Bromance that also pays attention to ‘LEE-Hockey Me’ and League 1

French Ligue 1 posted a two-shot photo of Lee Kang-in and Hakimi on its official SNS account on the 5th (Korea time), calling it “Bromance.” In the picture, Hakimi talked with Lee Kang-in with his left arm around Lee Kang-in’s shoulder after the game.

The game in which Hakimi and Lee Kang-in laughed and talked was an away game in the 14th round of the French League 1 in the 2023/24 season, Le HavreAC, held on the 3rd. On the same day, PSG won 2-0 with consecutive goals by Kylian Mbappe and Vitinha, even though goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma faced a bad news in the first nine minutes of the first half.

PSG players, who went out to fight Le Havre, all wore white Korean uniforms and drew attention as they entered the ground. PSG decided to wear uniforms with players’ names written in Korean for the first time in the club’s history on the 1st before the match against Le Havre. 파친코

PSG’s decision is due to the rapid increase of Korean fans after joining Lee Kang-in. According to PSG, the number of Korean fans watching PSG games at its home stadium increased by 20% in the 2023/24 season when Lee Kang-in was recruited. In addition, the number of Korean followers on PSG SNS X (X, formerly Twitter) increased by 22,000 and the number of followers on Naver increased by more than 35,000.

PSG general manager Luis Campos also seems surprised by Lee’s popularity. “From a football point of view, I really like Lee Kang-in. It fits the player Luis Enrique wanted,” he said in a recent lecture at Sorbonne University. “But I didn’t think (Lee Kang-in’s recruitment) would have an impact on Asian marketing.”

PSG seems surprised by Lee’s explosive marketing capability as well as his capability. The creation of the uniform is also seen as a sign that the team will strengthen the loyalty of Korean fans who entered the club. “The interest of fans from the ‘Land of the Morning Calm’ has increased, making Paris the third most-followed club among Korean soccer teams,” PSG bragged.

Lee Kang-in, who played in a Korean uniform, set an attacking point on target, but unfortunately failed to score a goal or assist despite playing full-time in the 90th minute. Instead, he contributed to the team’s victory by breaking through dribbling in the 23rd minute of the first half, playing a starting role for Mbappe’s first goal. He seemed to help Mbappe with an additional goal in the 32nd minute of the first half, but the goal was not recognized as offside was declared.

Meanwhile, after the game, League 1 drew attention by posting a picture of Lee Kang-in and Hakimi sticking together.

Some fans speculated that the reason why League 1 described the relationship between Lee Kang-in and Hakimi as a “bromance” was because Hakimi helped Lee Kang-in’s debut goal in League 1. Lee Kang-in led the team to a 3-0 complete victory by scoring the first goal in the 11th round match against Montpellier on the 4th of last month.

At that time, Lee Kang-in started the game and connected Hakimi’s low cross with a brilliant left-footed shot at the 10th minute of the first half to score his second goal of this season and his debut goal in the league. The scene where Lee scored was named PSG’s November goal of the month.

Before the match against Montpellier, Lee Kang-in scored his PSG debut goal in the UEFA Champions League group stage match against AC Milan, making it 3-0. After helping Mbappe score his first assist of the season in the 10th round of the league, he scored the first goal in the match against Montpellier, scoring the first goal in three consecutive games.

The “bromance” between Lee Kang-in and Hakimi is scheduled to be temporarily suspended in January 2024, with Hakimi emerging as a relationship in the league 1 as he helped Lee Kang-in’s debut goal and attack point for three consecutive games.

Coincidentally, the two players will leave the club for a while to play the Cup by continent in January next year. In January 2024, the African Cup of Nations and the Asian Cup to be hosted by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will be held.

At this time, Lee Kang-in (Taiwan Republic) and Hakimi (Morocco) are playing key players in the national team, so their participation in the Asian Cup and the African Cup of Nations has been virtually confirmed, respectively. Both tournaments are continental cups recognized by FIFA, so the team cannot reject the national team’s request for self-sufficiency.

Before the continental cup competition approaches in January 2024, attention is being paid to how much more bromance and Lee Kang-in and Hakimi can collaborate on attack points in the remaining games.

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