Lee Kang-in, playing for La Liga club Mallorca, has expressed gratitude to Korean soccer fans.
After the friendly football match between South Korea and Cameroon on Tuesday at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, Mallorca’s midfielder wrote on his Instagram account that he was deeply moved by many fans cheering his name. “I will always do my best to live up to your support. Many thanks,” wrote Lee.
Lee was called up to the national team in one and a half years, ahead of the friendly match with Costa Rica and Cameroon on Friday and Tuesday, respectively. However, Lee never managed to step on the field even for one minute and stayed on the bench throughout the game. Fans started to cheer every time Lee was spotted on the electronic scoreboard, and they chanted his name aloud in the second half of the game.
“As a football player, it was a disappointment that I didn’t get to play,” Lee said in an interview after the match. “But I am not the one who makes those decisions. I will return to my club and keep trying to show the best performances.”
Son Heung-min, who cheered Lee up after the match, said that Lee was not the only player who did not get to play. “Although Lee is doing well in his club, I don’t think the team should be centered around him,” said Son. “I am a soccer fan and wanted to see Lee play as much as the fans did. But I believe Mr. Bento had a plan.”
Lee Kang-in has scored one goal and three assists in six matches in La Liga games so far. Lee will play in a match with FC Barcelona at 4 a.m. on Sunday (Korea time).
Dong-Wook Kim firstname.lastname@example.org