When Korea Republic take on Germany in the semi-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2010 on Thursday, the competition's leading scorers will also be going head to head for the adidas Golden Shoe. South Korean starlet Ji So-Yun has already struck six times in the tournament, while Germany's Alexandra Popp has her nose in front with seven. FIFA.comspoke exclusively to Ji about her side's chances of reaching the final, her own strengths and how she got into football in the first place.
What does it mean to you to have reached the semi-finals here at Germany 2010?
I'm really happy that a Korean women's team has made it to the semi-finals. I hope the game continues to develop back home. For me personally it's a great opportunity to display my skills on the international stage. I'd love to go to America to play football one day.
You're up against hosts Germany in the last four. How do you rate your opponents?I know that Germany have a very strong team. They looked unbeatable in the group stages, but I still think we can win if we put in a solid team performance. We've worked very hard over the last few months, and there is no such thing as unbeatable in this world.
In the match against Germany you'll be fighting it out with Alexandra Popp to become the tournament's top scorer. How hopeful are you of winning the adidas Golden Shoe?Obviously it's difficult to say at the moment, but I hope that I can score more goals than Popp. We both have two matches to play and I'm obviously hoping I come out on top.
You seem to have developed a special understanding on the pitch with Kim Na-Rae and Jung Hae-In. Some people have even gone as far as to call you the 'magic trio'...They're both very good friends of mine, but I wouldn't say we're a magic trio! We're all good friends in the squad. I'd rather talk about the merits of the entire team, not just us three.
Where do you see your own strengths as a player?
Personally I think I'm good at dribbling at speed and I have decent technique too.
And how important are you to the team?I'm not exactly sure to be honest, but I know that the coach thinks a lot of me. The coach always motivates us by saying that women's football will only grow and develop if we all pull together in the same direction. I'm just a cog in the big machine.
Tell us how you first got into football...I started playing football in my second year of school. I used to just kick it about with a few lads in the playground and then one of the coaches asked me if I'd like to play football properly in a team. So I did!
One final question: Who is your idol?I don't really have an idol at the moment, either in men's or women's football. I want to develop my own style so that one day, kids look up to me as their idol.