Lee Kang-in behind Lee Seung-won, Pan Bak wins Bronze Ball “I want to contribute to Korean football”

A star was born at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023, a tournament that featured many unknowns. Lee Seung-won (20, Gangwon FC), who bore a striking resemblance to Lee Kang-in (22, Mallorca), who won the Golden Ball at the last edition of the tournament.

Lee scored from the penalty spot in the 24th minute of South Korea’s 0-1 defeat to Israel in the third-place match at the U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 at La Plata Stadium in La Plata, Argentina, on June 12 (KST). Although South Korea finished the tournament in fourth place with a 1-3 loss, Lee set a new record.

With one goal and one assist since the first group game against France, Lee broke the record for offensive points set by senior Lee Kang-in at the 2019 tournament in Poland. With three goals and four assists in seven games, Lee surpassed Lee Kang-in (two goals and four assists) to become the most prolific South Korean player at a FIFA-sanctioned men’s tournament.

Lee won the Bronze Ball, which is awarded to the tournament’s third-best player. The honor follows the Golden Ball (MVP) and Silver Ball. Lee made history as the third South Korean men’s soccer player to win an individual award at a FIFA Men’s and Women’s World Cup, joining Ulsan Hyundai coach Hong Myung-bo (Bronze Ball at the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup) and Lee Kang-in (Golden Ball at the 2019 U-20 World Cup).

Lee said: “It’s an honor to receive this award on the World Cup stage. I think it’s an achievement that I did not do alone, but with my teammates, and I want to congratulate my teammates as much as I did on behalf of the players,” he said, adding, “It was thanks to the sacrifices and help of my teammates that I was able to achieve such a good result.”

In the absence of stars, Kim Eun Joong-ho, who has been dubbed the “Valley Generation” and “Chin Generation,” stuck together as a team to compete against world-class teams. All 21 members of the squad played their part, but Lee Seung-won was a standout.

An unknown prior to the tournament, Lee played much like Lee Kang-in did four years ago. The attacking midfielder spearheaded South Korea’s attack throughout the tournament with his sharp right-footed kick. Like Lee, he served as a dedicated kicker and was a force from set pieces, including free kicks and corners. When it came down to it, Lee’s right foot was always there. As a result of showing off his abilities on the world stage, he has been hailed as the “new discovery” of Korean soccer.

Lee made his professional debut in a Gangwon jersey in January, but didn’t make his debut until four months later. He has played three games this season for Gangwon’s B team in the semi-professional K4 League (Division 4) and has one assist.

But on the world stage, his talents were on full display. Lee shone from the first match against France, and then went on to score an offensive point in every game except the Gambia match to help lead Korea to the quarterfinals. Her performance was recognized with a bronze ball. 스포츠토토

“I think I realized that there are a lot of really good players in the world. I learned a lot of things from playing against them,” he said, adding, “I want to become a player who can contribute to Korean soccer at the Asian Games, the Olympics, and the adult stage by refining the areas of improvement I felt this time and the strengths I can utilize.”

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