By Yun Suh-young
Two teenage soccer players from East Timor, who starred in a movie based on their true story, have been admitted to a university in North Jeolla Province.
Kunjang College in Gunsan said Monday that Nidio Ricardo Ferreira Alves and Efrem Marianus Almeida Santos Jeronimo, who are members of the East Timor Youth Soccer Team, will arrive in the country Wednesday to begin their college life here starting from March.
Alves and Jeronimo were admitted to the Department of Life Physical Education at the university.
Efrem Marianus and Nidio Ricardo
The East Timor Youth Soccer Team received the spotlight following the
Korean movie "Barefoot Dream" released in 2010. The movie is based on the true story of soccer player-turned-coach, Kim Shin-hwan, who led the amateur team to victory at an international soccer competition in 2004. Kim, who had originally planned to go into the coffee business in East Timor, organized a soccer team after being touched by the boys who played soccer barefooted.
In 2004, a year after the soccer team was formed, the East Timor under-14 soccer team won the Liberino Cup held in Japan _ they won all of their six matches.
Kim, who still leads the team in East Timor, had requested the college to allow the boys to learn soccer in Korea. The two boys were the main players in the team at the international tournament.
"School officials visited East Timor to interview the boys and admission was decided after a construction company in Gunsan promised to pay for their tuition", an official from the college told Yonhap News.
Kunjang College plans to accept two students from East Timor every year.
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53rd Baeksang Arts Awards 2017