Sunday, July 29, 2007

Verbeek calls it quits

Asian Cup 2007.
South Korea manager Pim Verbeek told reporters Saturday that he resigned prior to watching his team take third place at the Asian Cup with a 6-5 penalty shootout win over Japan in Palembang, Indonesia.

The news ended weeks of speculation that Verbeek would either step down or be sacked after the tournament. A transcript of his post-match press conference follows:

“I decided to resign. I asked the KFA this afternoon to terminate my contract. It’s time for me to find a new challenge.

I had two important targets. The first being winning the Asian Cup, which we didn’t. The second being qualifying for the Olympics.

I was disappointed that my four most talented players were ruled out of the (Asian Cup) due to injury, but I admit that I had plenty of other talented players to choose from and perhaps should have done better.

I have to be fair also and say we didn’t score enough. Defensively we were great, but to win at this tournament you have to score goals.
I lived a long time in Korea and they have great fans. I will leave with wonderful memories.

I really enjoyed the Asian Cup from start to finish. I’m not being sarcastic or cynical, I really enjoyed the tournament.
But now I need a long break so I can be ready for the next ten years (of coaching).

I plan to go back to Europe and take a holiday. I’ve lost my energy to be honest. It’s time to re-energize and find something new.”

Asked if he would consider coaching another Asian team, Verbeek responded:

“I will seriously consider any interesting option. I am open to everything. But in the next five months? No thank you.”

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