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Interview: Georgia's Levan Shengelia Warns Teammates About Hwang Inbeom

Once teammates at Daejeon Citizen, Hwang Inbeom and Georgia attacker Levan Shengelia could be lining up against each other for the first time come Thursday night when the Taeguk Warriors face Georgia in a pre-World Cup qualification friendly. Levan, as he was known in Korea, has warned the rest of the Georgian National Team to respect Hwang Inbeom having seen first hand just how talented the Daejeon-born midfielder is. 
(Image credit: Levan Shengelia Social Media)

It was Daejeon Citizen's 20th anniversary season and in order to boost their attack, the Purples brought in Levan Shengelia on loan from AFC Tubize in Belgium where, at the time, Daejeon legend Kim Eunjung was worked as a coach.

During the 2017 Levan played played 28 games in total, 16 from the start, scoring five goals. From the vast majority of those 28 appearances, the Samtredia-born attacking midfielder lined up alongside Hwang Inbeom and so knows first hand just how good of a player the now Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder is.

The Korean National Team take on Georgia in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday night in preparation for next week's World Cup qualifier against Turkmenistan as Paulo Bento looks to guide the Taeguk Warriors to a tenth consecutive World Cup qualification.

Should Levan get the nod from Head Coach Vladimír Weiss and earn a first full cap, there's a strong chance that he could be lining up against his former Daejeon Citizen teammate Hwang Inbeom who is likely to keep his place in Bento's midfield:

"I know [Hwang] Inbeom plays for the national team now", says Levan, "I will see him and be happy for that. Also I told my friends he is a very good player, when I play in Daejeon he was the best for me with his style and he has a beautiful football brain."

Since departing Purple Arena following the completion of his loan spell, Levan returned to his native Georgia with Dinamo Tbilisi. In 2018 Levan scored five goals in 16 appearances before going onto having his best season to date this year, even featuring in the Europe League against Dutch giants Feyenoord.


For the 16-time Georgian champions, Levan went on to score 12 goals in 24 appearances in 2019, enough to earn him a call up top the full national team and another move abroad. Whilst the move to Korea wasn't his first trip away, he believes that his time on the Korean peninsular served him well.

"I played for the Georgia U19s and U21s but the feeling is different when you play for the full national team. When I was in Korea it was a good experience for me and I was happy there, when I come back to Georgia I played well and now I have new club in the Süper Lig in Turkey, Konyaspor and so I will try to play well."

Hwang Inbeom in action for Daejeon against Anyang in 2017 with Levan watching on.
Levan is still not sure as to whether he will be given the nod to play against Korea on Thursday night, nor indeed is it clear as to how the Crusaders will set themselves up against Bento's side but one thing that Levan is sure of is what Georgia can expect from Korea.

"Korea play very fast and they are very good, they are a very good team", he concluded.

[READ: Georgia vs South Korea Preview

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