‘Every 10 years is the limit?’ Hong Myung-bo breaks out of his shell with ‘communication football’

When we lost, I worked with the players to figure out how to prepare for the next game. I never got angry with them out of personal feelings.”These are the words of coach Hong Myung-bo, 54, who led Ulsan Hyundai to their first back-to-back K League titles.Ulsan clinched the title with three games remaining in the regular season with a 2-0 home win over Daegu FC in the 35th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 Final A at Ulsan Munsu Stadium on Monday.Last year, Ulsan, which regained its ‘pride of place’ by reaching the top of the K League 1 for the first time in 17 years under the leadership of coach Hong Myung-bo, enjoyed its first back-to-back regular season titles since its founding, increasing its total number of titles to four (1996-2005-2022-2023).In particular, Hong, who took over the helm of Ulsan on December 24, 2020, became the sixth coach in the history of professional football to lead the team to back-to-back regular season titles, firmly entering the ranks of ‘masters’.

In the 40-year history of the K League, only six managers have won more than two consecutive regular season titles: Kim Ho (1998-1999 – Suwon Samsung), the late Park Jong-hwan (1993-1994-1995), Cha Kyung-bok (2001-2002-2003 – Seongnam Ilhwa), Choi Kang-hee (2014-2015, 2017-2018), Jose Morais (2019-2020 – Jeonbuk Hyundai), and Hong Myung-bo (2022-2023 – Ulsan).Hong made waves last year with his “10-year cycle” theory, which states that the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup quarterfinalists will have a lucky break every 10 years.It started when he joined Pohang Steel (the predecessor of the Pohang Steelers) in 1992 and helped the team win the championship, becoming the first rookie to be named Most Valuable Player (MVP).In 2002, Hong became the first Asian player to win the Bronze Ball, the third-place tournament MVP award, along with the “Myth of the Four Horsemen” for his role as captain of the Hiddink team at the Korea-Japan World Cup.

A decade later, at the 2012 London Olympics, he captained the national team to a bronze medal, South Korean soccer’s highest-ever finish, and finally, in 2022, he ended a 17-year drought as Ulsan’s head coach.Entering the 2023 season amid jokes that last year’s title was a “decadal snowstorm,” Hong led the Ulsan Tigers to their first back-to-back titles since their inception.With his excellent crisis management skills and communication-oriented ‘elder brother leadership’, Hong proved himself to be ‘skillful, not lucky’ by winning back-to-back championships in the K League.After a glittering playing career, Hong went on to coach the Taeguk Warriors at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup (quarterfinals), the 2012 London Olympics (third place), and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil (one draw and two losses – group stage exit).From May 2016 to May 2017, he was the head 무료슬롯게임 coach of Chinese professional soccer’s Hangzhou Luchong, where he first took charge

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