Thursday, May 23

Best South Korean Football Players Ever in English Premier League

English Premier League (PL), the most competitive football league in the entire world, has produced world-class players from every nook and corner of the world.

Being a part of this league is like a dream come true for most players. South Korea is one of the most successful footballing nations in Asia and the players from South Korea have showcased their footballing skills in some of the best leagues around the globe including the mighty Premier League.

PL has a huge fan following in Asia and many stars flew to England trying to gain a reputation for themselves as well as for their country.

The players from Asia are not remembered much for their presence in the Premier League while a few managed to put their names in the history of Asian football.

Here are some of the best footballers from South Korea who have appeared in the Premier League.

Lee Young-Pyo

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Lee Young-Pyo, the right-footed left-back, was recognized for his quick speed and dribbling skills.

He left the Dutch club PSV and flocked to England and played for Tottenham Hotspurs in 2005. He quickly impressed fans and the team coach with his speed and technical ability.

Due to his performance, he became a regular player for his team for several seasons. His biggest achievement was surely to be part of the Tottenham team which lifted the EFL cup in 2008. Since then, Tottenham has not won any trophy.

His career as a full-back did not last long as Tottenham signed Gareth Bale in 2007 who could play along the left-hand side. So, he was forced to sit on the bench and left Spurs for Borussia Dortmund in 2008 after 3 years in England.

He could not play according to his full potential but he is definitely one of the best South Korean footballers in Premier League history.

Lee-Chung Yong

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It is astonishing to know that Lee has spent over a decade in the Premier League but was not known to many.

His career at PL is split into two halves. He joined the PL side Bolton Wanderers in 2009 from his native club FC Seoul.

He immediately started to give his best in his debut league and made a huge impact on his team. His tricks and pace became a nightmare for the defenders.

His form in his debut season was so outstanding that he earned Bolton’s player of the season award in the 2009/10 season.

His outstanding form continued for some seasons before injury deprived him from playing furthermore putting his career in PL to an end.

Recurring injuries hindered his career both at Bolton and Crystal Palace which made him move to Germany’s second-tier team VFL Bochum in 2018.

Ki -Sung Yueng

In 2012, Ki was signed by Swansea for about  6 million on a three-year contract. He started as a central midfielder and drew praise and appreciation from supporters and critics because of his passing skills.

He played as a winger before joining Swansea and had switched his position during his tenure at Swansea.

He was loaned to another Premier League club Sunderland in the 2013 season and again returned to play for Swansea in the 2014-15 season where he scored 8 goals in 33 games becoming Swansea’s player of the season as well as earning two Korean footballers of the year awards.

He then failed to repeat his outstanding form for Newcastle in 2018 and left the PL moving to La Liga with Real Mallorca in 2019, but he still is one of the best South Korean footballers ever to grace the Premier League.

Park-Ji Sung

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The most successful Asian footballer in history, Park was one of the prominent players during his tenure at Manchester United where he played with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, and Ryan Giggs under the great Sir Alex Ferguson.

Park was able to play anywhere from full-back to central midfield or as a winger position gave him plenty of opportunities to foster under Sir Alex.

He was noted for his exceptional fitness level, discipline remarkable endurance level which earned him the nickname ‘Three-Lungs’ Park. Having won around 19 trophies in his career, Park is the first Asian footballer to have won the UEFA Champions League, to play in the UEFA champions league final, and the first Asian footballer to have win the FIFA Club World Cup.

He scored 19 goals in about 134 appearances for United. He was part of the club that won four PL titles, the 2008 UEFA champions league trophy, and the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup.

Gradually, he received fewer call-ups and less playing time for the Manchester United squad which made him leave the club in 2012.

His legacy as an Asian Footballer is genuinely unmatched and he will remain in the hearts of Asian football fans for a long period

Son Heung-Min

The most promising winger of modern times, Son was already considered one of the best wingers when he moved to Tottenham from German club Bayer Leverkusen in 2015. Currently, he is the only player who can match the legacy of the great Park-Ji Sung as the most successful Asian footballer of the 21st century.

Son’s pace, trickery, and vision for goal are a threat to modern-day defenders. Also noted for his finishing, ability to score from both feet and good link-up play makes him not only one of the best South Korean Football Players but also one of the best players in Asian Football history.

His unbreakable bonding with his Spurs teammate, Harry Kane is one of the deadliest duos in European football.

He has scored about 95 goals and assisted 47 times in his 235th appearance for Spurs, making him the only Asian with the highest number of goals in PL history. In the 2021-22 season, Son scored 23 goals in PL excluding penalties, which made him the winner of the Premier League Golden Boot becoming the first Asian Player to do so.

He has won numerous awards including the Tottenham player of the year award, the 6 times best Asian footballer award, and many more.

The remarkable solo goal he scored tricking all the opponent players against Burnley in the 2020 season was the most memorable moment of his career. He won the FIFA Ferenc Puskas award for that particular goal which took his fame and popularity to another level. Undoubtedly, he is the best Korean Footballer of all time.

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