SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Korea Bizwire) – It seems that the Korean national soccer team is within an arm’s reach of signing Bert van Marwijk for their new manager.
The Korea Football Association announced on August 6 that “Lee Yong-Soo, the head of the technical committee, departed on August 5 from Incheon to negotiate with a new candidate for the new national team manager position.” The candidate they are referring to is the Netherland’s Bert van Marwijk, who had led the Dutch national team to finals in the 2010 South Africa World Cup. Lee, who has left for Amsterdam, is said to possibly stay in the city until he closes the new manager deal.
Van Marwijk is one of the three candidates that the KFA’s technical committee has selected after Hong, the former national team manager resigned after the disappointing outcome in the Brazil World Cup recently. The candidate is known to fulfill best the candidacy criteria which KFA have set up for their new manager.
The eight criteria KFA has proposed were: (1) to have led a team in continental championship; (2) to have led home and away World Cup preliminary games; (3) to have led a team that passed the second round of a World Cup; (4) to have led a major league club; (5) to have experienced with a youth team; (6) to be able to communicate in English; (7) to be under the age of 66; and (8) to be available for immediate signing.
Several of local Dutch newspapers have also reported the possibility of Van Marwijk taking the South Korean national team. Multiple newspapers including the Voetbalzone wrote on August 6, “The Korea Football Association and van Marwijk went into negotiation for South Korean team manager. The former Feyenoord (Rotterdam) manager has not taken a team since he stepped down from Hamburg (Bundesliga) manager position in last February.”
The Dutch papers also reported, “The KFA is also considering Frank Rijkaard, the former Barcelona manager, Martin Jol, the former Tottenham Hotspurs manager, and Neil Lennon, the former Celtics manager, for the position as well.”
Incidentally, van Marwijk has already had some ties with South Korea. He signed Song Chong-Guk, a former member of the South Korean national team in the 2002 World Cup, when he was the head coach for the Feyenoord back in 2003, and Lee Chun-Soo, another former member of the South Korean team, in 2007.
In 2003, he had visited Korea to lead his team in the exhibition match against Busan, Song’s former club. Van Marwijk’s team took an unexpected blow from the Korean club amid the Dutch season just being ended and many of their key players staying in the bench, and lost by an embarrassing 4-1 score in that game. The current Manchester United superstar, Van Persie played in this match, as a member of the Dutch club and as its young prospective player.
If Van Marwijk takes the helm, he will be the fifth Dutch manager who will coach for the Korean national team, after Guus Hiddink in 2002, Jo Bonfrere in 2004, Dick Advocaat in 2005 and Pim Verbeek in 2006.
By J. H. Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)