Asian Players in Europe

Lee Seung-woo becomes the first Korean player to score in Serie A in the last 5,943 days

written by Chang-hoon Oh

On May 5, AC Milan defeated Hellas Verona 4:1 at San Siro. Hellas Verona have mathematically been relegated along with Benevento.

The only consolation came from the 20-year-old Korean who pulled one back with a volley. It was Lee’s first goal for Hellas Verona.

Ex-Barcelona youngster Lee joined the newly promoted Verona this season. As Verona were in a slump, however, the team could not afford to give the 20-year-old opportunities. Lee made a debut against Lazio in September last year, but could not find his place on the field in the following months.

April was a turning point for Lee. Korea’s rising star has shown a decent performance every time he plays; and on 224th day since his debut, Lee finally bagged a late consolation.

It has been 5,943 days since a Korean player scored in Serie A. The only other Korean player who played in Serie A was 2002 World Cup legend Ahn Jung-hwan. Ahn’s last goal came on January 27, 2002 against Verona. 16 years and three months later, Lee has become the second player to put his name on the scoreboard in Italy.

Though the team will not stay in the first division, the fact that Lee scored before relegation could be a good sign.