The hedgehog was engaged in a fight with

Read More

Lee Gi-je, the defender leading the Suwon attack, had a reason to call only Klins 

Lee Gi-je (32), a left-sided defender of the Suwon Samsung in the domestic professional football K League 1 (division 1), was called by Jurgen Klinsmann, the national soccer team coach. In a situation where a large number of 2022 FIFA World Cup members were selected, Lee Gi-je joined in place of Hong-cheol (Daegu FC), who injured knee ligaments. Lee Ki-je was selected for the first time in the A national team since June 2021, when the second qualifying round for the Qatar tournament was in progress. 

Lee Ki-je, the main character of the ‘surprise selection’, said in a phone interview with this magazine, “I think I was called by coach Klinsman because I showed steady performance, such as being crowned the top helper in the first division last season.” I thought it was number 3,” he said. Lee Ki-je recorded 1 goal and 14 assists (excluding the promotion playoff record) in 35 games in the first division last season, becoming the king of help.

Coach Klinsman seems to have selected Lee Ki-je to test his ‘attack soccer’. At the press conference for the inauguration of the national team command tower, he expressed his aspirations, saying, “I prefer a 4-3 victory over a 1-0 victory.” Lee Ki-je, along with Kim Jin-soo (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), is one of the most active left-sided defenders in the league for overlapping (acts such as a back player going up to the attacking side and receiving a pass).

Lee Ki-je said, “I also really like attack-oriented soccer. Didn’t coach Klinsman say, ‘I want to win 4-3’? I think I was selected because my soccer style tends to be aggressive. (Although it is a defender) I put 70% on offense and 30% on defense안전놀이터. (To attack) I go up front and produce good results, so my teammates even cover my defense area,” he laughed.

Lee Ki-je’s good form at the beginning of this season also had an impact. Lee Ki-je played in the opening 3 games and led Suwon’s offense with 2 effective shots (joint 1st place), 4 key passes (1st place), 36 passes from the offensive area (1st place), and 12 corner kicks (1st place). Lee Gi-je, who was beaten by Seol Yeong-woo (Ulsan Hyundai) in the same position last season in most offensive indicators, showed the best offensive indicators among defenders in the league at the beginning of this season.

Above all, Lee Ki-je has his own definite strengths. His use of his left foot is top notch throughout the league. He is regarded as the successor of his teammate Yeom Ki-hun. In particular, his long passes and crosses stand out. He is in charge of free kicks and corner kicks within the team. Lee Ki-je also emphasized, “I want to show my strengths in crosses and set-piece situations using my left foot so that I can help the national team.”

Soccer commentator Han Jun-hee said, “Lee Ki-je is one of the players who came closest to entering the World Cup in Qatar. He made the most reasonable choice among the players he could select in a situation where Hong-cheol was out due to injury. Lee Ki-je has the highest creativity in the K-League. He is currently in his second prime. He is a player whose left foot strength is noticeably more prominent than his competitors.”

It is a hot topic that Lee Ki-je will reunite with Celtic striker Oh Hyeon-gyu (22). Oh Hyun-gyu played for Suwon last season and accompanied him as a reserve member at the Qatar World Cup. Oh Hyeon-gyu also joined the ‘Klinsmann 1st’. Lee Ki-je said, “It’s been a while since I met Hyeon-gyu, and I hope the two of them work together to score. There will be high expectations (of the fans) imagining I cross and Oh Hyun-kyu scoring a goal.”

Lee Ki-je has played in 2 A-matches and has not scored yet. He said, “Isn’t the national team a place where players who are good at soccer play? I am grateful for the opportunity to learn a lot and develop one step further,” he said.

Author Image

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *