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Korea’s football earns a new heart

Posted June. 17, 2019 07:51,   

Updated June. 17, 2019 07:51


“We earned the Golden Ball as a team. I owe it to my teammates.” The joyful journey of young football players made Korean people’s heart pound. The greatest harvest for Korea was Lee Kang-in (18, Valencia), the new heart of Korean football.

Led by head coach Chung Jung-yong (50), Korea’s U-20 World Cup Team lost to Ukraine 3-1 in the U-20 FIFA World Cup final held in Łódź, Poland, on Sunday (Korea time). Lee shot to fame by winning the Golden Ball conferred to the best player, which is rare for a player in a runner-up team. World star players, such as Diego Maradona of Argentina, Lionel Messi of Argentina, Sergio Agüero of Argentina and Paul Pogba of France, received the Golden Ball.

It is the first time that a Korean football player received the Golden Ball in the FIFA World Cup. The highest award has been the Bronze Ball conferred to Hong Myung-bo in the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup. Playmaker With his impressive performance, Lee Kang-in contributed to six out of nine goals that Korea scored with two goals and four assists.

His achievements are even more special as he is only 18 years old and the youngest player in the team. It is the first time in 14 years that an 18-year-old received the Golden Ball since Messi earned it in 2005.

Seung-Kun Lee why@donga.com