The 43,520 spectators at the Busan Asiad main stadium on Wednesday had a double treat with the Coupang Play series between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Jeonbuk Hyundai. First up was the ‘New Parisian’ Lee Kang-in (22-Paris Saint-Germain). Fans wearing PSG jerseys with Lee’s name and number 19 were overwhelmingly present, with placards showing their affection for Lee, such as “Lee Kang-in, marry me” and “Lee Kang-in, my country”. “Wow” cheers erupted every time Lee was shown on the scoreboard as he sat on the bench. He was popular like a celebrity idol.
Lee started to warm up around the 12th minute of the second half and was replaced by rookie striker Hugo Ekitiike in the 24th minute. The quiet stadium suddenly erupted. For the next 20 minutes or so, Lee was on the pitch, avoiding any hard work like sprinting or shooting due to the lingering effects of his thigh injury, but he still dazzled the fans by exchanging balls with Neymar and making sensational out-and-out passes to the flanks. As Paris Saint-Germain coach Enrique said in his press conference the day before, Lee was “a pleasure to watch”. “It’s hard to give an opinion because he only played for a short time today,” said Jeonbuk coach Dan Petrescu, who played against Lee, “but he’s definitely a talented player in terms of speed, passing, goal-scoring ability, especially the final kill pass, and that’s why Paris signed him.”
But it was Brazilian superstar Neymar who shone the brightest in the match. Neymar, who had gotten so close to Lee during their tour of Japan that he had to prank him, showed his true colors in Busan. Neymar, who injured his ankle in a match for his club in February and spent about six months rehabilitating and training, returned to action in the starting lineup. Concerns about his match fitness were unfounded. Within the first four minutes of the game, Neymar set the stadium ablaze with a sensational heel pass and a display of plantar skill. The fans reacted to his every dribble and pass, and it was clear how much fun one of the ‘World Class’ can have in a friendly.
Neymar, who scored the first goal with his right foot in the 41st minute, calmly converted Fabian Luis’ pass in the 38th minute. Neymar embraced Lee Kang-in after the goal. Five minutes later, he assisted Marco Asensio’s third goal with a deft heel pass. “Neymar made the difference,” said Petrescu, giving a thumbs-up to his opponent. Ahn Hyun-beom, who played against Neymar on the left wing from his right defensive position, was tongue-in-cheek when he said, “I felt the difference in the moment.” Moon Sun-min, who wanted to wear Neymar’s jersey but was unsuccessful in his bid, said, “The Brazilian had a unique sense of rhythm, and he couldn’t take the ball away easily.” Baek Seung-ho said, “He can change the game. He always makes amazing plays,” said Baek Seung-ho, who faced Neymar again after the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.바카라사이트
Neymar scored two goals in a friendly against the South Korean A team last year. He also showed his appreciation for Korean culture by visiting an amusement park with his Brazilian teammates. Fans reacted with comments such as “no show,” “new national type,” and “why are you so serious about Korea!”
After the race, Lee did a big lap around the track and greeted fans one-on-one. “I want to thank the fans for coming to the stadium in the hot weather. I will prove that Korean soccer has improved a lot and that we have many good players.” The match between PSG and Jeonbuk concluded this year’s hotly anticipated Coupang Play Series. Team K League and Atletico Madrid, Man City and Atletico, and the three matches leading up to this one were attended by an average of 55,036 fans.