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"It was an amazing feeling! I didn't really know how to act!" - Ulsan Hyundai's Gustav Ludwigson


Having joined Ulsan in the winter from Swedish side Hammarby, Gustav Ludwigson certainly made himself know to fans on his debut, scoring the winning goal against title rivals Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to help his side to three points in the opening round. Speaking after the match, K League United got his thoughts on the game and how he is settling into life on Korea's East Coast.

 
Matthew Binns: You got a goal on your debut today. A first appearance as well. It doesn't get any better than that, surely? 

Gustav Ludwigson: It was an amazing feeling! I didn't really know how to act! When I scored the goal, it was too much. First I do this to the crowd [mimes shushing] and then I did this [arms out wide]. It was everything! Many, many emotions!

MB: This was your first taste of K league football. What were your initial impressions today?

GS: The atmosphere was amazing! Before, I didn't really know because of COVID and stuff. When we watch some highlights and stuff, you don't know really how big the crowd is going to be. And then they told me the stadium was going to be full! I played some full games also like this in Sweden, but with a very different atmosphere. It was so nice, with the fireworks, there was much to take in, but it was really, really exciting to be in front of our amazing fans.

MB: How about football on the pitch? Was it any different to what you used to do back in Sweden? 

GL: It's pretty similar but maybe the tempo is a bit higher and more different because our team, we want a lot of possession but, in general, I feel that it's a bit more playing on chance. You go high pressure and if someone beats you, you just track back and a lot of duels. So that's how I feel from the beginning. 

Now, the first two months with the team, it's a high tempo and a lot of actions all the time. You never rest with the ball in that sense. I have been really impressed also with the quality of the players and you could see it also today 

MB: I saw you on the pitch with four players that are giving you some instructions. How is communication with the new squad? Obviously Korean is a slightly difficult language to learn...

GS: Some of the guys speak English and they can say some words. Of course, when it's more important tactical instructions, you will need to go to the translator and he will talk to the coaches and then he will give it to us but, for the small things on the pitch, it's okay with just the English that we can speak with each other. 

But of course also today with the loud noise and everything, and so much on the line, it's difficult. Everyone is a little bit stressed. So it's sometimes difficult to get the instructions clearly, but I think we managed. 

MB: Speaking of communication, you actually came to Ulsan with your teammate with [Darijan] Bojanić but he couldn't play today, obviously. What's that like coming to a new club with your teammate? Has it helped you settle in quickly? 

GS: Yeah, it's helped us both a lot. I think from everything on the pitch and in the locker room and everyday life, it is really helpful to have each other. He doesn't have a driver's license also so I have to drive him everywhere! So I'm there for him when he needs that kind of help as well [Laughs]

No, that's the thing we can help each other in many things. And if you get more comfortable, it's a bit easier to make this kind of transition. 

MB: One game, one goal. Do you set yourself targets like goals per season or what are your own personal targets for the year? 

No, like I never make those kinds of targets. My targets are always team-based. For me, it's the same today, when we scored one goal and then, I've played some big games, you know what you need to do and that's putting your body next to or in between the ball and the goal and that's what we did today. That's how our team inspires each other and so that's always going to be my goal. If I can contribute with making a clearance, that's important for me as well as long as we win the game. So, of course I want to score goals and make assists. But mostly I want to win every game so that's going to be my goal for the season. 


The full audio version of this interview can be heard on the upcoming K League United Podcast, or subscribers to our Patreon can listen to all our mixed zone interviews unedited moments after we leave the stadium, including this one. You can subscribe to our Patreon here.


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