Hwang Sun-hong has been waiting for Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) to join him.
Lee touched down in the Land of the Rising Sun at Hangzhou International Airport in China on the afternoon of June 21 to participate in the 카지노사이트 Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.
He was escorted by a member of the Korean Football Association (KFA) staff to the city of Jinhua in Zhejiang province, where the national team is staying.
Lee made his return from injury the day before, playing 17 minutes as a substitute in the first leg of the group stage of the 2023-2024 UEFA Champions League against Dortmund (Germany).
As the competition is not organized by Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), his club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is not obliged to recall him to the national team. However, after lengthy discussions with the federation, he was recalled after the Dortmund game.
Upon arriving in Jinhua, Lee was fitted for his jersey and accompanied the team to the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium for their Group E match against Thailand.
Despite the long distance, jet lag, and difficulty adjusting to the environment, Lee’s determination to win gold at the Asian Games was evident.
The coaching staff kept Lee off the roster to make sure he didn’t overexert himself.
With a 9-0 win over Kuwait in the first round, there was no reason to overuse him in the group stage.
The last time Lee played for the Hwangsuns was in the U-23 Asian Cup quarterfinals against Japan last June.
As he grew into an A-team regular, he was called up by coach Paulo Bento and went on to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
It’s no wonder Hwang has been waiting anxiously for Lee to join the national team.
Five years ago, at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, Son Heung-min (Tottenham) spearheaded the Asian Games gold medal hunt, and it’s no exaggeration to say that Lee Kang-in holds the key to gold this time around.
Lee led South Korea to a runner-up finish at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup and won the Golden Ball, which is awarded to the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). He also helped South Korea reach the round of 16 at the Qatar World Cup, and this summer he joined French club PSG.
After arriving at Hangzhou Airport, he ditched his soccer cleats for sneakers and took to the field with a brief statement of intent: “I will do my best to get a result with my fans, my friends, and my friends who are younger than me.”
Before the game, he sat on the bench with Hwang and chatted for about 10 minutes, sharing his thoughts on the future, while keeping an eye on his teammates as they warmed up.
Lee Kang-in, who was left off the roster, sat in the stands. When fans recognized him and greeted him by name, he responded with his trademark shy smile.
After kickoff, he focused on the game, reacting to his teammates’ plays and cheering them on with applause. When a goal was scored, he high-fived the staff and celebrated, and began to integrate into the team.
With two points from the 4-0 win over Thailand, South Korea secured a spot in the round of 16 as the top team in Group E, regardless of the outcome of their final match against Bahrain on Thursday.
Lee Kang-in could take the field for the final match against Bahrain as a fitness check.