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Interview: 'In 2012 there was no team we were afraid of', Kim Yongdae

Interview: Kim Yongdae FC Seoul 2012 K League Champions
Under the stewardship of Choi Yongsoo, FC Seoul were crowned as K League Champions in 2012. Only one player was ever present for the capital club that season, legendary goalkeeper Kim Yongdae. To reminisce about what was a record breaking year for the club, and to find out what the former Korean international is up to now, K League United Editor Paul Neat caught up with Kim Yongdae for an exclusive interview. 


Goalkeeper Kim Yongdae was ever-present for FC Seoul in 2012 and kept 17 cleansheets, earning the former Korean international a place in the K League best eleven. Harking back to 2012, it is little surprise then, Kim reveals that the 2012 title winning season was the best of his time in the capital:

"The 2012 season was the best I had in the six years with FC Seoul and I am still in contact with some of my teammates from that time. At that time we weren't afraid of anyone and were together as one, as a team. We had a lot of good players in each position but we were all of the mindset that we needed to run that extra yard for each other and to keep driving on without stopping. I think that helped us to put a good run together. 

"The only downside to that season was the defeats to Suwon Bluwings; that aspect of the season was a pity but everything else was great.There was no team that we were afraid of and so we thought that we simply had to win the title. The performances, the results, dramatic goals, it was a season which had everything."


Manager Choi Yongsoo, only 39 at the time, lead FC Seoul to their second title and what remains to be his only K League crown to date. But what made the former LG Cheetahs striker so special as a manager?  

"Charisma, leadership", remarks Kim. Continuing: "He communicated to the players that we are a title-winning team and that's what helped us get the results to go on and win the title."

FC Seoul sealed the title thanks to a 1-0 home win over Jeju United on 25th November 2012 thanks to a first-half goal from Jung Jogook. However, the last 10 to 15 minutes were extremely nervy as Jeju looked to spoil the party and delay any title celebrations. However, the Gyeongnam native says that, despite the cagey end to the win over Jeju, the team were fully focused on getting over the line:

"During the match itself we told each other that we had to keep going, concentrate right up to the very end and not to be careless or sloppy. When the game finished we screamed and shouted but also there was a feeling that we had got our reward after what was a tough season."

Since retiring in 2018 Kim Yongdae has moved into coaching, looking to give something back to the game which gave him two K League titles, two FA Cups, one League Cup, and two EAFF E-1 Football Championships with the national team, by opening his own goalkeeper academy.

"Being a goalkeeper is a special position that players need to learn properly. Some of the younger goalkeepers don't seem to have done that so I am helping them with my goalkeeper academy." 



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