“Park Ji-sung → Son Heung-min → Lee Kang-in” Korean ace genealogy, AFC also recognized it…Challenge to win the Asian Cup for the first time in 64 years

Along with Iraq’s Ali Jasim (Al-Kuwa), Japan’s Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad), Uzbekistan’s Abbosbek Faizulaev (CSKA Moscow), and Malaysia’s Alif Ayman (Zohor), Lee Kang-in was selected as one of the five young players who have the potential to make a mark in history with their strong performances at the upcoming Asian Cup. His mention of Park Ji-sung draws attention. “Will Lee Kang-in be Park’s successor?” AFC said on its official SNS post on April 26.

Park Ji-sung is one of the greatest legends in Korean soccer in name and reality. He made his professional debut at Kyoto Purple Shopping Center in 2000 and left a great mark in Korean soccer history until his retirement from loan at PSV Eindhoven in 2014. Notably, his presence in the national team was overwhelming. He played a key role in achieving Korea’s semi-finals by scoring the finisher in the last group match against Portugal at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea-Japan. He scored the equalizer against France at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and the decisive goal against Greece at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, to achieve Korea’s first 16 away goals.

Though Park did not win the title, he also had a significant relationship with the Asian Cup. Park’s senior debut match was against Laos, a regional qualifying match for the AFC Asian Cup Lebanon in 2000, and his last match for the Korean national team was also against Qatar in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup Qatar. He participated in three Asian Cup tournaments — Lebanon in 2000, China in 2004, and Qatar in 2011 — and led Korea to the semifinals by playing an active role as a captain in the last tournament in 2011. He played in 100 matches until returning his national flag in 2011 and scored a total of 13 goals.

AFC judges that Lee Kang-in is sufficient to succeed Park Ji-sung. AFC said, “After signing a contract with star-studded PSG last summer, Lee Kang-in quickly established himself as a key member after dispelling concerns that his playing time will be limited. He is continuously playing as a starting member along with Kylian Mbappe and Usman Dembélé, and is seeking to win in both domestic and European leagues. Recently, PSG beat Toulouse 2-0 and contributed to lifting the Trope de Champion (French Super Cup).”

Lee Kang-in’s performance in the 2023 Trope de Champion introduced by AFC was significant. In the final match held in Paris, France on the 4th, Lee Kang-in started as the left midfielder of the 4-3-3 formation and scored the first goal in the third minute of the first half. The winning goal was made when Lee Kang-in rushed in and finished Dembele’s pass from the right side of the penalty box with a left-footed shot. Lee Kang-in previously scored one goal each in the league and the UEFA Champions League, and this was his third goal of the season at PSG. Since then, he has received 8.3 ratings from Footmob, a European soccer statistics site, and 8.0 from another sofa score, thanks to his brilliant performances such as trying a fantastic overhead kick and spraying a sharp through pass.

He continued to display robust performance at the national team. He has four goals and three assists in five recent A matches. In October last year, he scored two goals, one goal and one assist, respectively, in a friendly match with Tunisia and Vietnam, to lead the team to landslide 4-0 and 6-0 victories. In the second qualifying match for the 2026 North-Central America World Cup in November last year, he also scored one goal and one assist, respectively, against Singapore and China, to lead Korea to complete 5-0 and 3-0 victories. In the match against Iraq, which was an exhibition match just before the Asian Cup, he was sent off due to accumulation of warnings, but he has become the most powerful scoring route for the Korean team as he crosses the entire field.

As a result, Lee is establishing himself as a clear ace in the Korean national team led by Jurgen Klinsmann. “Lee Kang-in has four goals and three assists in recent national team matches. This augurs well for Klinsmann and the Taegeuk Warriors, who are aiming to win the Asian Cup for the first time since 1960,” AFC said. 온라인카지노

Winning the Asian Cup is a long-cherished dream for Korea that even the “golden generation” who led the 2002 World Cup could not solve. The team won the title once and twice since 1956, but it has not been updated at all since 1960. It was not a shame that the team lost the title. Since the team was ranked third in 1964, second in 1972, and second in 1980 and 1988, the team has failed to advance to the final for a while. Even in the 2000, 2007, and 2011 competitions when the golden generation began to develop, the team ranked third among the best. They lost 1-2 to Saudi Arabia in 2000, and lost to Iraq in 2007 after a penalty shootout. Iraq, which was the first Asian Cup final, beat Saudi Arabia to win the title.

The most regrettable thing was the Qatar match at the 2011 Asian Cup, which was Park’s last tournament. Hwang Jae-won’s equalizer dramatically burst in the 15th minute of extra time when he was dragged 1-2 in the semi-final against Japan, but all three kickers failed, conceding the final spot in vain. Japan drove the momentum and won its fourth Asian Cup title to Australia with Lee Tadanari’s extra-time goal, which is Japan’s last win so far.

Son Heung-min (32, Tottenham Hotspur), who follows Park Ji-sung in the footsteps of the Korean soccer ace, and Lee Kang-in are seeking to avenge their seniors in Qatar, where they returned after 13 years. Korea, currently ranked 23rd in FIFA rankings, will compete with Bahrain (86th), Jordan (87th), and Malaysia (130th) in Group E. It will play the first group match against Bahrain on the 15th, followed by Jordan on the 20th and Malaysia on the 25th. The tournament will feature 24 countries and play in six groups. After that, 12 teams ranking first and second in each group will advance to the round of 16. For the remaining four spots, the top four teams with good performances among the third place in each group will join the round of 16.

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