Kim Seung-gyu vs Cho Hyun-woo, the national team’s gatekeeper competition’3rd act’ has risen
The ‘third’ curtain rises in the competition between Kim Seung-gyu스포츠토토 (33, Al Shabab) and Jo Hyun-woo (32, Ulsan Hyundai) as the main goalkeeper for the national team. The two, who have been competing in good faith since 2017, will compete to capture the heart of director Jurgen Klinsmann (59, Germany) this time.
Kim Seung-kyu and Cho Hyun-woo were named on the list of the March national soccer team to play against Colombia on the 24th (Ulsan) and Uruguay on the 28th (Seoul). As coach Klinsman made the first roster with the members of the last Qatar World Cup as the main axis, Kim Seung-gyu, Jo Hyun-woo, and Song Bum-geun (26, Shonan Bellmare) were called.
As Klinsmann is the first to depart, all competitions will start from scratch, but Kim Seung-gyu and Cho Hyun-woo are expected to compete for starting positions rather than Song Bum-keun, the third option. The rivalry between the two has been steadily going on since 2017, and as a result, each has gained the upper hand once.
The first competitive structure was formed in 2017 when coach Uli Stielike (Germany) was sacked and coach Shin Tae-yong was hurriedly appointed as a firefighter. Immediately after taking office, Shin consistently selected Cho Hyun-woo, who had little to do with the national team, and induced competition with Kim Seung-gyu and Kim Jin-hyun (37, Cerezo Osaka). Eventually, after going through several evaluation matches, Cho Hyun-woo wore goalkeeper gloves throughout the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
In particular, Cho Hyun-woo stood at the center of the so-called ‘Miracle of Kazan’ by performing a save show against Germany in the final match of the group stage. It has been evaluated that he has strengths in relatively quickness and ability to save, and Shin coach evaluated Cho Hyun-woo’s ability more highly and appointed him as a surprise starter in the World Cup.
However, in 2018, after coach Paulo Bento (Portugal) took the helm, the ‘second act’ of the competition rose. Coach Bento induced competition by alternately putting Kim Seung-gyu and Jo Hyun-woo as starters in every two A-matches.
In the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, Kim Seung-gyu started in all games and seemed to have captured Bento’s heart, but after that, he took turns playing again and a tight competition continued. After that, in the final World Cup qualifiers, Kim Seung-gyu had a clear advantage, and in the end, in the 2022 Qatar World Cup, Kim Seung-gyu kept the goal throughout the tournament and shook off the sadness of the Russian World Cup.
Throughout his tenure, coach Bento emphasized build-up football starting from the rear. During this process, I became more and more inclined to Kim Seung-gyu, who had better footwork skills, than Cho Hyun-woo, who was ahead in agility, and eventually entrusted the important role of the Qatar World Cup starting goalkeeper. Kim Seung-gyu also played an active part in the World Cup and helped Korea advance to the round of 16.
While the competition between Kim Seung-gyu and Jo Hyun-woo continued for six years, a new candidate who could shake the composition of the two did not come out. This is the reason why there is a high possibility that the rivalry between the two will be maintained to some extent even in the early days of Klinsmann.
Coach Klinsman set a goal of winning the Asian Cup, which will be held in January next year. The goalkeeper preference of the command tower and whether or not he is active in the national team and his team determines the winner of the third competition between Hyunwoo Cho and Seungkyu Kim. Competition within the national team is also positive for Klinsmann.