South Korean soccer star Ki Sung-yueng, who plays for Wales’ Swansea City of the English Premier League, will look to help his team win its first major title on Sunday.
Swansea will face Bradford City in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London. Until earning promotion to the Premier League in 2011, Swansea spent the majority of its existence in lower divisions and has never won a major competition of the Capital One Cup’s prestige in its 101-year history.
“We have a chance to become the first team in Swansea City’s history to win a major trophy,” Ki told Wales Online. “We know how much it means to the supporters and we want to win the trophy for them.”
The Capital One Cup, commonly known as the League Cup, is a knockout tournament consisting of 92 professional soccer teams in England’s top four divisions. It is held annually in conjunction with the Premier League season.
If Swansea beats Bradford on Sunday, Ki will become the third South Korean to win the competition after Park Ji-sung and Lee Young-pyo, who have won it with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, respectively.
The final will be televised live in South Korea at midnight, and Ki said that gives him an extra incentive to win. Ki, the reigning South Korean Player of the Year, is tipped by most fans to replace Park, who retired from the national team two years ago, as the icon of Korean soccer.
Coincidentally for Ki, the final on Sunday will be held in Wembley, one of the venues he played in at last summer’s Olympic Games where South Korea pulled off an upset to win a bronze medal.
“I’ve had a lot of messages from fans in Korea wishing the team all the best on Sunday,” said Ki, who plays with a South Korean flag attached to his wristband when playing for Swansea.
“They will all be watching the final on TV. They want to see us lift the trophy for the first time, so hopefully we can do that on Sunday.”
Swansea edged traditional powerhouses Liverpool and Chelsea en route to the final and is heavily favored to lift the trophy over Bradford, which plays in England’s fourth-tier League Two.