But these two worlds will compete for one goal on November 23, the date in the Saudi capital, “Riyadh”, when Al Hilal meets Pohang Steelers, each of whom has his eye on the 2021 AFC Champions League title, and then reach the world by participating in the Club World Cup.
Perhaps the Korean teams are not strangers to Saudi Arabia. They traveled and toured with them and achieved victories. Out of 34 matches that brought together the clubs of the two countries, the Koreans won 17 times, compared to 12 for the Saudis, and they tied five times, but what about the internal football world in the country?
In the following lines, we will take you on a tour of the Korean interior, by recalling the memories of the professionalism of the Saudi player, Naji Majrashi, in the South Korean League.
In April 2011, it was announced that the South Korean club Ulsan Hyundai had signed Nagy Majrashi; Al Shabab striker, on loan for six months.
A strange experience for the Saudi player, due to the lack of players who are involved in the journey of foreign professionalism, and the fact that it is the Korean League, so what is behind this trip?
“Song” is a South Korean who played for Al-Abyad for a while, and he noticed the continued exclusion of Al-Majrashi from the team’s starting line-up, and here he decided to intervene.
Nagy said, in a previous interview with “24 Sports” channel: “Song played for youth for about six months or a season. He liked me, and for my continued exclusion from the starting line-up, he talked to me about going into the external professional experience, and I completely welcomed, it was my desire from the beginning. Even since 2006, when the youth played a match in Korea against Ulsan in the Asian final, which we lost 7-0.”
The dialogue between Song and Majrashi ended, but the former kept the matter in his mind, until he left Al-Shabab and returned to Ulsan, to begin the task of bringing his former colleague to his current team.
“Sung spoke to me after his departure, and told me that he had updated the management and coach about me, and they asked for my CV and clips for me to evaluate, and then informed me of their desire to contract with me, and here the mission of my Turkish agent began with a Korean agent, called Kim, and negotiations lasted only one month, after which I signed a contract My move to Ulsan.
Huge physical differences:
According to Majrashi’s conversations, he did not find it difficult to adapt there, as he confirmed in an old interview with the program “In the Goal” that he did not even feel that he had left the Kingdom, due to the kindness of the Korean people and the friendly and social tie with him, whether by the public, players or the device Technical and board of directors.
But Naji’s problem was completely different, his main problem was in fitness. The Saudi player relies more on his skill, in contrast, the Koreans depend on physical effort and high fitness.
“Koreans rely more on the physique, so I stayed two months after my arrival doing only fitness training, and after four months of vigorous training, they also did not feel that I had reached the strength they wanted, but on the technical level I became much better after this experience,” the player explained. During previous statements to Al Arabiya channel.
Punishment for bad performance:
What we know is that the most important thing that connects the coach to his players is mutual respect between the two parties, so they told us, but the Koreans have their own habits, even in the way of punishment in football.
One of the biggest shocks that Naji received during his professional journey, after he was shocked to learn that he ate “duck eggs” for a whole week, thinking that this was Korean eggs, is the way the coach deals with the local players..
“In one of the matches, the coach decided to make a change after only half an hour of the match, and he pushed me, and when the half ended and we headed to the locker room, the coach shouted for the player who had replaced him, and when he came to him, he hit him with slaps in the face and punches in the face different parts of the body, and the strangest thing is that the player was putting his hand behind his back without any reaction,” Majrashi said in previous statements to the Saudi newspaper, “Al-Jazeera.”
The situation was normal for Majrashi’s colleagues, but he did not forget the incident. After the match, he learned from his colleagues that this method is normal between the coach and the local players in various Korean teams.
Majrashi’s journey ended in Korea six months after his arrival, and then he returned to the youth club, but the experience he had made him stronger physically and technically, and informed him of a culture alien to him.
An experience that has not been repeated by any Saudi player after him, but the Korean professionals have come to Saudi Arabia over the past years, and they have many memories as well.
And between memories here and memories there, will the memory of the 23rd of this November be happy for the Saudis or the Koreans? We have to wait six days for the answer.
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