Saturday 15 June 2019, 20:16

Tears of joy and sadness as awards handed out

  • Unforgettable night for Andriy Lunin

  • Golden consolation for Lee Kangin

  • Lee: “I hope we can have another experience like this”

In football, happiness for some invariably means sadness for others. Those contrasts were on show once again when the referee blew his whistle to make the end of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019, prompting the Ukraine players to run around in celebration of their country’s first ever world title.

Experiencing the opposite emotions were the Korea Republic squad, who were so close to glory.

Yet by the time the awards ceremony came around, both sides had cause for celebration, with Lee Kangin collecting the adidas Golden Ball and Andriy Lunin going home with the adidas Golden Glove. spoke exclusively to both players about their accolades.

Lee Kang-in (Korea Republic U-20)

Lee Kangin, adidas Golden Ball

“This is all thanks to the coaching staff and to my team-mates, who were tireless. It was a tough match but we gave it our all untli the end. We couldn’t have tried any harder. We didn’t get the win but that’s just the way it goes.

“We have to look to the future now. It’s been a fantastic tournament and on a personal level I’m very happy with how I performed. I hope I can have another experience like this. We’re going home happy now and we want to enjoy it. We are sincerely very grateful to the fans back home in Korea Republic and to all the people who made the effort to come here.”

Andriy Lunin of Ukraine poses for a photo with the adidas Golden Glove award

Andriy Lunin, adidas Golden Glove

“It feels incredible to lift the trophy. Our country has won the title for the very first time and we’ve made history. Winning this award is important for me on a personal level. It’s been a very tough season for me with my club. I’ve learned a lot but not played much.

“This tournament has been like a breath of fresh air for me and I’m really grateful to the team because I couldn’t have won this without them. The key was the coach. I’m very thankful to him for the confidence he’s had in me. When you don’t play a lot you need the faith of your coach to keep going.”