“Military service? I don’t really think about it. Gold medals? They’re heavy.”
That’s what Paris Saint-Germain’s Lee Kang-in, a key member of the Asian Games men’s soccer team, said in his trademark knockabout style after his team’s victory over Japan in the men’s soccer final at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Huanglong Sports Center in Hangzhou, China on Sunday.
Lee has put his heart and soul into this Asian Games. He joined the national team late, in agreement with his club Paris Saint-Germain, and was not at full fitness as he was still dealing with the aftermath of a thigh injury. After missing games one and two, he warmed up with 36 minutes in game three, then gradually increased his playing time, and finally showed his true form in the final, playing 72 minutes.
And with that, Lee Kang-in won his first title under the Korean flag. “It was great,” Lee told reporters in the mix zone after the game. It was my first win for Korea. It will be a special memory and experience for me,” he said. “I’m so happy that I was able to win my goal. I’m thankful to my teammates, my coaching staff, the people who supported me in Korea, and the fans who traveled to Hangzhou.”
With this victory, the 2001-born Lee has also resolved the issue of military service. He was eligible to extend his stay in Europe. However, the party is overwhelmed. “It wasn’t that big of a burden before. Of course, as a soccer player, military service is convenient for players who play abroad. I take it for granted that all men have to go. There’s nothing special about it. Honestly, I don’t think much about it,” he said, causing him to laugh.
Lee even bit down on his gold medal as he hung it around his neck. “It was heavy, but I didn’t feel anything,” he said with his trademark sarcasm. When asked about his favorite moment, he said, “Right now, because I won.”
He didn’t forget to thank Hwang. “I’m so grateful to him,” Lee said. He was criticized even before the tournament started. He always believed in the players. We also believed in him. I hope he will win many more good competitions in the future.”바카라
Now that the Asian Games are over, Hwang will begin preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Lee Kang-in is also of Olympic age. “I don’t know if I can think about it (the Olympics) now that the Asian Games are over, but I want to enjoy it now,” Lee smiled.