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Wednesday 19th June 2002 one
Perugia coach Serse Cosmi has insisted that South Korea forward Ahn Jung-hwan will not be welcome at the club next season after scoring the golden goal that knocked Italy out of the World Cup. "I will ask my president to let him go. I don't want to see him in my team," he said.
Ahn kept South Korea's hopes of qualifying for the second phase alive when he came on as a substitute to head a 78th minute equaliser against the USA last week -and he went one better on Tuesday, when he atoned for a missed penalty by scoring with a 118th-minute header that sent Italy crashing out of the tournament.
The 26-year-old was kept in limbo by the Perugia management - and despite his impressive performances, he will be asked to leave.
Cosmi confirmed: "Obviously he did what he could for his own team. But I can only say, if he he had run for Perugia in the last two seasons like he ran against Italy, he would have been playing many more games.
"He is technically a very good player and he understood that in Italy, playing football is not only about last 40 yards of the pitch. I consider him a midfielder rather than a striker."
Perugia president Luciano Gaucci agreed with Cosmi. "I will never see him in Perugia. I don't want to. Ahn won't be a Perugia player any more. I called his agent, I talked with my executives, and we chose that.
"He was a star, a phenomenon against Italy. But he never played a match like that one in Perugia. I consider his attitude an offence to a country that helped him for two years, and as a president of an Italian club, I feel guilty. I don't want to pay him any more.
"We have ruined ourselves. Ahn had his chances in Italy, but he made a lot of mistakes: he seemed a mysterious player. I can't feel satisfied because I have found a good player. It's very dificult to accept this loss."
Ahn joined Perugia from Pusan Icons in August 2000 but looked to be on the verge of leaving 12 months later having failed to establish himself as a first team regular. He scored four goals in 29 matches in his first season, and one in 14 last season.
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