South Korean Football Team Fueled by Belief for Asian Cup Victory, Says Coach Klinsmann

SEOUL - Jurgen Klinsmann, the head coach of South Korea's men's national football team, expressed confidence in his team's ability to win the upcoming Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in Qatar. This statement was made during the annual Korea Football Association Awards ceremony held in Seoul.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the team is "ready to go to Qatar" and is "full of energy," with a firm belief that they can excel in the tournament and bring the Asian Cup back to Korea after a 64-year hiatus. The national team assembled for a sendoff on stage before heading to Abu Dhabi to commence their training camp for the Asian Cup.

Klinsmann emphasized the team's dedication and aspiration, saying, "This is our goal. This is what we work for every single day." He also expressed hope to bring joy to their supporters in the coming six weeks. The Asian Cup, the premier men's football tournament in Asia, is scheduled to start on January 12, with the final slated for February 10.

South Korea, aiming to clinch their first Asian Cup title since 1960, will face significant pressure, a challenge veteran midfielder Lee Jae-sung of Mainz 05 is ready to embrace. He conveyed his enthusiasm for the tournament and the long-standing goal of winning the championship.

The team, which mostly consists of players from South Korea's domestic K League and some Europe-based players, will be joined in Abu Dhabi by others, including notable names like Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur, Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Lee Kang-in of Paris Saint-Germain. The team plans to move to Qatar on January 10.

Ranked 23rd in the latest FIFA rankings, South Korea is the highest-ranked nation in Group E at the Asian Cup. Their campaign begins against Bahrain on January 15, followed by matches against Jordan on January 20 and Malaysia on January 25. The tournament format includes six groups of four teams, with the top two from each group and the four best third-place teams advancing to the round of 16.

Before the Asian Cup, South Korea will play their final tuneup match against Iraq in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Should South Korea win Group E and Iraq finish second in Group D, they would face each other in the round of 16 on January 31.

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