Lee Seung-woo (25, Suwon FC), the star of the Palembang-Jakarta Asian Games gold medal five years ago, inspired Hwang Seon-hong’s juniors.
With the opening of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games approaching in about two weeks, attention is focused on whether Korea, the country that has won the most Asian Games soccer games (5 times), will once again be at the top of the awards ceremony. The Asian Games national soccer team, led by coach Hwang Seon-hong, is attempting to win three games in a row for the first time in the history of the competition. Previously, Korean soccer won two consecutive gold medals at the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games.
Seungwoo Lee was a key player in winning the gold medal in the 2018 competition. Lee Seung-woo, who was playing for Verona in Serie A at the time, was almost the youngest member of the national team, but played a vital role in the team, serving as a starter and joker from the group stage to the tournament and the final.
Lee Seung-woo’s value of ‘doing something when it needs to be done’ shines even more when it is important. He scored multiple goals in the semifinals against Vietnam, led by coach Park Hang-seo, and led Korea to the finals. And in the fateful final match between Korea and Japan, he scored the first goal in overtime, giving Korea the gold medal. At that time, the scene where Lee Seung-woo hit the net with a strong shot after Son Heung-min’s dribble still remains vivid in fans’ memories. Also, the confidence with which he went up to the billboard and held the ceremony also refreshed the hearts of the people.온라인바카라
Five years later, Lee Seung-woo, who is currently playing in the K-League, left a message of support to his juniors through a phone interview with Star News. He expressed his faith, saying, “The Asian Games are an important and big competition in many ways, so the pressure on the players will be very great. However, I believe that the players will overcome it well. There are so many good players in the K-League that I think they will do well and come back.”
Although he spoke calmly, his sincerity toward his juniors was clearly felt. Perhaps it was because of the difficult process he went through five years ago. Recalling that time, Seungwoo Lee said, “All I could think was, ‘Let’s do well no matter what.’ From the preliminaries before the start of the competition to the finals, I was always nervous in every game,” and repeatedly understood the pressure from his juniors.
As a senior, there wasn’t much ‘tip’ I could give. You just have to put all your effort into it. Seungwoo Lee emphasized, “From the group stage to the tournament, every single game is important. We cannot let our guard down,” and added, “We must do our best from start to finish.”
He continued, “The competition five years ago was even more difficult due to environmental factors such as training grounds, stadiums, food, and hot weather. Moreover, the Asian Games have a tight schedule,” and added, “I haven’t been to China, but I think the environment will be better than Indonesia. Everyone will do well. “He cheered for his juniors.”
The presence of the ‘eldest brother’ wild card is also expected to be a great help to the national team. Baek Seung-ho (26, 3 Jeonbuk Hyundai), a close friend of Lee Seung-woo and Barcelona youth team, joined the Hwang Seon-hongho wild card. In addition, national team defenders Seol Young-woo (25, Ulsan Hyundai) and Park Jin-seop (28, Jeonbuk Hyundai) plan to securely lock the back door with their juniors.
Lee Seung-woo also recalled the memory of winning the championship with Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Hwang Ui-jo (Norwich City), and Cho Hyun-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), who were wild cards in the 2018 tournament. He said, “We also received a lot of help on and off the field from Heung-min, Hyun-woo, and Ui-jo. In particular, the older players’ performances were outstanding. Wild Card’s mere presence is a great help to the younger players.” He said, “These wild card players are also players who go beyond their roles. I believe they will achieve great things.”
At the same time, he chose his friend Baek Seung-ho as ‘a player who can give a blow when it is important’. Lee Seung-woo said, “I think Baek Seung-ho will do one thing. As a midfielder, he is a player who is good at passing and can score goals, so I am looking forward to it.”
When asked if he thought it would be possible for Korea to win their third consecutive Asian Games title, he replied, “I think they can do well because they are players with good abilities.”
Lastly, Seungwoo Lee sent a message of affectionate support to his juniors. He said emphatically, “Now it’s my turn to cheer on my juniors on TV. I hope to win a gold medal and achieve our third consecutive victory.”