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Lee Young-pyo Visits Homeland

Posted May. 06, 2005 23:23,   


Lee Young-pyo (28, PSV Eindhoven) was all smiles as he was leaving the arrival area of Incheon International Airport on May 6.

His team had failed to enter the finals of the UEFA Champions League despite winning 3-1 against AC Milan in the semi-finals the previous day, but he looked confident nevertheless. Also, he did not hide his excitement in looking forward to seeing his daughter, who was born on April 24, for the first time.

“Everything was okay, except the outcome,” he said. Lee Young-pyo played full-time in the two matches against AC Milan along with Park Ji-sung (24), making an assist and contributing to the team’s victory.

“We were so close. When I looked at the board after losing the goal, I saw that the time had stopped at 90 minutes. We played perfectly for 89 minutes, but lost concentration in the last few moments.”

He thinks of this experience as one that helped upgrade his own football skills since the 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan. “I am satisfied that I have experienced high quality soccer. I especially feel I have grown much through this season’s Champions League play.”

In what aspects has he grown? “Asian soccer and European soccer differ in their play operations and strategic movements. Although Asian soccer has its own strong points, it still trails behind European soccer in terms of environment and conditions. I have gained confidence in reading the flow of the game and responding accordingly.”

Lee Young-pyo still has a year left in his contract with Eindhoven, but revealed the possibility of a transfer, saying, “If the opportunity comes, I will make a decision in consideration of every possible situation.”

“I was worried that my wife had to give birth while she was alone…I saw a picture of my daughter through the Internet, and she looks like me. She weighs 2.7 kilograms, and is in good condition. I have thought of a name for her, but I will make a decision after consulting my parents.”

Lee will returns to the Netherlands after spending a week with his family.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com