KI SUNG-Yueng is one half of South Korea’s “Posh and Becks”.
When the Sunderland midfielder married actress Han Hye-jin during the summer, he cemented his place in the East Asian limelight.
Sunderland have been plagued by media requests from Korea ever since Ki arrived at the Stadium of Light on a season-long loan during the summer, yet they have increased ten-fold this week.
It’s a testament to the pull of Wembley at any point on the globe.
But Ki doesn’t necessary believe that the majority of football fans in his homeland will be universally cheering Sunderland on at Wembley in the Capital One Cup final today.
Manchester City’s reach into new markets since the club’s Middle Eastern takeover and Premier League title win, has seen them emerge as one of the favourite English teams in Korea.
Yet even if City are the popular choice, Ki is determined to elbow his way into the Korean folklore by lifting the Capital One Cup for the second successive season after being part of the Swansea side who routed then League Two outfit Bradford at Wembley 12 months ago.
“There are a lot of Man City fans back in Korea, but I don’t care,” said the on-loan Swansea midfielder.
“I just want to concentrate on Sunderland.
“Two wins, two finals – it doesn’t happen a lot to become a champion two years in a row.
“It would be something very special in my career. I don’t want to miss it. I want to get it by winning the final.
“Man City have some of the best players in the world, but you can never tell sometimes how it can work out so I just want to keep going.
“I want to win the final for myself, the fans and the family.”
Ki knows that if Sunderland are to upset the odds though, they will need to perform significantly better than they managed in last weekend’s Premier League defeat at Arsenal.
But the 25-year-old former Celtic man hopes Sunderland can learn from that chastening experience at the Emirates against another of the title contenders.
“It was a very tough game at Arsenal – we didn’t expect a result like that,” he added.
“We should have been better than that, but the game is gone. We have to focus on Sunday’s game, which is going to be even tougher than Arsenal.
“We need to have 100 per cent concentration for the whole of the game. It was a good experience for us, though.
“Before the final, we need to have more attention and concentration than we did at Arsenal, otherwise, we will have another result like last weekend.”
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