“I was very impressed with the potential of Asian soccer, especially the Korean teams.”
This is what Rene Peter (Belgium) said after leading Anderlecht (Belgium) to victory at the K League International Youth Cup Incheon 2023. Anderlecht faced a number of Asian teams throughout the tournament, including K League Youth and Japan and Thailand, and the potential of Korean players was evident.
After winning the inaugural title with a 1-0 victory over Tokyo Verdi (Japan) in the final of the K League International Youth Cup Incheon 2023 at the Incheon Football Stadium on September 9, Peter said: “We have strength, speed and technique, but the teams we faced also had a high level of skill. They were good enough to play on the world stage.”
At the tournament, Anderlecht played Valencia (1-1 draw, Spain), Pohang Steelers (1-0 win), Jeonbuk Hyundai (2-1 win), Chonburi FC (5-0 win, Thailand) and Incheon United (0-0 draw) in the group stage. They then faced Tokyo Verdi in the final, playing five of their six matches against Asian teams. Despite coming out on top, Peter says that all the Asian teams they’ve faced have been tough.
In particular, the team that impressed him the most was Incheon Youth, who he played in the final group game the day before. It was the only Asian team Anderlecht hadn’t beaten in the tournament, and it was a result that could have cost them a spot in the final. A draw against Incheon left Anderlecht in danger of missing out on the final, which they narrowly avoided with Valencia losing in the final. “The team that impressed me the most out of the six teams in the run-up to Tokyo Verdi was Incheon Youth. “In fact, the Incheon game was a game that we did everything to win, but we didn’t win. I was very impressed with Incheon Youth.”
“We also saw some very good Korean players against Incheon and Pohang. I was very impressed with the potential of the Korean team. In soccer, there are key players who can make a difference, and we saw some of those key players.” “I think the future Korean team is going to be really interesting. We won the championship, but it wasn’t easy. I feel like I’m going home with a very good experience.”
He also praised the tournament for being the first of its kind organized by a professional football club. He applauded the organization of the tournament and the quality of the teams participating. “I’ve been to a lot of youth tournaments abroad, most recently in China. “It was fun to see teams at a different level than the ones I met there. I honestly didn’t know how strong the teams would be for the first tournament. It was an eye-opening experience, and I enjoyed the tournament.”
“For a first tournament, the quality was pretty good. The hotel was great, and the food was delicious. “If I had to give one piece of advice, it would be to have the last group games, which were crucial for the final, played at the same time as the UEFA Champions League. Of course, there would have been issues with stadiums, etc., but I think that can be overcome.”
“In fact, some of our players couldn’t come this time because they were called up to the national team. “If you invite us again, we will bring all the players from the Anderlecht Top Youth Academy. If you give us a chance, we will make a comeback, so please invite us.” “The organizers and the quality of the tournament were all good. It was my first visit to Korea and everyone was friendly, so I hope that sports tournaments like this will be held often,” he smiled.
Earlier in the day, Anderlecht were crowned the inaugural champions with a 1-0 victory over Tokyo Verdi thanks to Adrien Tilano’s 31st-minute header. Aboubakar Dann was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. In the K League, Pohang Youth was the highest-ranked team, finishing in third place.온라인바카
The tournament was organized by the Korean Football Association to improve the international competitiveness of K League youth. This year, six domestic teams, four European teams, and two Asian teams participated in the tournament. The six Korean teams included the first through fourth place winners of the K League Baseball Club of the Year (Seoul, Suwon, Jeonbuk, and Pohang) and two clubs from the host region (Incheon and Bupyeonggo). The 12 teams were divided into two groups and played head-to-head once, followed by a ranking match between the top teams in each group. As the U-17 tournament is for players born in 2006 or later, the Korean teams had players in their first and second year of high school.