Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), the “future of Korean soccer” who finally joined Hwang Sun-hong, emphasized that he was proud of his teammates’ performance, which saw them score a whopping 13 goals in two games.
“First of all, I’m proud, it was very good,” Lee said when asked by reporters about the first and second matches of the Hangzhou Asian Games Men’s Football Group E on Sunday afternoon before the team’s training session at the Jinhua Sports Center Stadium auxiliary pitch in Zhejiang Province, China.
South Korea, which is seeking its third straight title at the tournament, defeated Kuwait 9-0 in the first game and Thailand 4-0 in the second.
Lee Kang-in, who joined the squad just before kickoff in the second game, watched from the stands at the Jinhwa Sports Center Stadium.
“I felt very sorry for my teammates. I’m excited to be able to join the team,” he said. “We’ll talk a lot and try our best to work together to get a good result.”
The last time Lee played as a member of the Hwangs was on June 12 last year in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup against Japan.
After the 0-3 defeat, Hwang and Lee packed up their bags with a lot of disappointment, and they haven’t seen each other since.
That’s because Lee Kang-in’s game had improved so much that he was categorized as an A team resource rather than an age group player.
Since the World Cup in Qatar last winter under former A team coach Paulo Bento, Lee has developed into a two-headed attacker alongside Son Heung-min (Tottenham), making it harder for Hwang to keep him on the bench.
Lee has repeatedly emphasized the importance of playing with his teammates.
When asked about his injury status shortly after arriving in Hangzhou on Nov. 21, Lee said, “It’s a secret.” He didn’t reveal his physical condition today either.
“It’s always the same,” he laughed in response to the question, “It’s important to get up to speed with my teammates sooner rather than later.” “It’s been a while since I’ve played with my teammates, so I need to communicate with them as much as possible,” he said.
He also emphasized that he and coach Hwang Sun-hong share the same goals.
“(The coach and I) talked about the team. “We talked about the team,” he said, “and we talked about the best way to achieve that goal,” he explained.
“He’s going to put me where he wants me to play,” he said, adding, “Right now I have my brothers, my friends, my younger siblings, so we have to work together and try to get a good result.”
When asked about what Luis Enrique and his teammates at world-renowned club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG-France) had to say to him before heading to Hangzhou for the ‘decider’, Lee’s characteristic ‘secrecy’ came through again.
After initially answering, “Nothing!” Lee said, “That’s also a secret,” and walked away from the microphone. 파워볼