37-year-old Park Eun-seon, re-challenging the World Cup “No past stories… I will do my part”

Park Eun-seon (37, Seoul City Hall) aims to participate in the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time in 8 years. 

It’s no wonder why ‘Park Eun-seon is back’ is receiving attention. It is because he was a genius player who appeared like a comet in his teens, and he was a forgotten player from the national team for 7 years until 2022 after going through a winding incident that no one had ever experienced. 

Park Eun-seon stepped into the finals as the youngest player in Korea’s first World Cup in 2003 when she was 17 years old. Considered unfinished, she led Korea to the final at the 2004 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Youth Championship the following year, and scored a hat-trick against China in the final to become the main player in the championship. It was the first time that Korean women’s soccer defeated China. 

Park Eun-seon played a destructive play that was not seen in Korean women’s soccer before, with her height of 1m82cm and her physical strength that did not get pushed back in the struggle. However, after she became an adult, her bad luck continued. With her unrivaled skills, she went straight to the unemployment team after graduating from high school in 2005. was sentenced to suspension. 

She barely wanted to settle down, but in 2010 she left her team without permission, saying she would quit playing. However, she subsequently bounced back and became the top scorer in the 2013 Women’s Soccer WK League with 19 goals. However, in the fall of that year, she gave the absurd reason that the Seoul City Hall and the rest of the teams were suspicious of Eun-sun Park’s gender, and she threatened to boycott her league if Eun-sun Park did not determine her gender. 

This is an obvious violation of the human rights of players, and in the end, the side that raised the controversy faced a headwind and became something that did not exist. However, she left a big scar on Park Eun-seon. Afterwards, he became the top scorer in the 2014 Women’s Asian Cup and participated in the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, but after that, as her team was disbanded, her skills were shaken and she became distant from the national team. 

Usually, when a player with such a career turns 37 years old, most of them will retire lonely with a qualifier of ‘Unlucky Genius’. However, Park Eun-seon proudly returned to the national team. 

Park Eun-sun joined Seoul City Hall again in 2020, and last year, coach Colin Bell of the women’s national soccer team called tall striker Park Eun-sun to the national team. It was her return to the national team after 7 years. Park Eun-sun said, “It was good. I liked it too, but people around me liked it more,” she said. She said that in the previous seven years, it had never occurred to her that she could rejoin the varsity team. 

He scored three goals in two warm-up matches against the women’s national team and Zambia last month. In particular, in the second game, he appeared as one of the starting two top strikers and scored 2 goals and 1 assist. 

It is true that at the age of 37, her speed has dropped considerably compared to the past, but Park Eun-sun proved that she is not just a player who simply stands in front of the goal and heads it. In the first match against Zambia, he broke down the opponent’s defensive line and made a goal with a move that penetrated in an instant. 

When asked what role coach Bell asked for in the evaluation match, he said, “When going aggressively, I have a lot of possession of the ball, play a post role, and our players have good passing skills, so when I win the ball, I drop it in front of the goal. And to score goals from chances.” Park Eun-sun did just that. The coach of Zambia also evaluated Park Eun-seon, who completely dominated the air supply, as the most threatening. 

The 2023 Australia-New Zealand Women’s World Cup will be held in July. There is about a month left until the final entry is announced. Park Eun-sun said, “Of course I am greedy. Every player wants to go to the World Cup, and even if he can’t play, he wants to enter. Of course, if I am selected, I will be greedy to play in the game.” 

Recently, many requests for interviews have been received for the ‘returned genius’ who seems to have a very high chance of being selected for the final entry. Director Yoo Yeong-sil of the Seoul City Hall said, “Every time reporters ask about the past, Eun-seon seems to be suffering from that.” Even in the interview that day, Park Eun-seon said, “I don’t want to bring up the old things and talk about them again.” 

When I asked how she overcame the hardships due to external circumstances and circumstances when it wasn’t her fault, Park Eun-seon’s answer was rather calm. 

He said, “I didn’t overcome it, I ran away. Hasn’t he ever left the team? However, whenever he was having a hard time, his colleagues and the coaches around him helped him. At the time of suspension, he was in a situation where he could only participate in competitions organized by the federation, so his team (Seoul City Hall) held a foreign team invitational tournament, such as an invitational tournament in 4 countries. The team really helped me a lot and gave me a lot of attention. In a way, I think I was fooling around. It was the result of my choice, so I had to bear it and endure it, but there are things I expressed wrongly.” 

Director Yoo Yeong-sil said, “If Park Eun-seon is good at motivating me, I’m the type who gets more excited. Returning to the national team was a good opportunity,” he praised, saying, “Since we are a city hall team, we cannot recruit foreign players, but Park Eun-sun is actually playing the role of a foreign striker.” Coach Yoo Young-sil is a former center back for the national team in 2003, Park Eun-sun’s first World Cup appearance, and he has watched his junior and pupil for a longer time than anyone else. Park Eun-seon has scored three goals in the WK League this season, which opened at the end of March. 

National team coach Bell said of Park Eun-sun, “I want to cherish her like a flower in a greenhouse and take her to the World Cup.” What was the reaction of colleagues to the interview in which the giant Park Eun-sun became a ‘flower’? Park Eun-sun said, “Everyone just laughed. The coach knows that the league schedule is tight, so I think he meant to take good care of himself and not get hurt.” 메이저놀이터

Currently, goalkeeper Kim Kyung-hee, the youngest member of the national team, was born in 2003. He is 17 years older than Park Eun-sun. Wouldn’t it be difficult for juniors? Park Eun-seon laughed and said, “Kids these days don’t have anything like that.” Thanks to that, even though I entered the national team after a long time, I quickly adapted.” 

Park Eun-sun said, “He has never hated soccer. I still like soccer the most and I play it because it’s fun.” Despite his long and long career, he has yet to score a goal in the World Cup finals. Park Eun-seon expressed her determination for the World Cup, saying, “I always had the desire to go to the World Cup and score a goal, but I haven’t been able to do that yet.” 

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