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Spain-based Korean ‘dream’ team eye future in La Liga

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Qum FC, a football team composed entirely of South Korean players who are living in Spain for their European dream have disclosed plans to strive through Spain’s lower leagues and graduate into the national league – La Liga.

Qum FC’s players speak little Spanish, but the team won’t let the language barrier hold them back as they now dream of one day taking on Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

Qum, which translates as “dream”, are not alone as an all-expat line-up competing in an official league.

What makes them special is that many of the players have found new hope over 10,000km away from home, after having troubling experiences with unscrupulous sports agents.

This month, the team won their second promotion in as many seasons to reach the top league of Spain’s central Castilla-La Mancha region.

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It puts them one step away from the third division of Spain’s national league.

“It will be very emotional for Korean people if a Korean team like ours could play the Copa del Rey against a strong team,” said club president and founder Daeho Kim, a South Korean entrepreneur and huge fan of Spanish football.

Daeho watches every one of Qum’s games.

He says he wants to give young players an opportunity in Spain worth dreaming of, so they can avoid the trap of sport agents in Korea.

The agents too often lure players with promises of a bright future only to cheat them out of income and prospects.

“South Korea is one of the most affected countries (by this phenomenon). Unfortunately, it doesn’t only affect adults, but also minors,” said Qum general manager Ruben Cano, a Spaniard who
used to work for Real Madrid schools around the world.

Midfielder Jaehyeok Kim, 21, was picked by Qum after open auditions in Korea and has a full grant to live and play in Spain.

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Like several of his team mates he has had what he calls, without going into details, a “bad experience with a sports agent while playing in Thailand”.

Jaehyeok now feels “very comfortable” in Spain after overcoming early difficulties to adapt and after picking up some Spanish from his local girlfriend.

He and other players also attend weekly language classes in the historical city of Toledo, not far from their base in Illescas.

“There’s always something that gets lost along the way, but as time passes they get to know me, and I get to know them. So, the percentage of lost messages decreases,” said coach Pedro Velasco.

The team’s fitness trainer also acts as his translator.

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In one match, Jaehyeok Kim had his father, Yongchul, watching him play.

“He is very far from home, but I am very proud of my son who is challenging himself to achieve his dreams and is going forward. To me as a father it feels impressive,” said Yongchul, who flew in from the city of Gwanju for a visit.

 

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Odion Ighalo set to leave Manchester United

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Odion Ighalo set to leave Manchester United

Manchester United’s attempts to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan deal has hit a brick wall, according to SportsMail.

The six-month agreement expires in just one week.

Shanghai Shenhua have rejected United’s requests to keep Ighalo at Old Trafford for another three months.

The Chinese Super League have asked Ighalo, to rejoin the club to prepare for the start of the delayed season.

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Unless United can make a late breakthrough in negotiations, Ighalo will return to Shanghai when his loan ends next Monday.

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The 30-year-old scored four goals in eight matches before the COVID-19 shutdown and resumed training with the United squad at Carrington last week.

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Although he would prefer to finish the season in England, Shanghai have the final say and are determined to get Ighalo back.

 

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My childhood friend who forgot me once he became famous- Man calls out Kelechi Iheanacho

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My childhood friend who forgot me once he became famous- Man calls out Kelechi Iheanacho

A social media user who seems to have been a childhood friend of Nigerian football star, Kelechi Iheanacho has disclosed how the football star forgot about him once he became famous.

The user identified as Godswill Uche revealed how they grew up together in the same neighbourhood in Owerri, Imo state.

He said, “We played the street balls together under the rain and scorching sun. We attended the same primary school; Unique Nursery and primary school Umualum Nekede No 4 b/stop as at then but has relocated to a new site now. We did almost everything together but today grace has found you and you’ve risen and clapped your way into the corridors of fame and stardom, you’re now a celebrity not just in Nigeria but all over the world.”

Bala towards the end of his story urged stars not to forget the people who were with them before they rose to stardom.

“Don’t call them lazy, poor or feel irritated when you see them coming to you. We all started from somewhere and grace found you,” he added.

READ ALSO: Lille to fly Osimhen home in private jet for father’s burial rites

See his story below;

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Lille to fly Osimhen home in private jet for father’s burial rites

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Leicester afraid of losing Osimhen to Juve, Inter

The Nigeria Football Federation [NFF] is among those who have condoled the Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen over the death of his father.

The Lille striker announced the passing of his father on his Twitter handle after reports emerged that Mr. Patrick Osimhen, 80, died in Lagos on Saturday night following a brief illness.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, in a press statement, said he had reached out to the player following the outbreak of the sad news, and he assured the former U-17 World Cup winner of the empathy and support of the country’s football family at this challenging moment for the youngster and his family.

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Pinncik revealed that his French side Lille had promised to provide a private jet that would convey the player home from Europe for the burial.

“I have spoken to Victor Osimhen and expressed the sorrow of the NFF and the entire Nigerian Football family. His club, Lille OSC of France have given him a private aircraft to come to Nigeria to be with his family and probably for the burial rites. We have applied for landing permit but we are yet to get this. However, we are still on it and hopeful for the sake of the young lad.

“The loss of either parent is usually a moment of heartbreak for anyone. We condole with Victor (Osimhen) at this moment and pray that God will grant his late father eternal rest, while also granting the family the fortitude to bear the great loss.”

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