By Yoo Jee-ho
INCHEON, June 29 (Yonhap) -- After enjoying a star turn at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, South Korean goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo is hoping to get calls from some European clubs.
When South Korea opened Group F play against Sweden on June 18, Jo was a surprise starter ahead of the more experienced Kim Seung-gyu and Kim Jin-hyeon. Jo made some spectacular saves, allowing one goal on a penalty kick as South Korea went down 1-0.
The starting job remained Jo's. He was back in net in a 2-1 loss to Mexico, and enjoyed his finest hour in a 2-0 victory over Germany. He was named the Man of the Match after keeping the defending champions off the board.
The unlikely hero is currently playing for Daegu FC in the domestic K League 1, and he is hoping he'll get to swim in a bigger pond.
"I'll keep doing the best I can so I will become more famous and end up playing in Europe," Jo told reporters after arriving at Incheon International Airport. "I was grateful for the opportunity to play at the World Cup and realize my dream. Hopefully, I'll have another memorable World Cup the next time around."
After shutting out Germany, Jo became an overnight sensation on social media, with international fans calling on their favorite European clubs to sign the 26-year-old South Korean.
"I'll try to maintain my form and make sure I won't let fans down," Jo added. "It'd be great to see more fans in the stands in the K League."
South Korean football goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo speaks during an interview at Incheon International Airport after arriving back from the FIFA World Cup in Russia on June 29, 2018. (Yonhap)