‘I am Ulsan Cancelo’ Seol Young-woo “Someday, like Kyu-seong hyung in the national team”
Seol Young-woo knows that his playstyle often looks flat and doesn’t help him build offensive points. However, if he helps Ulsan Hyundai win, individual awards and personal records are not important. On the field, he believes he is valued.
▲ Ulsan Cancelo, help can be from Chung Yong-i hyung
. I met Seol Young-woo, who is currently undergoing convocation training at the Ulsan clubhouse, on the 16th at a media day in downtown Ulsan. Seol Young-woo is a winger-turned-fullback. He plays a lot at left full-back, but sometimes shows himself as a right-footed winger, hitting right-footed shots into the opponent’s goal. In fact, manager Hong Myung-bo feels sorry for Seol Young-woo, saying that he is still a talent close to a winger, but he is sacrificing himself for Ulsan.
However, Seol Young-woo has already established himself. “Now I have little sense of the wing. I was substituted a few times as a winger at the end of last year, and I was playing like a defensive winger myself. I didn’t know. They say ‘Cut off your left foot’ because you can only use your right foot. It’s a good stimulus and makes me study the use of my left foot.”
There is a goal to increase the number of attack points that have been low, but his numbers are modest. In the meantime, he was a player who recorded 3 assists in the season, but his goal this year is to help 5 while playing more games. He is a small figure for a player to be mentioned as the best fullback in the K League.
“(Park) Yong-woo hyung and (Park) Joo-young hyung always say something in training. ‘You have your own role.’ In training, I’m greedy and try to score a goal myself or make an assist and miss. That’s what the hyungs say. I start the build-up, and when I pass the starting point, (Lee) Cheong-yong goes through hyung and I get a goal. That’s it. I think it’s my role and I can’t do it without me. Rather, I’m confident in my build-up, and I think I can spray the ball well from behind.”
It doesn’t mean sacrificing for the team. Rather, it is his role to be the starting point of the build-up. So, the player Seol Young-woo refers to is not Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, who accumulates more attack points than a winger every season, but Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo, who has fewer attack points. Cancelo is considered one of the best fullbacks in the world, but his attack points in the regular league over the past three seasons at Manchester City are low with 3 goals and 10 assists.
“Cancelu is similar in type to me. He is also right-footed, but as he played left, that became the color of the team. I don’t think we can do better than that player, but I want to follow him. Our team also had a big color last year. I think it’s okay, but it’s not every game this year, but if I can use that tactic, I can appeal my strengths to the coach. Because I play like that, I don’t have any attack points, and I hear people say it’s flat. I feel rewarded every day. Sending me out every game is helpful, so I will try my best to continue playing according to my strengths.” 메이저놀이터
He has been recognized as the best fullback in the K-League, he is young, and he showed a good appearance in the representative of each age group. However, strangely, he had no relationship with the A team. Analysts followed that he had good attacking power on the side and that the left fullback did not fit the propensity of coach Paulo Bento, who prefers left-footed players. However, now that Bento has left and he is looking for a new national team coach, Seol Young-woo has another chance.
“I go with (Kim) Young-kwon hyung and (Kim) Tae-hwan hyung. I always felt sorry for not being able to go to the national team, so I jokingly asked the national team coach to tell me well. He also told me what we talked about. Leaving everyone aside, if I were a good player, I would have picked him. This year, everything is a new version, so I will do my best to appeal more and become an irreplaceable player.”
The point that the identity of whether it is left or right, winger or fullback is ambiguous may also hinder the selection of the national team. Seol Young-woo didn’t act rude in this part. “Rather, when someone asks me about my strengths, I say that being able to see both sides is my strength. The issue of position is an excuse. If both positions are the best, I am a better player. If I become, there will be no reason not to pick it up. I think I can do it enough. The first goal is to be selected, and when the selection competition takes place in the national team, if I study my color and stand out, I can win enough.”
Senior defenders from Ulsan, Kim Young-kwon and Kim Tae-hwan, who are consistently selected for the national team, are older brothers Seol Young-woo follows well. “We communicate a lot with each other every game, and there are a lot of things we can do as we are the same defender. Over the past year, the hyungs have been by my side and told me good things and bought me delicious food. As you can see, the hyungs have a lot of money, so it’s unconditionally expensive. I talk about cows, not pigs. I said that I would treat them too, but then the hyungs asked me if I really did not treat them. If I remember correctly, I think Taehwan only bought hyung. Young-kwon will make a place with my brother.”
▲ As someone who has experienced an influx of overseas fans… Am I like Kyu-sung hyung?
At the World Cup in Qatar, Kyu-Sung Cho attracted a huge number of overseas fans and became a hot topic. There is also a statistic that it ranks second in Instagram followers (2.92 million) after Son Heung-min across all domestic sports events. Although the scale was small, Seol Young-woo was actually the aid in this part. After facing Egypt as a member of the U23 national team in 2020, a large influx of Egyptian fans came in. At that time, the number of followers quickly jumped from about 3,000 to more than 30,000, and I experienced that every comment was plastered with ‘marry me’ or ‘you are so handsome’.
“Kyu-seong plays soccer together and knows him well, so while watching the World Cup match, I thought he was just changing things up when Kyu-seong was put in, but I didn’t know he was particularly handsome. But after the game, his followers increased a lot. While watching it, I thought, ‘If I had gone to the World Cup, maybe.’ I had reached about 35,000 people.
The love of overseas fans is still imaginary, but going abroad is a dream that can actually be pursued. There were frequent reports that European clubs were showing interest in Seol Young-woo, and Seol Young-woo never hid his greed.
“This is the part where I communicate a lot with my agent every time the transfer market opens after every season. I have it as a dream. But I don’t want to go too far. There is a big difference between being recognized as the best in the country and challenging yourself. If I become a member of the national team and show good performances, of course I will find them abroad and I want to go out on good terms.”