From an unemployment league player to an Asian Cup national college… Park Jin-seop’s ‘Life Turnaround’ story

From the third division to the first division, ‘step-up’… Following the Asian Games gold medal, he is about to participate in major competitions

“Elite course” is a term that is often used even in sports. It is used to talk about the growth process of players who have become star players after receiving attention from a young age. In particular, in soccer, there are players who receive spotlight even before their professional debuts because there are segmented national teams by age.

In some cases, those who have not followed the elite course are attracting attention. Stars who have risen to a higher position than their peers who once seemed to be ahead of them are sometimes applauded even though they have no experience representing each age. The representative figure is Park Jin-seop, who made the list for the 2022 Qatar Asian Cup. He is considered a star of the “atmospheric chronicity” type.

Park Jin-seop started his senior career in the pro league, which was called the “National League.” While in college, he tried to become a pro but failed to join a pro team. For one year in 2017, Park Jin-seop played for Daejeon KORAIL for the first time in the national league. Park Jin-seop was not able to make his professional debut until the 2018 season. The Ansan Greeners, which is classified as the smallest team in the K-League, chose Park Jin-seop as a “National Leaguer.”

It didn’t take long for Park to get good reviews in the pro league. After playing for Ansan for two years, he changed his uniform after receiving a love call from Daejeon, which turned into a corporate team. He was selected as the “Best 11” in the league from the first season of his transfer and served as the team’s captain in the following year.

Recognized for his performance in Daejeon for two seasons, he moved to Jeonbuk Hyundai, the “big club” representing the K-League, ahead of the 2022 season. In Jeonbuk, which is full of national team players, Park Jin-seop also took the main spot and contributed to his team’s second place in the league and winning the FA Cup. 스포츠토토

Park Jin-seop, who was on a roll, was not without trials. He applied for the recruitment of the Korean Armed Forces Sports Unit during the 2022 season, but there was no name of Park Jin-seop on the list of successful candidates. No clear reason has been revealed, but his career, which has no representative experience by age, as well as the A national team, is believed to have been a drag. As he was at the end of the age limit for managing director, he was in a situation where he had to continue his soccer career in the lower league.

Park Jin-seop faced a reversal during the 2023 season. He was selected as a wild card at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games and received benefits from military service by winning a gold medal. Even in the semi-professional league, there was no prospect that he would play in the lower K4 league.

Park Jin-seop even made his A-team debut. He was not selected for the first time in November, but the existing midfielder Hong Hyun-suk was disqualified due to an injury and was selected as an alternative resource. He made his debut as a substitute in the match against China that followed. Finally, Park Jin-seop also made the final roster for the Asian Cup.

Park Jin-seop, who played in the business league for just six years, is set to play in a major competition as a member of the national team after repeated “step-up.” This reminds people of Jamie Vardy’s career in Lester City, who won the Premier League title after playing in the fifth division and also played in Euro and World Cup as a member of the national team. Vardy, who became the top scorer in the Premier League, is in his late 30s and is in his twilight years in the English secondary league. Park Jin-seop, born in 1995 and in his late 20s, is still enjoying his prime time. This raises questions about how long his heyday will last after experiencing mental and physical challenges.

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