Dženan Radončić is (27) a Montenegrin football player currently plying his trade in Seongnam FC in the K-League. This year is his sixth year in Korea having playing for Incheon FC dating back to 2004. He is a man rarely talked about in the media these days as his focus lies in concentrating in getting back the trophy for Seongnam for this year’s K-League edition. Standing at 192cm, he is a formiddable marksman for his club, and every defenders nightmare as his strength to hold up the ball upfront is second to none in the K-League. He earned his nickname in Korea as the ‘ugly duckling’ after his image portrayed in a movie in which he featured called ‘bisang”, a football documentary film based on his old club Incheon FC. He has since been wrongly labelled as a rebel amongst the team due to his acting role in that movie as his character was one that would always talk back to the seniors on the team. He was quick in denying that he is nothing like that in his day-to-day life as a football player in Korea.
In this edition, footkorean editor Byong sat down with the under-rated marksman after his recent match against Daejeon in the FA Cup round of 16 match to discuss about his life in Korea and how he thinks Korea has faired against the world’s best in South Africa 2010.
Byong: What did you think about South Korea’s World Cup 2010 campaign?
Radoncic: South Korea had very succesful World Cup campaign. I was sure they were going to make it to the final 16 and after that its pretty much luck and concentration. They had their chances against Uruguay in the knockout stage but their concentration was not good enough to take them further. Having said that however, I think after this World Cup football in Korea is going to be recognized and respected much more.
Byong: Aside from football what convinced you to stay in Korea for so long?
Radoncic: Well, the thing that i like about Korea is that it is very calm and a safe place. It provides an ideal lifestyle for me not to mention the polite people, good fans and of course the great food!
Byong: Why do you think most foreign players don’t seem to stay long in the K-League like yourself?
Radoncic: I think the main factor is that players can’t get accustomed to the Korean football style and tradition. It took me a good one year to get used to all these things and to understand the culture and I decided to stay here and make my career here in Korea. I had really tough time but I am happy I made some success.
Byong: How is your preparation in becoming a Korean citizen coming along?
Radoncic: I’m still on hold because I was told that I needed to stay here for a few more years since I was in Japan in 2007 on loan when I was under Incheon FC at that time and to be honest I can’t wait to become a Korean Citizen. And of course my main goal is to become Korean National Team player!
Byong: Finally, any last words for your fans and to the Seongnam fans out there?
Radoncic: I want to say thank you for the support and I will always try to do my best during the match.