‘Son of the Sun’ Lee Geun-ho (38-Daegu FC) is running towards the end of his career.
After 19 years of playing, Lee will hang up his jersey after this season. He has already announced his retirement. This leaves Lee with just five games left in his career. Daegu, which qualified for Final A, will face Ulsan Hyundai, Gwangju FC, and Pohang Steelers, starting with a match against Jeonbuk Hyundai on Nov. 21. The last game Lee will remember for the rest of his life will be against Incheon, the place where he made his debut.메이저사이트
When we met at the Final A media day on the 18th, Lee said, “It’s fun. I’m playing my last game in Incheon, where I made my debut, and I’m finishing my career in Daegu, where I blossomed.” “These stories are meaningful and interesting to me. I hope the Incheon fans will welcome me back. I will play fiercely on the field, but off the field, I want to leave with applause.”
Lee began his professional career with Incheon in 2005 after playing as a member of the Golden Generation at Bupyeong High School. He was given the number 11 jersey and was highly anticipated, but it was not easy to compete for a starting spot. Unable to establish himself in the first team, he moved to Daegu in 2007. It was a stroke of luck. Lee exploded in Daegu and became one of the league’s leading strikers. He was nicknamed the “Son of the Sun” and even wore the Korean flag.
Lee has played for many teams in his career, but Daegu has always been special to him. “Daegu is the club that raised me,” he says. I came here and played and grew. I’m very grateful to them,” he said. “It’s because of Daegu that I can spend my last days like this. In fact, there were calls and offers from K League 2. However, I was more grateful to Daegu than to any other team, and I wanted to play with them until the end.” He shared his heart.
In fact, he didn’t decide to retire suddenly, which is why he didn’t give in to Daegu coach Choi Won-kwon’s urging. “I thought a lot about it while preparing for this season. When Sejingya got injured, I played more games than I thought I would, and the coach told me, ‘Your body is in better shape than last year,’ and I thought, ‘Now is the time,'” he said, laughing. “I first brought up the subject of retirement in June.” Choi sent him back.
Choi sent Lee back. Choi was determined to stay with his protégé longer. “He said, ‘It’s too early, think again,'” Lee recalls. I asked him in July, but he kept saying no. He said, ‘We’ll talk about it later, but not now.’ I was so grateful, but I also felt sorry for him,” Lee recalls.
Eventually, Choi accepted Lee’s retirement. Lee visited Choi about four times to inform him of his intention to retire. “The last time I went to see him again, he talked to me well, so I decided to retire,” Lee explained.
His teammates were also surprised by his retirement. “The players were also in disbelief. There was a strong image that ‘he’ll play again next year. It’s been like that every season, but when the retirement announcement came out, everyone was surprised.” “At first, my wife jokingly said, ‘You’re really retiring,'” he says. However, my wife cried at the news of my retirement. That’s why I don’t talk about retirement much,” he said.
Lee Geun-ho. /Photo courtesy of the Korea Football Association
Lee’s last game. The final match of the Final A between Daegu and Incheon will take place on December 3. Both teams are in a tight race for the top spot. Daegu is fifth in the league (49 points) and Incheon is sixth (48 points). Both teams will fight to the end of the season to qualify for the Asian Champions League. Lee’s lovely wife and one-year-old son will be in attendance for the final time.
“My son came to the stadium once, but it wasn’t the picture I had in my mind. He cried a lot because he was so young.” “My family will come to the last game. Before that, if I get a chance, I’m going to have him warm up (visit the stadium),” he laughs.