Min Ju-gyu, who left the big club with the label of failure 4 years ago…”Champion + Scoring King” is a dramatic twist

It worked. After returning to Ulsan Hyundai after four years, striker Lee In-gyu, 33, who said he wanted to add “championship” to his career, got his wish and kissed the championship trophy. He also won the title of top scorer (17 goals) for the second time in his career. It was a season to remember in 2023.토토사이트

A defensive midfielder when he made his professional debut with Goyang Hi FC in the K League 2 in 2013, he was converted to a striker after moving to Seoul Eland in 2015 and soared with 23 goals (40 games). He then spent 2017 with K League 1 side Sangju Sangsang (now Gimcheon Sangsang), where he scored double-digit goals in four consecutive seasons before joining 2019 champions Ulsan. Many wondered if his scoring prowess would translate to the big club. However, he fell short of expectations with five goals and five assists in 28 games that year. It was also his first time competing with top foreign strikers.

In desperation, he left for Jeju United and capitalized on his failure at Ulsan. In 2021, he scored 22 goals (34 games) to become the top scorer for the first time in his career. He also scored 17 goals last year, tying him with Cho Kyu-sung (17 goals – Jeonbuk) for the most. However, he lost the top scorer title to Cho Kyu-sung because he played more games.

He became a free agent ahead of this season and was unexpectedly recruited by coach Hong Myung-bo. It was a tough competition for a starting spot, but he returned to Ulsan after four years because he wanted to add a title to his professional career. His playing time was uneven compared to his time in Jeju, where he actually alternated with Martin Adam (Hungary) as a regular starter, but he did not disappoint. He made the most of the opportunities he was given.

He prioritized team performance over individual scoring. His sincerity and ‘letting go’ of wanting to win led to his goal-scoring prowess. His effective shot-to-shot ratio reached 67% (45 out of 67).

Starting in the final 38th round home match against Jeonbuk Hyundai on the 3rd, In-jong-kyu was silent, tied in goals with Thiago (Daejeon-17 goals), who had added one goal in the final match the day before. However, due to his lack of playing time, he was declared the top scorer before the game even started.

“Yesterday was my mom’s birthday, and I watched Thiago’s game while eating lunch. When I went to the restroom (after Thiago scored), my father and mother’s faces were blank. They asked me to go home,” he laughs. “In the end (Thiago didn’t score), I was just thinking about the team’s victory because I was already the top scorer before today’s game,” he added.

Ulsan, who clinched the title early in the last 35 rounds, celebrated a spectacular coronation with a 1-0 victory thanks to Seol Young-woo’s first-half goal. “When I came to Ulsan after four years, I had the passion and desire to win the championship. The team won last year, so there was pressure on me to do it again when I came, but I’m glad I did.”

Lee became the fifth player in the history of the K League to win the title more than once, following Yoon Sang-chul (1990-1994), Lee Ki-geun (1988-1991), Kim Do-hoon (2000-2003) and Dejan (2011-2012-2013).

The last goal is Tae-Kyum Mark. Despite being called one of the best goalscorers in the K League, he hasn’t been involved with the A team, so it will be interesting to see if he will be on board the Klinsmann ahead of the Asian Cup in Qatar next January. Recently, the national team’s main striker, Hwang Eui-jo (Norwich City), was provisionally suspended for illegal filming.

“I was very disappointed when I was trying to make the national team. Good things will happen if you work hard and be humble,” he said.

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