At a press conference held after announcing the final list of the 2023 Qatar Asian Cup at CGV Yongsan-gu, Seoul on the 28th, Jürgen Klinsmann (Germany) explained why he selected Lee Ki-je (Suwon Samsung) despite concerns about his performance and poor sense of practice due to his team’s failure to play at the end of last season.
Since taking over as the head coach of the South Korean national soccer team in March, Lee has convened a single event until last month. Lee has started a total of 10 A-matches, including the second qualifying round (Singapore and China) for the 2026 World Cup in North and Central America, while Lee has played a total of nine A-matches. Among them, he played full-time in six matches.
However, Lee Ki-je’s position in Suwon has declined sharply recently, unlike his consistent appearance in the Clinsman Lake. In fact, he has not played since the end of September. Excluding one game that he could not play due to accumulated disciplinary action against warnings, he was excluded from the call-up list or even listed on the candidate list in five games. Lee Ki-je’s last appearance as a member of Suwon was on September 30.랭크카지노
Still, Lee chose Lee Ki-je in both October and November. However, Lee raised concerns over his below-expected performance. In particular, Lee made a fatal mistake in the match against China and almost provided an excuse for losing a point. Public opinion criticized Lee, saying it was a mistake caused by his poor performance and poor sense of play in the K-League, while claiming that he recruited players without properly watching the K-League.
Klinsmann, however, did not care about critical public opinions. The team included Lee Ki-je in its final roster for the 2023 Qatar Asian Cup. This is a glimpse of how much Klinsmann trusts Lee. Along with Lee, Klinsmann selected Kim Jin-soo (Jeonbuk Hyundai) to join the left fullback position. He selected Kim Tae-hwan and Seol Young-woo (Ulsan HD) to play for the right fullback position.
“Lee Ki-je had a tough season in Suwon this year. We don’t know why he didn’t play, and there were some parts that we couldn’t care about or what happened,” Klinsmann said. “He showed good attitude during the training and showed good performance in his role when he participated in the game.”
“Both fullbacks had concerns during the selection process. We tried to find young players, and fortunately, the right fullback continues to hire Seol Young-woo after selecting him. However, Kim Jin-soo and Lee Ki-je will continue to play for the left side until the 2023 Qatar Asian Cup,” he said. “I think Kim Jin-soo and Lee Ki-je have shown enough qualities. In particular, Lee Ki-je has played his role better than anyone else.”
In the end, it was naturally up to Lee to repay Coach Klinsmann’s choice and trust. If Lee is given a chance to play at the 2023 Qatar Asian Cup, he should prove himself by showing good performances while overcoming concerns over his deteriorating sense of performance and practicality. If Lee fails to prove it, both Coach Klinsmann and Lee may not be free from criticism.