South Korean soccer has seen a recent surge in European competition.

National midfielder Lee Kang-in is wearing the jersey of French giants Paris Saint-Germain, while defender Kim Min-jae (Napoli) is waiting to join Bayern Munich in Germany.

Not to mention rookie defender Kim Ji-soo (Brentford) and national team forward Cho Kyu-sung (Mitwillan), who have realized their dreams of playing in the English Premier League.

Naturally, the ambitions of K-League players are also growing. Such is the case with national team flanker Song Min-kyu (24, North Korea).

After the 2-2 draw against Daejeon Hana Citizen in the K League 1 at Daejeon World Cup Stadium on April 12, Song Min-gyu told reporters, “Of course I’m motivated. I realize that I’m still not good enough. It made me realize that if I want to fulfill my dreams, I have to keep growing and not settle.” Song Min-kyu scored his fifth goal of the league with the first goal 꽁머니.

Another player who inspired Song was Cho Kyu-sung. The player who not only played for Jeonbuk, but also helped the team reach the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, has now left for Europe. “I hope that (Cho) Kyu-sung will not get injured in Europe and that he will improve to the next level,” said Song Min-gyu. “He is a very sincere player and I know that he works hard, so I have no worries.”

Song Min-kyu believes there are no shortcuts. He believes that if he continues to accumulate goals and assists while representing Jeonbuk, he will eventually find his way to Europe. “I have to give my all for my beloved Jeonbuk before I can look forward to the next step,” he says. “I would be lying if I said I was satisfied with our current position (fourth). We need to climb higher as soon as possible,” he emphasized.

Song’s efforts to give his best in every game could have an impact on the team’s performance at the Hangzhou Asian Games in September. With so many national-level players in his position, it’s not easy to make the final roster, which will be announced on Thursday. “There’s always competition,” Song said, “but if coach Hwang Sun-hong picks me, I can promise to do my best. If I do well in my club team, I believe I will achieve my goal (gold medal) in the national team.”

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