S. Korean midfielder Lee Kang-in joins PSG

July 10, 2023

South Korean midfielder Lee Kang-in is taking his talent to Paris.

Lee has signed for Paris Saint-Germain, following two seasons with the Spanish side RCD Mallorca, the French league champion announced on its website Sunday. The deal will keep Lee, the first South Korean to don PSG’s red and blue, in France through 2028.

“It’s incredible to be able to join Paris Saint-Germain, it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world, with some of the greatest players in the world,” Lee said in a comment posted on the website. “I can’t wait to start this new adventure.”

Lee, 22, had spent his entire club career in Spain, beginning in the third tier with Valencia in 2017.

The precocious playmaker won the Golden Ball as the MVP of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup as an 18-year-old, after helping South Korea to a runner-up finish.

Lee became a minor celebrity of sorts in South Korea at just 6 years old, when he starred in a football reality television show competing against others around the country.

Lee joined Valencia’s academy in the summer of 2011 at 10. Seven years later, in October 2018, Lee became the youngest South Korean to make a first-team debut in Europe.

Internationally, Lee has collected 14 caps. With his flashy skills and playmaking chops, Lee has grown into one of the most popular national team members. The left-footed midfielder assisted on both of South Korea’s goals in a 3-2 loss to Ghana in Group H action at last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

PSG have nine of the last 11 Ligue 1 titles, including the past two in a row.

Lee will be joining who’s who in football, such as the French superstar Kylian Mbappe and Brazilian icon Neymar.

Until last season, Argentina legend Lionel Messi had formed a lethal attacking trio alongside Mbappe and Neymar. With Messi now gone to the United States, Lee, who had six goals and seven assists for Mallorca last season, will now get a chance to prove his worth in France.

“My position on the pitch can vary, I am a midfielder that is capable of playing on both wings. I’m a skilful player who’s comfortable on the ball,” Lee was quoted as saying on the team website. “I’ve got a lot of desire and a thirst to win. I’m here to help the team as a whole, with the aim of helping the team to win.”