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Zvezda signing Hwang In-beom “I’m ready for UCL…I can beat Man City”

South Korean midfielder Hwang In-Beom is looking forward to a fresh start at Serbian professional soccer’s prestigious club, Zvezda Zvezda, and has vowed to adapt quickly as he looks forward to competing in the UEFA Champions League (UCL).

Zvezda held a signing ceremony and press conference at its home stadium in Belgrade, Serbia, on Thursday (June 14).

Hwang In-bum, who was a mainstay at Olympiakos in Greece, recently moved to Serbia after struggling with transfer issues.

Zvezda, a Serbian powerhouse that has won the regular league and cup competitions for three consecutive seasons, signed Hwang to a four-year contract.

The transfer was announced earlier this month, but Hwang officially joined Zvezda today after appearing in the Korean national team’s two away A matches in Wales and England.

“I’m looking forward to playing for this club and its fans,” said Hwang In-beom after signing his contract and receiving the number 66 jersey.

“When you come to a new club, you have to adapt to the system, the environment and everything, but I’m a pretty quick player,” he said. “I’ll adapt as quickly here as I did at Olympiacos, Rubin Kazan (in Russia) and Vancouver (in Canada).”

In particular, Hwang said, “Playing at UCL is one of the reasons I came here. Every player wants to play in the best competition in the world, and so do I. I’m ready to play with my teammates, coaches, and fans.”

Zvezda has been drawn in Group G alongside Manchester City (England), Leipzig (Germany), and Young Boys (Switzerland) in the UCL group stage. Their first-round opponent is City, who won the treble last season, including the UCL.

“There is no easy group in the UCL,” says Hwang. “There are some strong teams in our group, and I’m looking forward to playing against a big club like Man City,” said Hwang, adding, “We can win against any team.

Hwang also shared the advice he received from his English Premier League teammates Son Heung-min (Tottenham) and Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton) regarding Man City.

“Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan said, ‘Against City, you have to be ready to play a lot of crazy stuff for 90 minutes,’ and ‘You have to run like a dog,'” said Hwang, who added, “I don’t think we can just keep defending. We have to attack to win,” he said.

Hwang, who will celebrate his 27th birthday on Sept. 20, the day after the Man City game, reiterated his desire to win, saying, “We have to celebrate both the victory and the birthday.”

According to local media, Zvezda paid a transfer fee of 5 million euros (approximately 7 billion won) for Hwang In-bum, the highest in the club’s history.

“It’s good to come to a great club with a record transfer fee,” Hwang said, “but it’s better to have some pressure than none. I think I can manage the pressure well, and it’s important to show myself on the pitch.”

“I hope the team scores a lot of goals and I hope to help the team with a lot of assists,” he added.

“I can play anywhere in the midfield. I think the coach wants me to play as an offensive link, which is something I can do well,” he said, adding, “I think it will be clear after the meeting with the coach.”

During the press conference, there were also questions about Korean soccer and former national team coach Bento (now the head coach of the United Arab Emirates).

“Many people in Serbia will know Son Heung-min and Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich). In particular, Min-jae is my ‘best friend’.” “There are many players who have just entered Europe from the K League, and there are many talented young players,” he said, “I want more players to come to Europe and show themselves. The national team is already strong, but it will get better.”

On being known as the ‘crown prince’ of the national team under Bento, he said: “I was even called the ‘son’ of the coach in Korea because he always let me play. There was even criticism of him and me,” he said, adding that he was grateful that he “always believed in me.”

“Even now, Coach Bento sometimes calls or messages me to ask how I’m doing,” said Hwang, who added, “It’s hard to explain my career without him. I’ve grown a lot with him. I can say that he is my ‘Portuguese father’,” Hwang expressed his special feelings. 파워볼게임

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