Chelsea Women’s midfielder, Ji So-Yun of South Korea, is set to dazzle the world with her unquestionable attacking talent at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, which begins today.
France 2019 will be South Korea’s third and Ji’s second successive Women’s World Cup. Although the Asian side were knocked out of Canada 2015 at the round of 16 stage when they suffered a 3-0 defeat to France, our playmaker was a key member of the South Korean squad. She was named player of the match against Spain and converted from the spot against Costa Rica – and the Blues’ set-piece specialist is expected to be a stand out player this summer too.
Ji is regarded as a pioneer of women’s football in South Korea and is set to play her part in the tournaments opening fixture which kicks off at 8pm UK time, against France in their capital of Paris.
We spoke to Blues’ no.10 ahead of the big event…
How excited are you to go to the World Cup?
‘This is the second World Cup for me, this summer’s tournament is expected to be huge, so I am really excited to be a part of it.’
What does it mean to you to be selected?
‘It’s a big honour, I’m always so proud to represent my country. I feel like I have grown into a better player than I was four years ago and myself and the team are much more experienced this time round.
‘We need to play well to ensure that we make South Korea proud and so that we inspire the future to want to play football.’
What do you make of the teams in your group?
‘Our group is tough, really tough because we have got France, Norway and Nigeria in it. We need four points to go through to the last 16, so of course that is our first aim, to make sure we get out of the group.’
What do you think your overall changes are?
‘Last time we progressed to the knockout stages, so I think we have valuable experience there - we need to make sure that we beat Nigeria or Norway.
‘I’m looking forward to playing Maria [Thorisdottir] and Maren [Mjelde] of course. We know each other well, I know that they will play tough against me and give me a hard time but I will play smart.’