All South Korean men need to participate in military training and in 2016 the Newcastle United midfielder was a soldier
In 2016, Newcastle United midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng had to start his military training in South Korea, as the law states.
And he has been quoted by Calcio Mercato, on what he learned while there and how he feels now after this.
“I learned things I would have never learned there. I woke up at 6.30 every day, we would gather in front of the main building and sing the national anthem,” he told Calcio Mercato.
“Then the day continued with weapon training. First with guns and then grenades. We had to shoot at targets, positioned at 100, 150 and 200 meters away.”
“The grenade? I had to throw it in a hole 30 meters away,” he recalls.
“If it is easier for an athlete? Not really. It is always better to run on a football field.”
“Then there were exercises in gas rooms. We were all gathered inside. We had to stay there for a minute, then exchange it with another,” he added.
“We could not breathe, some people were crying, others had burning eyes and noses. It was an incredible and frightening situation.”
“I want to be ready to help my country. If I were called to help my army, I would tell my coach Rafa Benitez that I have to go, to protect my family and defend my country,” Ki concluded.