“There is no pain of eliminating the national team”…Joo Min-kyu, the best ‘scoring machine’ in the K League

There was no pain of failing to board the A national team. K League 1’s best “scoring machine” Joo Min-kyu (33, Ulsan Hyundai) is aiming for three rabbits: “winning, scoring king, and career high.”

Joo Min-kyu started in the 21st round of the 메이저도메인 K League 1 2023 “East Coast Derby” against the Pohang Steelers at Pohang Steel Yard on the 8th and scored the first winning goal, leading the team to a 1-0 new victory. It was the 11th goal in the league and the moment when he ranked first in scoring alone. Ulsan widened the gap with second-place Pohang by 16 points.

Even if his team changes, Joo Min-kyu’s goal determination does not change. Having scored 17 goals in 37 K League 1 matches for Jeju United last season (2022), he joined Ulsan this year and scored 11 goals in the first 20 games of the league. Last year, he scored 12 goals in his first 20 games, so his pace is similar.

The difference is the distribution chart. He has scored 12 goals in seven games last year, while he has consistently scored 11 goals in 10 games this season. In particular, the winning goal that leads to the team’s victory, such as the match against Pohang on the 8th, further enhances his value. He has already marked 116 of the best and 4 of the best MOMs this season, having been ranked 117 times in the round and 5 times in the best player (MOM) in 37 games last year. This momentum leads to expectations for a personal career high season. His best K League 1 records are 22 points, a best 118 times, and 10 times of MOM in 34 games in 2021.

At the same time, attention is drawn to whether Joo Min-kyu will become the second K League 1 scorer in his career. He previously scored 22 goals in 2021 to win his first career top scorer. Last year, the score was the same as Cho Kyu-sung (Jeonbuk), but he gave up the title of the top scorer due to his long playing time. This season’s competitors are teammates Baco, Na Sang-ho (FC Seoul), and Las (Suwon FC).

It is also noteworthy that Joo Min-kyu is keeping his profession. He was selected as the No. 1 striker for the national team ahead of the announcement of the A match list in June. This is because he was the top scorer in the league at the time, and Cho Kyu-sung, an existing national team rival, did not perform well. However, his name was not on the June A-match list announced by manager Jürgen Klinsmann. Nevertheless, he said at the time, “I don’t have time to be drunk with disappointment (of eliminating the national team),” adding, “I came to Ulsan for many championship cups this year.” For now, I will ‘all-in’ the team,” he stressed. A month later, he is still leading the team to victory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.