Korea’s best ‘multiplayer’ Sang-cheol Yoo, “spiritual support on the ground”

“You have to enter the midfielder that represents the K-League.”

37 goals and 9 assists in 142 games. Looking at the record, it seems a bit unreasonable to be considered the best midfielder in 40 years of history. However, experts agreed that the late Yoo Sang-cheol should be selected as the best 11. 8 out of 10 people who actually participated in the vote cast their votes for Yoo Sang-cheol. 

Yoo Sang-cheol is synonymous with ‘multiplayer’. He played every position except goalkeeper. He was different from other multiplayers who couldn’t settle down in one position. Yoo Sang-cheol played a top-notch role in any position, from the final defender to the front striker. 

records prove it. Yoo Sang-cheol, who was selected as the league’s best 11 defender in 1994, was named in the best 11 midfielder four years later. In 2002 he was voted one of the league’s best strikers. Having made a name for himself as a defensive midfielder, he scored 15 goals (three assists) in 23 league games in 1998 and became the top scorer. 

Yoo Sang-chul, who stood out in all positions, is evaluated as the best midfielder. Former commentator Shin Moon-seon said, “Yoo Sang-cheol is the best defensive midfielder in Korea.” MBC commentator Seo Hyung-wook also recalled, “I always played the best role in the position the coach asked for,” but “showed a great presence as a defensive midfielder.”

Yoo Sang-cheol was truly versatile. It is a background that can be played in various locations. He has excellent kicking power, physical fighting, passing, shooting, etc., and his abilities are evenly developed. He has a strong stamina and fighting spirit. In addition, Yoo Sang-cheol, who is 1m 84cm tall, belonged to the tall axis at the time and was good at fighting for air supremacy. This is a big reason why he was able to stand out as the final defensive and frontline striker. 

Hyun Young-min, head coach of Hyundai High School, who ate a pot of rice with Ulsan Hyundai and the national team during his active career, recently told this magazine, “Senior Yoo Sang-cheol’s skills are excellent, so I relied on him a lot and became a source of strength when I was on the ground with him. He also had a charismatic appearance, and he made his teammates feel comfortable off the pitch.” 

Yoo Sang-chul, who started his pro career in Ulsan, transferred to Yokohama Marinos (Japan) in 1999 and returned to the K-League after playing for Kashiwa Reysol. After the 2002 FIFA Korea-Japan World Cup, Yoo Sang-cheol returned to his hometown of Ulsan and flew. At the time, he boasted a hot tip, such as scoring 9 goals in 8 league appearances while playing as a striker. Thanks to that, Ulsan was able to compete for the championship with Seongnam Ilhwa until the last minute and finished the season in second place. 먹튀검증

Recalling that time, manager Hyun Young-min said, “There was a time when Ulsan won 8 games in a row in 2002. At the time, senior Yoo Sang-cheol was at the forefront and Lee Chun-soo was at the wing forward, so goals following crosses often came out. Ulsan made a stepping stone to compete for the championship until the end. The image of that time is still clearly visible. When senior Yoo Sang-chul went to the game, he would score. He played a good role as a solver in the striker position.”

Yoo Sang-cheol, an all-around footballer, was loved by coaches. Not only did he have top-notch skills, but his positioning and tactical understanding were also outstanding. Of course, he was also a source of strength to the teammates who were breathing together. Coach Hyun Young-min gave a thumbs up, saying, “Senior Yoo Sang-cheol was a mental support on the ground that gave a lot of comfort.” 

Yoo Sang-cheol, who was active in Ulsan for a total of 9 years, tasted two league championships (1996 and 2005). He may lag behind his rivals in terms of appearances and appearances, but he has made a strong impression every season. His symbolism as a multiplayer is by far overwhelming. After his retirement, he confessed that he played almost blind in his left eye, and the traces he left as a player shined even more. 

He deserved to be voted into the best 11 in his 40-year history. Head coach Hyun Young-min said, “I think people will be very happy to receive such a meaningful award in the history of the K-League, saying, ‘You did really well as a player’ and ‘There are many people who remember me’ even in heaven.” 

Yoo Sang-chul, who ended his splendid career as a player in 2006, began his professional coaching career in 2011 by taking the baton of Daejeon Citizen. Afterwards, he went through the University of Ulsan and served as the head coach of Jeonnam Dragons and Incheon United. Yoo Sang-cheol, who was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in October 2019, led Incheon until the end of the season and made a dramatic impression. 

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