I am happy with ‘soccer’.”
Joo Min-gyu (33), a striker in Ulsan for the K-League 1 in professional football, says this often these days. Joo Min-gyu became the top scorer with 22 goals in the 2021 season. Last season, Cho Kyu-seong of Jeonbuk tied the score with 17 goals, but gave away the top scorer due to the large number of games played. Still, he has scored more goals than anyone else in the K-League 1 over the past two years. Jo Min-gyu, who wore the Ulsan uniform he had been in four years ago ahead of this season, said in a phone interview on the 5th, “I feel that my steady efforts are seeing the light in Ulsan.” It is because the appearances that I expected from the movie are unfolding in front of my eyes.”
Joo Min-gyu was especially satisfied with the team atmosphere of the ‘defending champion’ Ulsan and the leadership of coach Hong Myung-bo. Joo Min-gyu said, “I was curious about how the winning team prepares for the game and spends a season.” I am happy,” he said.
Joo Min-gyu has recorded 3 goals and 1 assist in 6 games since the start of this season. Based on this kind of performance, he was also selected as the ‘Player of the Month (February and March)’ for the first time in 10 years after his professional debut in 2013. Ulsan is leading with 6 consecutive wins. Last season, only Eom Won-sang (12 goals, 9th place) among Ulsan strikers was listed in the top 10 scoring list. However, this season, Joo Min-gyu (6th) and Rubikson (4 goals, 2nd) are responsible for more than half of the team’s goals (13 goals) and are in the top 10 in scoring. Joo Min-gyu said, “Ulsan puts a lot of emphasis on offense and allows players to attack freely. Even if it’s not me, there are many colleagues who jump into the door. I can create scoring opportunities for my teammates while making good use of my scoring opportunities.”
The play style has also changed. When he played for Jeju, his former team, he was often seen waiting for the ball to come from the front line. In Ulsan, they move to the left and right spaces and come down to the second line, exchanging balls and playing linked play. In the match against Jeju on the 2nd, when Um Won-sang passed in front of the goal, Joo Min-gyu rushed in from the rear and succeeded in a non-stop mid-range shot. Manager Hong said, “Ju Min-gyu is not yet complete, but he will come down and play more in the front line.”
Joo Min-kyu has no experience lifting a championship trophy in the K-League. So, what he wants more than the top scorer this season is the team’s victory. Joo Min-gyu said, “The goal is to win Ulsan with double-digit scoring,” and “I often imagine Ulsan achieving two consecutive league victories. If I win, I want to be remembered by the fans as ‘the player who scored many goals’.스포츠토토 Because I am a striker.”
There are talks about Jumin-gyu, who is consistently showing good form, about being selected for the national team. Joo Min-gyu was never called up when he was coach of the Korean national soccer team before Paulo Bento. As coach Jurgen Klinsmann has newly taken over the leadership of the national team, there is a possibility that new faces will be selected in the A-match (national competition) in June. Joo Min-gyu said, “I am personally happy that it has become a ‘zero base’. National team is my goal as a soccer player,” he said.