Midfielder Lee Dong-gyeong (27), who returned to her home team, Ulsan Hyundai, stared at one spot in the clubhouse.안전사이트
On a display stand in the middle of the lobby, there was a new gold-colored championship trophy. Even when Lee Dong-gyeong was playing in Ulsan, the vacant spot with the phrase ‘For The Next’ was filled with the 2022 K League 1 championship cup, which was lifted after 17 years.
Lee Dong-kyung met with a reporter on the 29th of last month and said, “Ulsan, my favorite team, has not changed since before leaving for Germany. While I was away, there was only one championship cup,” he said, “I want to hear it myself this time.”
■A win suppressor? Winning Maker!
Lee Dong-gyeong moved on loan to Schalke 04 in the German Bundesliga 2nd division in January 2022, and recently returned to Ulsan via Hansa Rostock.
Lee Dong-gyeong, who was a popular midfielder in his national soccer team, was unable to show his skills to the fullest due to a fracture of the spine in his foot a month after moving to Schalke. In the end, he had to return without any other income while overlapping his military duty.
Lee Dong-gyeong, who was like that, expressed more regret at the championship cup because of the sadness of not being able to cross the championship threshold every year. Having joined Ulsan in 2018, he has no winning cups that he has personally lifted like a lie.
It is famous that Ulsan repeatedly slipped to second place after running in the lead until winning the K-League 1 last year. The last victory in the Korea Football Association (FA) Cup was just before his joining. Even the Asian Champions League (ACL) was confirmed after he returned home due to injury. Among some fans who hate him, there was even an expression called a ‘win suppressor’.
Lee Dong-kyung said, “When I was playing, I was only runner-up, but when I won the K-League 1, there were people around me who asked, ‘Isn’t it unfair?’ I was so happy to watch as I prepared for the game in the Rostock locker room on the day Ulsan decided to win. It was just a pity that I wasn’t there,” he recalled.
What comforts Lee Dong-kyung is the fact that Ulsan is highly likely to lift the K-League 1 trophy once again this year. Ulsan is running ahead with 13 points ahead of second-place Pohang Steelers after 20 games, so a second consecutive defeat is likely.
Lee Dong-gyeong laughed and said, “I think I’ll really win this year if I don’t cause damage.”
Lee Dong-gyeong, who is preparing to enlist in the Armed Forces Sports Unit (Gimcheon Sangmu) next year, is also greedy for ACL. He said, “Considering the business schedule, I think I will be able to enlist next summer. At this rate, ACL can afford to challenge for the championship. It is an opportunity to break the jinx of being a championship suppressor and be called a championship maker,” he repeatedly emphasized.
■Look forward to the experience of a German ‘mercenary’
Lee Dong-kyung believes that the experience she has accumulated in Germany will help her win.
Originally, he was a ‘technician’ who kicked the ball beautifully, but in Germany he has grown into an all-weather midfielder who is proficient in physical activity and physical combat. His desperate mindset while playing as a foreign player in a foreign country cannot be overlooked.
Lee Dong-gyeong said, “I was a mercenary in Germany. I learned what kind of effort I have to make to survive as a soccer player,” he said.
Lee Dong-gyeong is now eagerly awaiting his comeback. Having recently registered as a player in the Professional Football Federation, he is expected to get a chance to play in the right wing, where Um Won-sang left due to injury. Lee Dong-gyeong said, “(Eom) Won-sang is not as fast as he is, but he is confident that he can attack well with the side defenders. After being recognized by coach Hong Myung-bo first, he wants to challenge the Taegeuk mark again. I will show you again what kind of player Lee Dong-gyeong is.”