“I thought, ‘Don’t be nervous, I can do it.'”
Chunmesh “Chungharam” Chun, 21, Hwacheon KSPO, beamed as she described her first World Cup start as “exciting and fun.스포츠토토
Facing the prospect of a second straight elimination from the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Australia-New Zealand Group H final against ‘FIFA No. 2’ Germany at Brisbane Stadium in Australia on March 3, head coach Colin Bell opted for young blood. Against the world’s top-ranked team, he boldly picked youngsters to showcase the future and hope of Korean women’s soccer. Casey Fair, the youngest South Korean player at 16 years and 35 days, started up front, while Chun Garam, born in 2002, played on the right flank. After coming on as a substitute in the 43rd minute of the second game against Morocco, Chun “No. 15” Garam made his presence felt with a shot on goal in just over seven minutes. “I wasn’t nervous at all,” he said of his first World Cup. “I feel a huge responsibility for the national team. Being the youngest, it’s a lot of responsibility. If I get the chance, I want to help the team,” he said with a twinkle in his eye. The eagerly awaited first start came. The 21-year-old striker was full of enthusiasm. She created chances by cutting in from the right flank to the center of the field. She threatened Germany with her runs all over the pitch. She hit, ran and blocked nonstop for 63 minutes until she was substituted by Park Eun-sun, who made a defensive masterstroke to stop Alexandra Pope’s high header in the second half and revitalized the team.
Interview with Chun Garam<Copyright(C) Yonhap News Agency, All rights reserved.
Chun is arguably the future of South Korean women’s soccer. She was nicknamed “Chun Messi” after her impressive performance at the U-20 World Cup in Costa Rica last August. She made her A-match debut in an exhibition match against New Zealand in November last year and joined Hwacheon KSPO of the WK League with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, leading the team to the top of the league this season. At his first World Cup, he made one start and one substitute appearance, leading the team to a draw against Germany. FIFA TV and foreign media have also interviewed Chun and drawn attention to him.
Chun Garam breaks through .
After the 1-1 draw with Germany, Chun was calm and confident. “It’s unfortunate that we conceded, but our preparation was better than the previous game. It was a game where we could see hope for the future,” he said. “I’m thankful and overwhelmed that the fans believed in us and continued to support us,” she said, adding, “Me and Casey were the first starters and we were confused. My sisters did a great job talking to us tactically and guiding us, so we were able to follow along. They made me feel confident, so the harmony was good,” she said, thanking her sisters. When asked what she was thinking as she stepped onto the pitch, she said, “I was thinking, ‘Let’s not be intimidated, we can do this,'” she said. “I knew the Germans were physically strong, but I knew that even without playing, so I didn’t get nervous. I thought about how to survive. I went in shoulder first to draw a foul, and it worked,” he recalled. “I didn’t go in thinking I was going to lose. I went there to win. I wanted to create a Brisbane miracle. I thought we could win 5-0 with an early goal. I kept shouting ‘let’s do it, let’s do it!’ with my sisters,” she said of the frenetic atmosphere on the pitch. Chun Meshi, who made her World Cup debut alongside Ji-so-yeon, who has been her role model, emphasized the need for a new structure, saying, “My sister is definitely more experienced and plays according to my style. Some people are talking about why we shouldn’t change the generation, but we need seasoned players like her.” When asked about her substitution with Park Eun-sun in the 18th minute of the second half, she laughed, saying, “The shortest player went out and the longest player came in.” “I wanted to play more, and I could have played more. I was disappointed, but I understood the coach’s substitution. He made a good choice. If you continue to trust me, I’m confident that I will always repay you,” he concluded.
Photo courtesy of KFA
“We were eliminated in the qualifiers, but I got to play in the starting lineup, and I was really eager to represent my sisters and my country,” Chun said of her first World Cup, first start against Germany, and first point. Thank you to my sisters and thank you to the coach for believing in me. I want to do better and become a player who can lead women’s soccer in the future,” she said cheerfully. She added “In four years’ time, I hope to reach the round of 16 tournament.”
Chun generously shared her first World Cup message with her peers and younger players, who are the present and future of Korean women’s soccer. She shared how the team’s “unbreakable spirit” created a ray of hope at the end of their despair against Germany. “It’s a long road for everyone. I have younger friends who look up to me as a role model. I want them to never give up. No matter what, never.”