Tunisia coach against Klinsmann: “Korea is Asia but feels like Europe”

Tunisia’s head coach Jalel Khadri, who will be facing his country’s first opponent in the October A-Match, has described South Korea as a team with a European feel and expects a high level of competition.

“Korea is a team that reached the round of 16 in the World Cup (in Qatar),” Khadri said at a press conference at 텍사스홀덤 Seoul World Cup Stadium on Wednesday, the day before the away trial. They could have reached the quarterfinals or even the semifinals, but everyone knows that Brazil (whom Korea faced in the round of 16) is not an easy opponent.”

Qadri also coached Tunisia at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Tunisia is currently ranked 29th by FIFA, similar to South Korea (26th). At the previous World Cup in Qatar, they were eliminated after one win, one draw, and one loss in the group stage, but they showed a strong performance, beating France and drawing with Denmark.

“South Korea is a very fast team with a lot of speed in transition,” says Qadri. “They have a lot of good individual players and they play well as a team,” he said. “They have a lot of players who play for big clubs in Europe, so even though it’s Asia, I think the feeling is similar to Europe.

“Korea has one of the best strikers in the world, Son Heung-min (Tottenham), but Korea is especially strong as a team,” he said, adding, “They have a lot of fast and individual players on the offensive line, and we will stop them as a team.”

Tunisian defender Ali Abdi, who attended the event alongside Qadri, said he had analyzed Korea a lot through video. “I don’t know all the names of the Korean players, but I’ve seen them on video,” he said. “We have to stop the whole team. We have prepared well.”

“He’s young, but he’s a great player,” Abdi, who plays for SM Caen in the French second division, said of Lee Kang-in, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in Ligue 1, “He’s going to play a good role at PSG, and he’s going to have a better future.”

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