History-making ‘Golden Boy’ Lee Kang-in aims to win Korea’s first trophy in 2024
Lee Kang-In (23-Paris Saint-Germain) made South Korean soccer history when he led his country to a runner-up finish at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup. With two goals, four assists, and a dominant presence, he became the first South Korean male player to win the Golden Ball. Lee took his game to another level four years later at the Hangzhou Asian Games, where he intimidated opponents with his sheer presence on the field. South Korea won its first three consecutive titles in Asian Games history. On the big stage, Lee played his part whenever he was needed.
Lee Kang-in will be looking to make history in 2024 when he takes aim at the first trophy for South Korea. Luis Enrique’s Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) will take on Toulouse in the Super Cup at the Parc des Princes in Paris, France, on Thursday at 4:45 a.m. ET. The Super Cup pits the FA Cup winner against the French Ligue 1 champion from the previous season. If PSG defeats Toulouse, Lee Kang-in will win his first trophy in a PSG shirt.
Initially, Lee’s participation in the Super Cup was uncertain. He was called up by national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann to play in the Qatar Asian Cup. The Asian Cup is a continental international tournament where teams have the right to call up players up to two weeks before the first match. The plan was for Lee to join the team’s training camp in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), on March 3. However, Lee Kang-in will join the ‘Clean Sweepers’ after the Super Cup.
“Lee Kang-in will travel to Abu Dhabi after the Super Cup,” said an official from the Korean Football Association. The reason for Lee’s late arrival was Klinsmann’s permission. Lee reportedly asked Klinsmann for permission to play in the Super Cup, which he granted. Lee has played for PSG this season, scoring two goals and providing two assists in the first half of the French Ligue 1 and European Champions League (UCL) campaigns. He has been a key part of PSG’s offense alongside Kylian Mbappe.
Lee has been a key part of the Klinsmann era since it began in February, starting all eight of the club’s matches, with the exception of an injury-plagued A match in September, and has been a key contributor in the last four A matches with four goals and three assists. After announcing the final roster last month, Klinsmann said, “We have a special player. Lee Kang-in is a very special talent. He came to PSG from Real Mallorca (Spain) and had a lot of opportunities.”
Lee Kang-in is the 13th South Korean player to reach the French league. None of the previous players have reached the top of the French stage. It will be interesting to see if Lee Kang-in can become the first Korean player to win the French title in 2024 and continue his golden run at the Asian Cup.