“I was really a nobody.”
The friendly match between Team K-League and Atletico Madrid (Spain) on March 27 was a wake-up call for “Supernova” Bae Joon-ho (20, Daejeon Hana Citizen). Bae Jun-ho is one of the best ‘prospects’ the K League and Korean soccer have to offer. Bae Jun-ho made his skills known at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. His delicate ball touch, footwork, and soccer intelligence were among the best in the world. After overcoming an early injury, Bae played an ace role and led Kim Eun Joong-ho to the quarterfinals. After returning to the K League, Bae Jun-ho stepped up his game. He became a ‘rising star’ by making a name for himself. He was named Team K League Midfielder of the Year, beating out a number of established seniors.
Against Atletico, it was a different story for the international stars. They showed off their overwhelming skills. Bae felt the experience was special: “The Atletico game was a humbling experience. There were so many famous players, and it was a one-sided game. I felt and learned a lot from watching from the sidelines. It made me realize that I’m a nobody,” he said.
Despite his humble beginnings, Bae has been receiving a lot of attention in Europe. After the game against Atletico, Diego Simeone (Atletico) named “No. 33” as the most impressive player in the Team K League. It was Bae Jun-ho’s number. After the U-20 World Cup, European offers are becoming more concrete as the summer transfer window closes. With Daejeon also indicating that they will support the challenge if the offer is good, a European transfer is likely to become a reality. “Of course, I want to go to Europe,” he said, “but I’m not in a hurry. Even if it’s not this summer, I think I’ll get the chance to go someday. I just need to do my best in my position.”
Bae Jun-ho is making a name for himself with Daejeon Hana. He scored his second goal of the season on Nov. 13 against FC Seoul at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium. His calm finish after an exquisite 2-on-1 pass with Yoo Kang-hyun in the 41st minute split the Seoul goal. “I scored my debut goal in the K League 1 with a header against Daegu FC,” said Bae Jun-ho. At the time, my brothers teased me a lot, saying that I should have scored a proper goal. I’m even happier that it was my own goal,” he laughed.안전놀이터
Bae Jun-ho’s popularity has increased not only in terms of skill but also in terms of popularity compared to last year, and he is more determined than ever. “I think I’ve definitely changed a lot since the U-20 World Cup. I’ve gotten a lot of support through social media, and I’ve gotten a lot of gifts. I feel like I need to do better,” he said. “With the fans supporting me like this, I’m able to enjoy myself more. It makes me feel more confident and excited to show them something more. I hope to score another goal, another goal, and show a lot of good things as a striker, and I hope to play so well that you don’t think I’m an U22 player.”