Despite being busy threatening the world with his nuclear program, Kim Jong Il finds time to help North Korean sportsmen achieve outstanding results, as it’s claimed he’s behind football team’s World Cup qualification.
North Korean sporting officials claim that it was the invaluable tactical advice that the head of the state gave to the players that allowed them to win a ticket to South Africa in 2010, reports Choson Sinbo, a Japan-based newspaper published by the General Association of Korean Residents.
“The Great Leader gave in-depth guidance on the development of Korean football. He proposed the game’s tactics most relevant for the physiological characteristics of the Korean players”, Kim Jong Su, General Secretary of North Korean Football Association, said.
The official also said Kim Jong Il personally guided the team at the stadium in April last year.
According to the newspaper, the Great Leader’s involvement allowed the Korean footballers to show their own game and cope without copying the style of play of the leading Western teams.
Head Coach of the North Korean national squad, Kim Jong Hun, explains the main reason of his men’s success lies in their "exceptional spiritual strength and unity.”
"Perhaps there’s no other team in the world, who would be fighting with the same dedication to please the leader and to bring fame to their motherland,” Kim Jong Hun said.
The North Korean team finished second in Group 2 of the Asian qualifiers, two points behind their neighbors from South Korea.
They will now compete at the World Cup for the second time in history. Their previous appearance at the tournament became a sensation. The underdogs progressed to the quarterfinals, beating football powerhouse Italy on their way.
Football is not the only interest of Kim Jong Il’s outside politics. The Great Leader is also a specialist in art, as he recently helped a Korean theatre to stage the opera ‘Eugene Onegin’.
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