Chong-gug Song prefers not to make the longhaul round trip to his homeland for the friendly clash between World Cup winners Brazil and World Cup runnersup South Korea. The defender would rather concentrate on his club football at Feyenoord. ‘I agreed not to play with coach Van Marwijk and the technical staff. The interests of the club go first right now,’ says the Korean star in an exclusive interview with this website.

‘I’ve been in Holland a couple of months now and I’ve noticed that time goes very quickly here. Feyenoord have played a lot of games and I invest all the leisure time I have in learning the language. It’s going better and better. I now know about 500 words. I cannot yet follow conversations; I only manage to understand the easy things. So I can say that I’m hungry or that I’ve been to have my hair cut. But it’s still very difficult to formulate whole sentences. I am learning quickly though. I have those words in my head; I just have to use them when the opportunity comes along. ’I’m having a great time here. I can go out and not get bothered too much. Yes, obviously I do get recognised. People yell ‘Song’, but I like it. It’s nice to have my brother and sister-in-law to keep me company in Rotterdam. It’s thanks to them that I was able to adapt so well, especially in the beginning. They’ll be staying here for the time being. ’I’m gradually getting to know the country. I’ve had a lot of Dutch food for example: delicious, especially steak and potatoes. And applesauce. I like that a lot. Besides cuisine, there are a lot of other things that are different in my home country South Korea. Many people live on land reclaimed from the sea. I’d never live there, I’m much too afraid of flooding. The roads are much narrower than I’m used to. And there are a huge number of traffic lights. One thing I don’t understand at all is this thing about paying for parking. In Korea you can park anywhere for free, but here you have to pay. Although I have to admit that I haven’t seen much of the rest of Holland. Amsterdam I have seen. Its streets remind me of how things used to be and Rotterdam is wonderful of course. Especially the Erasmus Bridge. I haven’t had the time to go further afield, but I will.
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