Koreans had especially hot summer this year since they received unexpected good news. Under-20(U-20) Korea women’s soccer team ranked third place in Germany FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. This is anomalous looking back on 20 years of Korea women’s soccer history.
They made people show a brilliant performance. Even though all players who were on the field were amazing, there was a girl who especially stood out. She scored eight goals in 2010 women’s world cup and seized the global spotlight. She is Ji So-yeon, the so-called Ji-Messi, who was in the center of making a sensation in Korean Women Soccer of 2010.
Regarding Women’s World Cup of 2010
Q. Did you anticipate of success on the international competition?
A. I have not expected our team to win the prize; however, I thought that we would play very well in Germany, since we prepared a lot for this match.
Q. What did you think of it before participating in the World Cup?
A. Not only me but also our team members all thought just one thing. That is to promote Women’s soccer of Korea. There were lots of people who did not know even our participations in the competitions including reporters. When we noticed no reporters showed up at the airport, we resolved to make it among ourselves.
Ji So-yeon as a soccer player
Q. What makes you start playing soccer in spite of an uncommon case at that time?
A. When I was in the second grade, I really want to join the male soccer team in the elementary school. Now that I just liked the soccer. Even though my parents opposed my dream, I used to tease them showing how much I want to play the soccer. As time went by, they could get trust me.
Q. You look very weak and short compared to other soccer players. What do you think of this?
A. Height does not matter in my playing the soccer. As I even head the ball tussling with other players, I can manage to make a goal with good positioning.
Q. How did you overcome some difficulties or obstacles while playing soccer?
A. I occasionally stress out when practices do not work out against my will. Whenever I face some difficulties, I try to get rid of stress by exercising more and more.
Ji So-yeon as a Person
Q. Hanyang University (HYU) and Hanyang Women’s University often have meeting each other. Did you have meeting with HYU?
A. HYU is just next to us so I am always interested in HYU. I have not gone on a blind date with cool guys at all because I concentrated only on playing soccer. However if I have a chance to blind date with Hanyangians, I actually want to do it. By the way, is there anyone who wants to go out with me?
Q. Who is your favorite soccer player?
A. My favorite is Zinedine Zidane. I enjoy watching his play. His creative passing ability and fancy play make me excited. Some people call me Ji-messi. Even though I am appreciated this nickname, it is some like a burden to me. I want people to recognize me the way who I am Ji So-yeon, not Ji-messi.
Q. To athlete, which one is prior out of talent and effort?
A. In my opinion, talent is more important than effort. Even though someone do his or her best, natural ability is required to great athletic. To be perfect, however, one percent of talent is needed. Effort takes up about 99 percents.
Q. Do you have any plan to go German league or America league?
A. Not yet. It would be determined after Tongildaegi women soccer tournament game that I attend in. I will do all I can whether I go abroad or women’s Korea league in Korea.
Q. Many people anticipate Ji to be a pioneer in women’s soccer. What is your thought about that?
A. Park Ji-sung is a pioneer of men’s soccer. Due to Park, many soccer players can advance easier to abroad soccer league like English Premier League. I want to learn Park’s this achievement and to be like Park in women soccer field. I think that if I go abroad and adapt well, juniors also go well. It is my work to do forward and I will push through.
Q. Give some advice to junior women soccer players.
A. Ordinary parents do not wish their daughters to be soccer players. Women soccer players including me will show progressive appearance, so parents support their children who want to play soccer. To juniors, do not give up your dream.