason not to accept it. It is known that the continuity of Bentu is also being reviewed positively.