Ulsan Hyundai’s spiritual leader Lee Cheong-yong shares his thoughts after the match against Jeonbuk Hyundai. Lee Chung-yong plays every game as if it’s his last.
At 7 p.m. on the 19th, the Hana OneQ K League 2023 Round 27 match between Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk Hyundai kicked off at the Ulsan Munsuguk Stadium in Ulsan, South Korea. The result was 1-0 in favor of the home team, Ulsan. Ulsan held on to a goal by Uhm Won-sang in the 27th minute of the second half to take all three points. It was a victory that solidified Ulsan’s hold on first place after a recent slump.
Lee Chung-yong stepped on the ground midway through the second half and immediately made his presence felt. It was literally an awl pass. Lee saw Uhm Won-sang sprinting forward and stabbed the pass. With the hope that Uhm Won-sang would receive it. What was going through his mind at the time?
“I was wondering what to do. I think the timing was right because Won-sang was running so fast. If it was any other player, it would have been hard to catch him. I also thought it was a little long. I was worried about Won-sang’s ankle because he was limping, but it didn’t seem to hurt when he ran. I thought, “Let’s just put it in the space (rather than being confident of a successful pass). Won-sang ran well. The finish was good.”
Lee had some nerves during the game against Jeonbuk. But he put it down to the circumstances.
“Our players got hit, (Seol) Young-woo got hit, and it was a very rough foul in a way. I couldn’t stand by and watch my teammates get hurt, and that’s enough to happen in a derby.”
Ulsan had its largest crowd of the season against Jeonbuk. Reaching over 30,000 people in a province that isn’t even a metropolitan area is a huge accomplishment. That’s why Ulsan head coach Hong Myung-bo called it “the best.” Having played in various stadiums in Europe, including England and Germany, how does Lee feel about Ulsan now?
“There is no difference at all compared to Europe. This season, there are a lot of fans coming to our stadium as well as other stadiums. They enjoy soccer at a high level. Football in my country has improved a lot, I can really feel it. I never imagined this day would come. If you look at this season, the number of fans keeps increasing. I feel good, but at the same time I feel responsible. The fans created the environment and the atmosphere. That’s why we won today.”
Lee Chung-yong has been running as if every moment is his last. I’m at a young age, so I have to cherish every day. He is now looking forward to the upcoming 메이저사이트 Asian Football Confederation Champions League.
“There are world-class players in Asian soccer, and it’s getting more attention. I think it’s good. Whether we win or lose, the level of Asian soccer will continue to rise. When the Champions League comes around, the club will prepare us well. I’m not worried, but I’m looking forward to it.”