|Hong Myung-bo waves at Incheon International Airport on Thursday. (Yonhap News)|
INCHEON (Yonhap News) ― Hong Myung-bo, who coached South Korea to the men’s soccer bronze medal at the London Olympics, said Thursday he was looking forward to a fresh start as he is about to begin coaching training at a Russian professional club under his old mentor.
Hong left for the United Arab Emirates Thursday to join FC Anzhi Makhachkala’s training camp during the midseason break in the Russian Premier League.
There, he will receive training under the team’s head coach, Guus Hiddink.
Hiddink was the head coach for South Korea when it reached the semifinals at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, with Hong, then a defensive stalwart, as the team captain.
Hong left coaching after the end of the London Games. He had tried to find an opportunity to receive further coaching training on a European team, and Hiddink offered him a place on his bench.
Hong will be with Anzhi until the end of the ongoing season in May.
Speaking to reporters at Incheon International Airport, Hong thanked Hiddink for giving him the opportunity and said he was hoping to gain some valuable experience.
“I am going in with a mindset that I will start from scratch,” he said. “I know it’s not going to be an easy road and maybe it won’t bear fruits right away. But I believe that five months later, I will come back a better football coach.”