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FIFA U-17 World Cup

Yun Min, Korea DPR's motivational skipper

Yun Min of Korea DPR leads his team out
© Getty Images
  • Yun Min skippers the Korea DPR U-17s
  • He spoke about rallying the troops after the loss to Brazil
  • *He also told us about his first ball and his inspiration *

"I'd like to believe that the coach chose me because of my leadership ability."

Not for the first time during his interview with – nor for the last – the midfielder Yun Min's face broke into a shy, but earnest smile.

Speaking in the run-up to his country's crunch game against Spain, their final fixture in FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 Group D, the youngster initially seemed taken aback when asked why he had been named the captain of the Korea DPR U-17s. However, he did not bat the question away, instead taking his time to think it over and responding eloquently.

"I've got to reiterate that I'm not sure, but I'd like to think that it's for that reason, because I can be the leader that my team-mates need. Personally speaking, it makes me extremely proud, of course. And it's my duty to do the best job I can – for their sake and for my country."

* *then asked the skipper what he had told his team-mates following their defeat by Brazil with a view to rallying them ahead of their meeting with the Spaniards.

  1. "First, I reminded them that it wasn't our last shot, that we're still in with a chance of qualifying, but that we have to live up to our full potential to seize that chance."
  2. "Then I turned my attention to motivating them. I told them to put the result behind them and not to lose sight of the importance of featuring in this World Cup and showing the world what we can do, but that they mustn't forget that the goal remains to qualify for the next round."
  3. "Lastly, I told them to think of their families. Our parents will be watching the match on television and will be counting on us representing our country with distinction. They expect us to do our best."

The key to beating Spain

"We've learned our lesson from the previous matches: it's vital that we make the most of our chances."

Fact file

  • Full name: Yun Min
  • Date of birth: 3 July 2000
  • Position: attacking midfielder
  • Minutes played at the U-17 World Cup: 180
  • Club: Ryomyong SC (Korea DPR)

Footballing preferences and rites of passage

  • His first ball: "I started playing when I was ten, when my dad gave me a ball. It was white with black patches and I've still got it back at home. It's like new; I barely used it."
  • His first memory as a player: "Taking part in the 2013 Asian U-14 Championship in Hong Kong. Playing in it was a dream come true."
  • His favourite player: "Lionel Messi, because he does things that no one else can."
  • What inspired him to become a footballer: "From the moment that I got into football, I started thinking that if I became a very famous player, then I'd be remembered in my country."

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