2020 is not being an easy year for Osmar Ibanez (Santoña, 1988). In fact, the Cantabrian midfielder may be experiencing the worst season of his career. And it's not that his performance has not lived up to expectations: the coronavirus pandemic, a broken calf, instability on the FC Seoul bench and the suicide of Kim Nam-chun, one of his best friends within the locker room, they have turned the last few months into an ordeal hard to forget. “There are times when I just want to sleep and hope that when I wake up 2020 is already overbut I have to move on and enjoy my work, which is very nice. I can't go into a cave, “Osmar discovers from Doha, where he is preparing to play in the final phase of the AFC Champions League.
“We don't even leave the room to eat. They bring us our food on a tray.”
Osmar Ibáñez, FC Seoul player
FC Seoul, whom some pools gave as one of the candidates to conquer the K-League (South Korea's First Division), fought until the end of the championship to avoid relegation – they finished the season only four points above Busan, relegated to Second. A luck in which it did not help that Osmar Ibáñez, one of the great stars of the team, missed 13 games due to injury. The constant changes on the bench, where five technicians have already passed this course, did not favor the future of a team that suffered the final thrust at the end of October, when their number 4, Kim Nam-chun, was found dead and the first hypotheses pointed to a suicide. “Something like that marks you forever. When they told me I thought they were wrong, that they were talking about their father or some other relative. I still don't believe it. Kim was not just any person, she was a good one. I just needed a look to make you smile. The worst thing I have is not having an answer to so many questions. Why didn't I notice anything? I will always be left wondering if I could do something to avoid it“, muses Osmar, who hours later had to face a league game:” They were my worst moments on a soccer field.
Shock in Korea after the death of Kim Nam-chun, Osmar Barba's teammate at FC Seoul. The South Korean central defender took his own life at age 31.
Rest in peace, Kim. 🖤pic.twitter.com/13lZLykYnM
– Migrants from the Ball (@migrantesbalon) November 1, 2020
It's no consolation but Osmar Ibáñez has the Champions League to escape. FC Seoul traveled to Doha this week to play the final phase of the top continental competition, which will be completed under strict security measures. “Since we landed you can't go alone or to the bathroom. Two or three people accompany you. They show you where it is and make sure you go back where you have to go back,” reveals the Cantabrian, who only leaves the hotel room to train and go to the physio: “We don't even go out to eat. They bring us our food on a tray. It's really overwhelming. I have the feeling that there are clubs that come a bit listless.”
This is not the case with Osmar, who will get “hair on end” when he hears the AFC Champions League anthem: “As always. It's a competition that I love.” The Spaniard acknowledges that he has traveled to Qatar with the aim of “being the protagonist.” “I want people to see that there is a good foreigner at FC Seoul, but as the year is going, the goal is for nothing bad to happen.” The one from Santoña recognizes that “it would be a mistake to think that we are going to go far.” “We don't have a coach and the squad is full of kids who haven't even debuted in the league, but we have suffered a lot and now it's time to enjoy. I have just signed a contract and I want the club to not hesitate to renew me after these Champions League matches“, sentence.