Jakarta, IO – Asnawi Mangkualam Bahar, an Indonesian national football player, hopes that the team he plays for in the South Korean K League 2 tournament, the Jeonnam Dragons, can break into the upper tier in the South Korean football competition, K League 1.
“Jeonnam is targeted for a playoff. I personally hope to play at a higherlevel next season,” said Asnawi on Sunday, September 10, during the “Healthy Yes, DBD No” event at the Jakarta International Velodrome, Rawamangun.
Asnawi attended the occasion as one of the athletes receiving the dengue vaccine. “Vaccination has no other effect than soreness. As an athlete, I must protect myself against dengue fever, particularly because I live near a landfill (TPA),” he said.
Asnawi is confident that his team will settle in the top five of the Korean Premier League before they compete in the playoffs for promotion tickets. Asnawi admitted that he was starting to feel at home living in South Korea, after adapting well to the country for nearly three years. He also appreciated the new experience of living in South Korea, especially concerning mental strength.
Football clubs in South Korea are equipped with complete management and infrastructure, which helped him adapt well to the country. “To deal with my homesickness, I frequently talk to my family. South Korea offers many Indonesian food stalls that I can easily get to,” he explained.
Asnawi has not denied receiving a contract offer from a K League 1 club. He cannot, however, reveal the club as the contract is still being negotiated.
Asnawi has spent the last three seasons of his professional career in South Korea, both with his current team, the Jeonnam Dragons, and with his previous club, the Ansan Greeners. Since he was young, Asnawi has always wanted to play for clubs in other countries, without being overly worried about his contract and payment.
“When I finally got the offer to play overseas, I thought, Why not? My parents did not approve my decision at first, but they quickly understood once I explained, and now they fully support me,” he said.
“I will return to Indonesia if I don’t get any raises after two years,” said the 23-year-old football player.
However, Asnawi admitted that he could not pay his housing installment this year, confirming his father’s concerns. He soon requested a payment delay, which the real estate agent approved.
Asnawi’s figure is now increasingly growing in fame since he dates Fuji, a celebrity on social media. Fuji, who flew to Surabaya to support Asnawi’s game, was seen to have spent an evening supper together with him at a mall in Surabaya. (rp)