‘Shot-stone’ Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who scored the first and second goals of his A-League career, repeatedly emphasised the importance of ‘team victory’ in his monumental performance.
Lee started as the starting flanker in the friendly against Tunisia at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Wednesday and exploded for a multi-goal performance.
Lee scored his first goal for the A team in the 10th minute of the second half with a picturesque free-kick that broke the 0-0 tie, and he followed it up with another goal just two minutes later.
Every time Lee touched the ball after his 1-2 finish in his 15th A match, the 59,000 fans at the ‘Sangambeul’ chanted his name.
Coach Jürgen Klinsmann brought Lee to the bench in the 45th minute for Moon Sun-min (Jeonbuk), who was the top scorer in the 4-0 thrashing of Tunisia.
“First of all, I want to thank you for your support,” Lee said to the media in the joint press area after the game, “If I can continue to be in the national team (in the future), I want to do my best in every game and help the team win.”
“I want to help (the team) win any competition. I may have a good game, I may have a bad game, but (in either case) I will do my best to help the team,” he added.
After seeing the support from Korean football fans for Lee, Klinsmann said in the post-match press conference, “I don’t know if it will help the player. He’s a player who can improve, but he needs to be more humble, more hungry, and work harder.”
Hearing the voices of the fans cheering for him, Lee repeatedly emphasised the importance of team victory.
In response to Klinsmann’s advice to not get cocky, Lee said, “I don’t really think about that. “I don’t know,” he said, “I might not play well, I might not be able to play. I might play well, I might score a goal or an assist, but I always try to make plays that help the team and help us win, and that’s all I want.”
Lee’s performance, which gave Klinsmann a cool ‘home win’, was made all the more significant by the absence of Korean football icon Son Heung-min (Tottenham).
“There was no pressure (from Son’s absence). I hope Heung-min will be fit for the next game and we can play a good game together,” Lee said.
He added, “I’m definitely not a goal scorer. When I score one goal, I never think about scoring a second,” he said, adding, “The most important thing is for the team to win.”
There has been a recent upturn for Lee.
At the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, he won gold as part of the Huang Sunhong team.
For Lee, who had to deal with a “military issue” in order to continue living in Europe, the gold medal was the ultimate reward: military service benefits.
If he wins a gold medal at the Games, he will serve as an arts and physical education officer. He will have to undergo basic military training and complete 544 hours of service while competing in the sport for 34 months.
However, Lee Kang-in was not a “core” player for Hwang Sun-hong. It was Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart) who made the biggest contribution to the team’s victory.
When asked if winning the gold medal with Hwang Sun Hong Ho motivated him to play in this match, Lee said, “There is no such thing. It’s important to try hard in every training session,” he said, adding, “I want to help the team.” 슬롯사이트