I will run like a dog” Hwang In-beom enters Manchester for UCL debut → Expected to start against Manchester City

FK Crvena Zvezda freshman Hwang In-beom set his sights on his UEFA (European Football Association) Champions League debut against ‘defending champion’ Manchester City.

UEFA released the expected lineup for the first leg of the 2023/24 season Champions League group stage on the federation’s official website on the 18th (Korean time). The Champions League finals will begin in earnest on the 20th with a total of 8 group stage matches to be held.

On this day, Serbia’s prestigious Zvezda will also play its first match in the Champions League group stage. Zvezda, who was placed in Group G along with Manchester City (England), RB Leipzig (Germany), and Young Boys (Switzerland), will play in Group G of the 2023/24 season Champions League group stage at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England at 4 am on the 20th. The first round is scheduled to be played.

As Zvezda is expected to face a tough battle from the first game against Manchester City, last season’s champion and one of the world’s best clubs, UEFA predicted that Hwang In-beom will be included in the best 11 for Zvezda’s starting lineup. They expected Zvezda to start with Osman Bukhari and Peter Olainka, who played for KAA Gent, where Hwang In-beom, captain Aleksandar Dragovic and Hong Hyun-seok play.

On the 14th, Hwang In-beom officially announced Hwang In-beom’s joining through the Zvezda club website, saying, “At the Stadion Raiko Mitić Media Center, we introduce Hwang In-beom, who signed a four-year contract with our club and was given jersey number 66.” 

Hwang In-beom’s transfer to Zvezda had already been decided. On the 5th, Zvezda officially announced his recruitment, saying, “We have signed a four-year contract with midfielder Hwang In-beom.” The transfer fee was not disclosed, but it is known that Zvezda will pay 5.5 million euros (about 7.8 billion won) to Olympiacos in installments over three years.

This amount was revealed to be the highest transfer fee in the club’s history. This means that Zvezda valued Hwang In-beom that much higher. Zvezda, well known as the team that enjoyed the most spectacular time in Eastern Europe beyond Serbia, including winning the European Cup (now the UEFA Champions League) in 1991, has recently represented Serbia in the UEFA (European Football Association), although not as much as in the past. It maintains its status as a prestigious club, consistently participating in UEFA club competitions.

The news of Hwang In-beom’s transfer became a big issue in the Serbian soccer world. According to Serbian media, Zvezdan Derzic, who serves as the president of the Zvezda club, said of the signing of Hwang In-beom, “He is the club’s best player over the past 30 years,” and is expressing strong expectations for the player even though he has not even debuted yet.

Serbian media outlet ‘Repubblica’ said, “Hwang In-beom has a very interesting biography and will attract the attention of fans. He is the most expensive freshman in team history. He started his career in Daejeon and became the youngest scorer in Daejeon history, and was the youngest scorer in MLS history. “I solidified my position with Vancouver. Afterwards, I returned to Seoul via Rubin Kazan, and arrived at Zvezda from Olympiakos,” he said, talking about Hwang In-beom’s career as a soccer player. 

In his joining interview, Hwang In-beom expressed his feelings about the transfer, saying, “I’m excited to come to Red Star and play in front of fantastic fans. I’m grateful to the people at Zvezda who recruited me and gave me the opportunity to play for such a big club.”

Hwang In-beom cited the ‘Star Wars’ Champions League as the biggest reason for moving to Zvezda. “The Champions League is a big reason why I am here. We all want to play in the best competition in the world,” he insisted. “I am ready to play for Zvezda with my teammates to introduce myself to the fans.”

Regarding the teams he will face in the Champions League group stage, he said, “There is no easy group in the Champions League. We are a good team and we are happy to play against big European clubs like Manchester City.” “I’m not afraid of anyone. I think we can beat anyone in Group G,” he said, expressing confidence.

In-beom Hwang attracted attention by revealing that he asked Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) and Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton Wanderers), who are active in the Premier League, about Manchester City. “I asked him about Manchester City and he said everyone has to be ready to run for 90 minutes non-stop. That’s something I can do,” he said.

“We have to run non-stop, but I don’t think we will defend for 90 minutes. We have to score goals to win, whether the opponent is Manchester City or Leipzig,” he said. “We have to win the Champions League, and we have to defend to avoid a draw.” “I have to play for the team. I’m ready to help the team and I’m ready to play like a dog,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hwang In-beom was named as an expected starter against Manchester City, increasing the possibility that he will have a chance to prove his determination in the game, which he revealed in his recruitment interview. 

Previously, Hwang In-beom was captured with his colleagues in the Manchester arrival photo released by Zvezda through the official SNS, and it was already expected that he would play against Manchester City. If Hwang In-beom plays against Manchester City, it will have special meaning as it will be Hwang In-beom’s Champions League debut. 

Hwang In-beom has played only six games in European competitions in his career so far. Among them, he played 5 games in the Europa League while playing for Greece’s Olympiacos, and played 1 game in the Europa Conference League qualifiers while playing for Russia’s Rubin Kazan.

Therefore, from Hwang In-beom’s perspective, expectations are bound to be high because it is an opportunity to play in the first Champions League game of his life. Also, since his opponent is Manchester City, one of the world’s best clubs, expectations were high to see what kind of performance Hwang In-beom would show in his Champions League debut.

If Hwang In-beom plays as a starting midfielder, his match with Manchester City midfielder Rodri is expected to receive great attention. Rodri is a top European midfielder who has consistently played in the Premier League since joining Manchester City in 2019. Rodri, who is excellent at depressing, passing, and dribbling, was also considered a key player when Manchester City won the Champions League last season.

If defensive midfielder Rodri and central midfielder Hwang In-beom face each other as starters in this game, frequent clashes are inevitable. If In-Beom Hwang shows a game management based on his activity level against Rodri and fails to press properly, there is a high probability that Zvezda will not be able to achieve an unexpected result against Manchester City. 온라인바카라

Meanwhile, Hwang In-beom participated in team training immediately after the induction ceremony on the 14th, and made his Zvezda debut by appearing as a substitute at the start of the second half in the league match between Zvezda and Chukarichki held on the 17th. However, in that match, Zvezda lost 1-2 to Chukarichki. Because of the disappointing result in his league debut, Hwang In-beom is expected to be even more diligent in his Champions League debut, where he is likely to be selected as a starter.

Attention is being paid to how Hwang In-beom, who has shown great dedication to his team and determination against Manchester City, will meet fans’ expectations with his performance when he plays against Manchester City in his Zvezda debut.

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