Could it be better than this? ‘Golden Boy’ Lee Kang-in (22, Paris Saint-Germain, PSG) is having the best time in the second half of 2023. He is currently the biggest hit product of Korean soccer and has achieved a lot in a short period of time.
The starting point was joining a big club. He wore the uniform of PSG, one of Europe’s most prestigious clubs, during last summer’s transfer market. Numerous teams were mentioned as the next destination, but no one expected that France’s Ligue 1 (1st division) would be the obvious choice and go to PSG, which is consistently challenging the European title.
Not long ago, he was selected for coach Hwang Seon-hong’s U-24 national team and won a gold medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. Winning three consecutive Asian Games for the first time in history, following Incheon in 2014 and Jakarta and Palembang in 2018, is not a simple achievement. His military service benefits ensured a long run on the European stage.
His peak atmosphere continued to the national team as well. As soon as he finished the Asian Games, he entered the Paju National Team Training Center (NFC) and participated in two consecutive October A matches between Tunisia (13th, Seoul World Cup Stadium) and Vietnam (17th, Suwon World Cup Stadium).
And he did it again. With the special trust of coach Jurgen Klinsmann (59, Germany), he scored his debut goal in the A match against Tunisia. It was even more valuable because it was his trademark left-footed free kick. While he was out, he scored multiple goals with a turning shot following calm ball control in the middle of the opponent’s half.
In ‘Bentuho’, he was not classified as a starter for various reasons. However, Coach Klinsmann’s choice was different. The team had to skip the two-game international match between Wales and Saudi Arabia in September due to an injury, but whenever Lee Kang-in was available, he was given as much time as possible.먹튀검증
At the press conference convening the national team in October, Coach Klinsmann said, “Lee Kang-in is competing for the starting spot at PSG. He promised, “I will always help him who is thirsty for playing time,” and he got the best results. Perhaps out of concern for the spotlight, he also left a message saying, “We need to focus more on soccer,” but Coach Klinsmann’s expression was bright.
Lee Kang-in’s leap forward is more than welcome. This is because the ‘ace lineage’ that will carry over the next 10 years of Korean soccer continues. In the 2000s, it was led by Park Ji-sung (42, Jeonbuk Hyundai Technical Director), and from the 2010s, it is led by Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham).
Korean soccer is facing an era of upheaval. With the passage of time, Son Heung-min and other players born in 1992 are gradually stepping down, but their positions are being filled by people born in 1996, including Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) and Hwang In-beom (Crvena Zvezda). Nevertheless, if the current trend continues, it is highly likely that Lee Kang-in, born in 2001, will continue the Ace lineage. Captain Son Heung-min, who hugged Lee Kang-in, who returned to the bench after being substituted in extra time in the second half of the Tunisia match, smiled broadly and said, “I thought it would be okay to be without me now.” The yesterday, today, and tomorrow of Korean soccer are coming together smoothly.