Suwon Samsung defender Lee Ki-je (32) has made the Korean national team roster. Will Lee be able to give up his team’s disappointing season and help the team.
Jürgen Klinsmann, the head coach of the Korean national team, announced a list of domestic training call-ups for the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup on the 18th. The list consists of players who can train among some overseas players who are taking breaks with K-League players. It consists of a total of 16 players, including Lee Ki-je.월카지노
This is not the final roster for the Asian Cup that will take place in Qatar in January next year. However, the players selected this time are those who have been constantly called upon by Coach Klinsmann. Chances are high that he will participate in the Asian Cup as well.
Attention is once again drawn to Lee Ki-je. Lee’s team Suwon has had a hard time this year. It ranked the bottom (12th) in the league, and suffered from relegation for the first time in the club’s history. The same was true of Lee. As a team veteran, Lee failed to prevent Suwon from being demoted. His playing time has dwindled since the end of the season.
This season, Lee played in 31 K-League games and had two goals and four assists. Considering that he had one goal and 14 assists in 35 games last season, there are many regrets.
However, the situation is different for the national team. Unlike his poor performance, Lee has consistently been given opportunities in the national team. He has been on the national team roster since March, the first time Klinsmann convened.
In fact, he can be seen as the starting fullback for the national team. Lee Ki-je played as a substitute in the match against Colombia in March and then started in the match against Uruguay. Since there were many injuries in the national team at the time, Lee had a hard time getting the opportunity, but he made the most of it. He received passing points. Lee started again in June against Peru. Since September, he has maintained his starting position for the national team.
Lee also started against Singapore in the first Group C Asian qualifying match for the 2026 FIFA North-China World Cup last month, and China in the second round, leading South Korea to victory.
The result was good as well. Not only did he win, but he also gave no run in the past six games. Monster defender Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) took the center stage by banking on his strong defense, but Lee Ki-je also played a role. Lee Ki-je blocked Korea from losing points by displaying land-based defense in the match against Saudi Arabia in September. Thanks to this, the team defeated the Saudi Arabian team 1-0, earning an emotional first win.
Through this competition, Korea will challenge for the first time in 64 years since winning the 1960 competition. As it is a short-term game, it is necessary to stage an all-out war in every game, but there is no shortage of emphasis on stable defense.
Glamorous strikers, led by Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) and Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), are drawing attention, but Korea’s defense is also solid. Kim Min-jae is a world-renowned professional defensive player, and Jung Seung-hyun and Seol Young-woo led Ulsan HDC to its second consecutive K-League 1 title. The other piece of the puzzle is Lee Seung-je.
Lee needs to continue his performance for the national team, which he showed earlier. If Lee displays good defense and kick power, which is his biggest strength, it will be a huge boost to the national team.
Manager Jurgen Klinsmann. / Photo = Courtesy of the Korea Football Association
Meanwhile, the training will be conducted by the national team’s physical coaches, Werner Roytard, and Lee Jae-hong. Through weight training and conditioning, the team will focus on checking physical condition and fatigue of the players who finished their recent seasons and maintaining their physical condition.
All K-League players who are included in the upcoming training session will start on January 26. They will go to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on January 2 next year. Overseas league players will join the training according to their individual schedules, including returning home. They will enter Qatar on January 10.
“The purpose of this training is to allow players to leave for Qatar in their best condition through proper rest and training as several players have to start preparing for the tournament while they are very tired after the season,” Klinsmann said.