"I think the traditional No10 is going to disappear from the game altogether." Uttered last June by the incomparable Zinedine Zidane, an authority on the subject, this prediction would appear to have come true if Jon Myong Hwa's performances at New Zealand 2008 are anything to go by.
Like Kristie Mewis of USA, Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan and Japan's Mana Iwabuchi, who also wear the No10 jersey, Jon has made a significant impact at the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2008. In her five outings Down Under, she has done nothing but underline the wisdom of Zidane's words.
While she shares the French wizard's vision, technical ability and sublime passing skills, the young Korean also has a few other strings to her bow, namely an eye for goal, pace and strength in the air - qualities you would expect of an out-and-out striker rather than a midfield visionary.
With four goals to her name already, Jon sits proudly among the tournament's leading scorers and is hoping to increase her tally in Sunday's final. Not that she is putting personal objectives before her team. "
I'm obviously very happy every time I score a goal, but winning the award for top scorer is not on my mind at all,
" she told FIFA.com after hitting the back of the net twice against Denmark in the quarter-finals. "I certainly won't be complaining if I get a couple more though!"
Five days after inspiring that victory over the Danes, she was at it again, notching what turned out to be the winner in the semi-final against England. With her side already one goal to the good, the April 25 Sports Group player provided another example of her goalscoring instinct by stealing in to beat Lauren Davey - one of the competition's star keepers - from close range.
Having helped give Ri Ui Ham's side a shot at the world crown, the 15-year-old is anxious to go on and complete the job. "When we played our first match all we were thinking about was getting through the first round. But as soon as we reached the semis our thoughts turned to becoming world champions."
With victory over the English, that dream has come closer to fulfilment and all that stands between the Asian champions and the coveted title is a talented and motivated American side. And despite her personal achievements, which have led to an official nomination for the adidas Golden Ball to recognise the tournament's top player, the selfless Jon is at pains to stress the importance of the team over the individual. "All the goals I've scored are down not just to me but to the efforts of the team as a whole. I'm convinced we can score again in the final and do what we need to do to win the tournament."
Should the Asians prevail in the weekend's showdown, they will emulate their immediate elders, who won the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Russia 2006 after stringing together six consecutive wins. Ri's charges have won three and drawn two of their five matches in New Zealand, extending Korea DPR's unbeaten run in FIFA women's youth competitions to 11 games. This sustained success has raised the bar for future generations. "
Thanks to these excellent results we have built up a reputation for ourselves,
" explains Jon. "People expect a lot from us now."
"Every minute we spend together on the pitch helps us to grow as a team," she continues. "By staying positive, we can win and fulfil the hopes of all the people who are supporting us back home. Everything we do, we do it out of love for them and we are very proud of them."
That love will surely be reciprocated should Jon and her colleagues chalk up a famous win on Sunday.