In-beom Hwang on his move to Rubin: "An important factor was the interest of the coach"

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South Korean international midfielder In-beom Hwang has revealed the personal touch from Leonid Slutsky convinced him to join Rubin Kazan this summer.

The 23-year-old is no stranger to adapting to a new culture and style of football after spending the last 18 months with Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS, but a direct phone call and social media contact with his new manager has persuaded him that moving to the Russian Premier Liga was the correct decision.

“I always wanted to play in Europe, from a young age,” he told Rubin’s official media team. “Recently, the head coach and club management came to me and explained my tasks in the team. An important factor in my moving here was the interest of the coach. 

“I spoke with Leonid Viktorovich Slutsky, and after the phone conversation I started searching the Internet for detailed information about him and the club. I read a lot of flattering reviews, and I realized that I was going to a very famous coach and a big club.

“I am very grateful to Leonid Viktorovich for everything he did at the stage of negotiations. I am here and I will give my best, I will try to justify the trust.”

Hwang is decorated at international level having won the 2018 Asian Games at U23 level alongside Tottenham forward Heung-min Son and RB Leipzig winger Hee-chan Hwang, and has scored three goals in 23 caps for the senior side. At club level, he broke the Daejon Citizens’ record for youngest ever goalscorer, and was twice voted into the K League 2 team of the season.

Hwang has already taken part in training with his new teammates having passed his medical, and all coronavirus testing - which returned a negative result - earlier this week. He has flown with the Rubin squad to Moscow ahead of their fixture against CSKA, which takes place on Saturday, 22 August.

Although he had not visited Kazan before, the city already held fond memories for him after his compatriots claimed a famous victory over the reigning champions Germany at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. 

“Of course, I remember the victory of the Korean national team here; all Koreans have only the most pleasant memories of that game and positive associations with Kazan. I also asked Korean friends who lived here and got good reviews from them. 

“I know that Rubin played in the Champions League about ten years ago and was a serious force. Our common goal is to help the club return to its previous positions.

Photo: Dzhalil Gubaidullin/Rubin Kazan


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