I gained wings and climbed the ‘flower road’. This is the story of Lee Kang-in (22, Paris Saint-Germain), who solved his military service problem by winning a gold medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games (AG).
The biggest interest in this tournament was Lee Kang-in’s participation. Because it was a competition with a ‘military exemption’ at stake, public attention was focused on Lee Kang-in’s participation even before the opening. I did it proudly. The U-24 national soccer team, including Lee Kang-in, defeated Japan and won the gold medal.
After winning the long-awaited gold medal, Lee Kang-in said, “I don’t think (the attention) was a big burden. He said calmly, “I think it would be convenient for me to pursue my career as an athlete if I received military service exemption,” and “I honestly didn’t think much about it because it’s something that Korean men should naturally accept.”
The effect of escaping military issues is beyond imagination. Above all, the biggest benefit is that you can travel overseas without any restrictions. Korean players who must serve in the military usually give up trying for overseas leagues and return to the K-League in their late 20s. However, when the military issue is resolved, the story changes. His salary will soar, and he can continue his European career.스포츠토토
Examples of good use of this are Son Heung-min (Tottenham) and Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich). The two players are continuing their brilliant careers after winning the gold medal at Jakarta-Palembang AG in 2018. Son Heung-min received military service benefits in this tournament, which was virtually his last opportunity, and later enjoyed his heyday by becoming the top scorer in the English Premier League (EPL). If it had not been for AG winning, Son Heung-min would not be where he is today.
Kim Min-jae also began living overseas in 2019 after resolving his military problem. He spent two years in Beijing Guoan (China) and then took on the challenge of appearing on the Turkiye stage. Kim Min-jae, who had a dream of advancing to the big leagues, was able to take on the challenge without time constraints, so he was able to build his skills by experiencing relatively easy stages. Kim Min-jae, who played in Italy, eventually emerged as a world-class defender.
Lee Kang-in can also follow in the footsteps of his predecessors. Lee Kang-in, who already belongs to a world-renowned team, is considered one of the first Korean players with ‘unrivaled talent.’ Even before moving to PSG, he received offers from many prestigious teams. Some say that now the only thing left for him to do is to become ‘world class’.
Above all, their ‘young age’ is their greatest strength. Lee Kang-in, 22, solved the military problem five years ago at the same age as Kim Min-jae and Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton) and Hwang In-beom (Zvezda). Of the three at the time, only Hwang Hee-chan, who played for Hamburg (Germany), played in Europe, and the rest were domestic players. They took on the challenge on the European stage for the next five years and achieved results.
Lee Kang-in’s ‘starting point’ is different. Having proven his skills in the Spanish Primera Liga since he was a teenager, he became a member of a team capable of winning trophies such as the French Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League (UCL). This is why the public’s expectations are focused on Lee Kang-in, who solved the military problem.