“I’m here to help you win.”
Lee Kang-in stabs, Kylian Mbappe (France) and Neymar (Brazil) rock the net. South Korean football fans’ happy fantasies have come true. Lee Kang-in, dubbed a “football genius” as a child, fills the void left by Lionel Messi (Argentina), the “God of Football”. Korean football fans went crazy when it was confirmed that Lee Kang-in would be joining Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
On the 9th (KST), PSG announced, “We have finalised the transfer with RCD Mallorca. We have signed Lee Kang-in until 2028,” the club announced. Lee, who made his debut in the Spanish Primera Liga with Valencia CF in October 2018, joins the French club with 10 goals in 134 official matches (3 goals in 62 games for Valencia and 7 goals in 72 games for Mallorca) and a fresh start in Ligue 1.
The transfer fee for Lee, who will wear the number 19 shirt, was not disclosed but is estimated to be €22 million (approximately $314 million). Lee’s estimated fee is the second highest transfer fee for a South Korean player in history, behind Son Heung-min’s €30 million move to Tottenham Hotspur in 2015. His salary has also risen dramatically. Lee, who was earning €400,000 a year at Mallorca, will reportedly earn €4 million a year at PSG, a nearly 10-fold increase. That’s not all. The club has also signed a deal with Mallorca that will see 20 per cent of the transfer fee go to Lee if he moves to another club, meaning he will pocket an additional €4.4 million ($6.87 billion) of the transfer fee.
Lee first came to prominence on the 2007 TV programme “Fly, Shoot, Doll”, where he showed off his skills that were far ahead of his peers at the time. His coach, the late Yoo Sang-cheol, once gave him a thumbs-up, saying, “It’s hard to believe he’s only 7 years old.” He kicked the ball so well.
The immense talent took Lee to Spain in 2011, where he started playing football with the Valencia youth team. As he progressed, Lee became the youngest South Korean player to make his first-team debut at the age of 17 years and 253 days. In January 2019, he made his debut in the Primera Liga. At the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, Lee was awarded the Golden Ball for his outstanding performances in seven games with two goals and four assists.
With the likes of Messi, Sergio Aguero (Argentina) and Paul Pogba (France) having won the U-20 World Cup Golden Ball and gone on to become superstars, Lee’s future looked bright. However, back at Valencia, Lee struggled to compete for a starting spot and was forced to make a move that was effectively a release. Moving to Mallorca, Lee took his failure and gritted his teeth, and the results were immediate. Lee became the ace of Mallorca’s attack and became a player the world watched, even picking up an assist at the World Cup in Qatar last December.
Atletico Madrid were initially thought to be his destination after the 2022-2023 season. However, the deal fell through due to a disagreement over the transfer fee. 메이저사이트