Pohang Steelers head coach Kim Ki-dong has a lot of faith in Brazilian winger Wandelsson, saying that while he sometimes keeps his players on their toes, his positive influence on the field and off it is huge.
Wandelsson had a goal and an assist against Jeju United in the 22nd round of the Hana One Q K League 2023 at the Pohang Steel Yard on the 16th, leading Pohang to a 4-2 victory. In fact, he was once reprimanded by coach Kim after the game against Suwon Samsung in Round 21, but whether the stinging reprimand woke him up or not, he went on to completely destroy Jeju. He also scored in full-time against Jeonbuk Hyundai in Round 24, helping the team to a 2-1 win.
“He said he was good and asked me to scold him more, haha.”
Kim laughed when asked if he had told Wandelsson to do better before the game against Jeonbuk. Kim’s response shows that Wandelsson is a veteran foreign player who skillfully handles the relationship with his coach.
Kim then recalled when Wandelsson wanted to return to Pohang from UAE club Ittihad Kalba two years ago. Kim said he chose Wandelsson for a reason.
“He’s an older player now,” Kim said. “First of all, he’s a player we know, and even though he’s not that expensive, we thought he could do it, so we wanted to give him a chance. On top of that, he can play two positions (left wing and left back). So when he was injured with that team, we were able to communicate with our physical coach and help him out behind the scenes,” he said.
“When he finally decided to come to us, I called him up and said, ‘You’re at an age where it’s not easy to go to another team. But I chose you for a reason,'” he recalls. Kim’s expectations for Wandelsson are for leadership as the most senior foreign player. 안전놀이터
“He takes care of the foreign players,” says Kim. He also works really hard on the field,” Kim said, adding, “I really like these aspects. I didn’t hesitate to bring Wandelsson back because he has a really good personality. His age is irrelevant, that’s why I chose him,” he smiled.
Wandelsson scored his first offensive point of the 2023 season against Jeju last time out, and has really started to contribute to Pohang’s upward trend this season. It will be interesting to see if he can build on this momentum and explode in the upcoming matches. If so, Kim’s face will be even brighter for giving him a chance.