“A lot of things have happened in the last two months. I scored a goal against Atlético Madrid and was selected for the national team of my dreams. I mainly write my story as lyrics, and if there were many dark songs before, I think the song I am writing now will be a bright and hopeful story.”

A soccer player who made his name known through rap rather than soccer, wore the Taegeuk mark for the first time before turning 30. This is the story of Gwangju FC midfielder Lee Sun-min (29), who was selected for the ‘Team K-League’ last month and received attention for scoring the winning goal against Spain’s prestigious Atletico Madrid.

Lee Soon-min was selected as a ‘surprising’ in the recently announced September A-match roster (25 players). This is the first time that he, who made his professional debut in 2017, wore the Taegeuk mark throughout the national team by age. In a recent interview with the Seoul Economic Daily, Lee Soon-min said, “It’s something I never really thought of,” adding, “I still can’t believe it. After he wakes up, he thinks again, ‘Is this reality?’” he said.

As Lee Soon-min said, not many people thought about his selection for the national team. This is because he was an almost unknown player until a year ago. In 2016, when he was a junior at Yeungnam University, he swept the championship in the Fall University League, U-League, and National Sports Festival, but after signing with Gwangju FC in 2017, he suffered difficulties, such as not being able to play in a single game in the first season. Lee Soon-min said, “I tried to overcome it positively, but it is an undeniable fact that it was difficult. He experienced that the things he had dreamed of since he was a child became small,” he recalled at the time.

Gwangju FC midfielder Lee Soon-min celebrates after scoring a goal in a K-League 1 match against Jeonbuk Hyundai in June. Photo courtesy of Korea Professional Football Federation

It took 3 and a half years before the official debut. For two years from 2018, Lee Sun-min, who played for the Pocheon Citizen Soccer Team in the semi-pro league K3 League (Part 3) as a social worker and performed his defense duties, returned to Gwangju in the second half of 2020 and returned to Gwangju at the age of 26. He made his professional debut. He changed his position to central midfielder from the following year and gradually increased his playing time, and was able to leap to the starting lineup last year.메이저놀이터

Lee Soon-min is famous as a soccer player who raps. He said, “I became interested in Zico’s rap when I was in high school.” He said that he got the courage to debut as a rapper after watching the independent film ‘Delta Boys’. It is about a young man selling saury and others challenging a quartet competition, and I got courage from the line, ‘Are you sure you want to go to the competition to win first place’? As a rapper named ‘Wero’, he released 9 rap songs he wrote himself on his social network service (SNS) and YouTube. Last year, he performed a celebratory performance with his own rap at the K League 2 Awards Ceremony and became a hot topic. done.

It was only about a month ago that he received the most spotlight for his soccer game. In the first leg of the Coupang Play Series between Team K-League and Atlético on July 27th, in the 4th minute of extra time in the second half of the 2-2 tight match, he shook the net with a picturesque right-footed kick shot from the penalty arc to score a 3-2 come-from-behind victory. .

Gwangju FC midfielder Lee Soon-min (left) celebrates after scoring the winning goal to make the score 3-2 in the K-League match against Atletico Madrid in July. Photo courtesy of Korea Professional Football Federation

Following a surprise performance against a prestigious European team, Lee Soon-min, who wore the Taegeuk mark for the first time at the late age of 29, will be convened at Incheon International Airport on September 4 and depart for Wales, where the first leg will be held. The national team led by coach Jurgen Klinsmann will face Wales at 3:45 a.m. on the 8th (Korean time) and Saudi Arabia at 1:30 a.m. on the 13th in Newcastle, England.

Lee Soon-min said, “It is a great honor to be selected as a national representative,” but “Being selected was not a dream in itself, but being selected and doing well was a dream, so I think it was the first step towards my dream. I will try to move forward with the second and third steps so that this first step does not become meaningless.” “I think there must be a reason why coach Klinsman chose me. He may not be as flashy as the other players on the national team, but I want to present a look that will give people the perception that ‘this player is an essential player for this team,’” he added.