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"I'm taking the FA Cup very seriously": FC Seoul's Osmar Ibáñez

FC Seoul should take the FA Cup seriously, perhaps more so than ever. A first piece of silverware in six years might just be what the club needs to get truly back on track. Club legend Osmar Ibáñez agrees and tells K League United that he and the rest of the team will be fully focused against Changwon FC on Wednesday 27th April.

FC Seoul have won the FA Cup twice in their history, just once since 2004 which was back in 2015. The following year Seoul finished runners up after a classic two-leg tie with Suwon Bluewings. But the capital club have only got as far as the quarters once in the five seasons that have passed since then and have fallen at the first hurdle in two out of the last three seasons. 

On Wednesday 27th April 27th, FC Seoul's FA Cup campaign begins with an away tie to Changwon FC from K3. It's a match and competition that FC Seoul should be taking very seriously for short and long-term good. 

After the Super Match win prior to the ACL break, Seoul's next K League match isn't until Children's Day, May 5th. The Round 3 clash with Changwon, then, could help Seoul build momentum heading into a busy week with two K League games in the space of three days. 

Momentum can be built in the long term, too. Ulsan Hyundai's FA Cup win in 2017 helped the Horangi claw their way back to the upper echelons of the table thereafter. Likewise, the transformation Daegu FC have experienced since their FA Cup triumph is evident. 

[READ: What's it like to play for Choi Yong-soo?]

The FA Cup should be seen as a way for FC Seoul to get back to where they feel they belong. Club legend Osmar, whose first trophy for FC Seoul was the FA Cup in 2015, tells K League United that he is taking the competition very seriously.

"I am taking it very seriously and I hope the team, the club, and the head coach as well. I think is a really good chance to get something in order to make the team stronger and get confidence but it's a trophy that we can reach easier than the league of course and obviously easier than the Champions League, that's far away to look. So I am taking it very seriously and I think the team will do too."

Osmar celebrates winning the 2015 FA Cup (image via FA Photos)

FC Seoul were knocked out at this stage last season after losing to Seoul E-Land in the first-ever Seoul Derby. Changwon actually overcame Seoul E-Land in the previous round this year, meaning that it could have been a rematch had the Leopards won. But Osmar says that there would have been no talk of revenge.

"I like to focus on ourselves and on the work that we do and not playing according to what happened before with vengeance feelings. We are a new team, they are a new team, they have different tactics, we have different tactics, it's a different game, we have different players, they have different players. So the only thing that is the same in both is the badge and everything else would be different, the game would flow in a different way. That's why I don't like to take it with any feelings from the past. Because every game will be slightly different or a lot different. So I don't mind playing Seoul E-Land again or another team, I know we have to win. And I know if we focus on ourselves, we can do it."

An FA Cup win, of course, would take FC Seoul back to the AFC Champions League. Osmar admits that manager An Ik-soo had spoken in pre-season about how the aim for the club is to return to prominence.

"We had a meeting in the preseason. Sending this message, not specifically to play ACL, but why we do what we do, the way we are doing it. The head coach (An Ik-soo) had a meeting with the players to tell us what is the long term purpose, which is to be a great club again, trying to fight for titles every year. But obviously, the main goal would be playing Champions League again, I miss it so much. And I'm sure the club would be very happy to come back to this competition. And, again, bringing up the young players, playing in ACL, playing in different countries with different teams, this would give them so much experience for sure. I think ultimately it is the main goal for us."

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