Soccer fans are focusing their attention on whether Lee Kang-in (22, Paris Saint-Germain), who won a gold medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, will participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics next year. There is also interest in whether Lee Kang-in, who plays for Paris-based Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), can emerge as a star at the Olympics, which happens to be held in the same city.
Lee Kang-in contributed to the Korean men’s soccer team winning a gold medal at the Asian Games. Although he was late in joining the Asian Games national team due to his thigh injury and coordination with his team Paris Saint-Germain, he increased his playing time by appearing before Bahrain, the final match of the group stage.
It was against Uzbekistan in the semifinals that Lee Kang-in began to live up to his name. In the 4th minute of the first half when the game was tied 0-0, Lee Kang-in, who took the free kick, pushed the ball to the side and Hong Hyun-seok caught it and passed it into the space behind the Uzbek camp. Eom Won-sang, who was rushing to the right of the penalty box, connected it with a one-touch cross, and Jung Woo-young, who was in front of the goal, scored with his right foot.
Uzbekistan, who were crowded in front of the goal considering Lee Kang-in’s sharp kicking power, were taken aback by the unexpected development, which led to Korea’s goal.
This scene was reminiscent of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup semifinal match against Ecuador held in Poland on June 12, 2019. At that time, Lee Kang-in unexpectedly delivered a ground ball pass to Choi Jun, and Choi Jun hit Ecuador’s net with a non-stop right-footed shot inside the penalty box without any defensive interference, scoring the winning goal.
Lee Kang-in’s role was also important in the final match between Korea and Japan. When the team unexpectedly scored the first goal in the second minute of the first half and was down 0-1, Lee Kang-in brought the lead to Korea with a dazzling dribble and a sharp pass that deceived the opponent, and eventually Korea came from behind to win 2-1.
Lee Kang-in, who won the Asian Games gold medal, was able to serve as an alternative. He was transferred to the athletic department, allowing him to fulfill his military service while continuing to play as a professional soccer player in Europe. Accordingly, military service can be completed by completing only basic military training and 500 hours of volunteer work during the off-season.
Although he has already resolved his military service, coach Hwang Seon-hong, who will lead the team from the Asian Games to the Olympics, plans to call Lee Kang-in back. On the 8th, Director Hwang said in an interview upon entering Incheon International Airport on the 8th, “I didn’t get a stamp from Kangin, but I told him I had to do it. I want to form the best team, including all 6-7 people who are with me this time.” “It’s still a question mark. They haven’t given a definite answer. They said it’s a secret.”
For Lee Kang-in, participating in the Olympics can be burdensome. Even in the process of participating in the Asian Games, his team PSG held on to Lee Kang-in until the end due to the league and UEFA Champions League schedule. It is unlikely that PSG will easily allow Lee Kang-in to be selected for the Olympics.
Additionally, the Paris Olympics will be held from late July to early August next year. This period is when preparations for the opening of the 2024-2025 European professional soccer season are in full swing. If Lee Kang-in vacates his team to prepare for and participate in the Olympics, his standing in the team may be adversely affected.토토사이트
However, it is not easy to declare non-participation in the Olympics. Lee Kang-in may become a target of criticism if he does not participate in the following Olympics after resolving his military service through the Asian Games. Choo Shin-soo, who played in the American professional baseball major league, won a gold medal as a member of the baseball team at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and received military service benefits, but later did not participate, saying he would focus on his new team’s Cincinnati spring camp ahead of the next international tournament, the 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC). received criticism.
However, the fact that this Olympics happens to be held in Paris could be a variable. Lee Kang-in’s team, Paris Saint-Germain, is a club representing France, and this is the Summer Olympics held in France exactly 100 years since 1924.
This is because if Lee Kang-in, who plays in the capital city of Paris, wears the Taegeuk symbol and wins the gold medal, the best performance in Korean soccer history, in the tournament that France plans to hold as a national event, it could have an effect beyond winning.
This can be directly related to Lee Kang-in himself and the status of Korean soccer. The only Asian countries that have won medals in Olympic soccer events are Korea and Japan. Korea won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, and Japan won a bronze medal at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
Rival Japan is eagerly aiming to re-enter the medal race, including finishing in fourth place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the previous tournament following the 2012 Games. In order to avoid losing Japan’s best ever Olympic soccer performance, Hwang Seon-hong has no choice but to give his all at the Paris Olympics.
Attention is being paid to what choice Lee Kang-in will make ahead of the Paris Olympics.