|Date of birth||2 July 1988|
|Place of birth||Seoul, South Korea|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Right winger|
|Current club||Bolton Wanderers|
|2001–2003||Dobong Middle School|
|2005–2006||South Korea U-15||6||(6)|
|2006–2007||South Korea U-19||18||(1)|
|2007–2008||South Korea U-20||7||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15 December 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
|Revised Romanization||I Cheong-Yong|
Lee Chung-Yong (Hangul: 이청용; born 2 July 1988) is a South Korean footballer who plays for Football League Championship club Bolton Wanderers and the South Korean national team. He is nicknamed "Blue Dragon", which is a literal translation of his given name "Chung-Yong", derived from Hanja, 청용(靑龍). Ever since his early debut at the age of 18 for the South Korean side FC Seoul in the season 2006 of K-League,(whose top division is retitled "K-League Classic", effective from season 2013) Lee has gathered much attention from domestic football fans of South Korea in general, particularly because in South Korean football, where rookies were mostly make their entrance into professional clubs through draft system, dropping out of middle school to sign a contract with a top division football club was a very rare case. Lee is widely regarded as one of the top young South Korean footballing prospects.
Lee Chung-Yong's football career started at the age of 11. Although considered to have started too late by some, his enormous talent was evident and his reputation grew among the Seoul youth football development community.
In 2003, FC Seoul, as then known Anyang LG Cheetahs in its modern incarnation, then manager Cho Kwang-Rae began focusing on developing a youth academy within the team. Lee, who, at the time, was attending Dobong Middle School caught the eye of a scout and manager Cho decided to attend his match. After watching only the first half, he was certain Lee had a massive potential, and decided to sign him on the spot. Subsequently, Lee dropped out of the school and joined FC Seoul. Dropping out of middle school could mean a lot later in his life since Korea does not draft middle school dropouts for its military. FC Seoul at the time signed a handful of youngsters this way, with the most prominent ones being Lee Chung-yong himself, Ko Yo-Han, Koh Myong-Jin and Song Jin-Hyung. For the next several years, Lee honed his skills in the FC Seoul reserves along with close friend and international teammate Ki Sung-Yueng.
In 2007, Şenol Güneş, famous for coaching the 3rd placed Turkey national squad in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, joined FC Seoul as manager. After watching the youngsters Koh Myong-Jin, Ki Sung-Yueng and Lee Chung-Yong carefully, he recognized the players' significant abilities and aimed to use them as important elements in the FC Seoul senior first-team. That season, Lee Chung-Yong began to break into the first team, playing in 15 league matches and scoring 3 goals.
The following year, in 2008, he cemented his place as a regular for FC Seoul, playing 22 league matches, scoring 5 goals and providing 6 assists. Both he and Ki Sung-Yong won many domestic league fans for their exciting link-up play and terrific individual qualities so much so that they were both given the affectionate moniker "Ssang Yong" or "Double Dragon", a play on their given names.
In the 2009 season, Lee continued his rampant form and he completed a hat-trick of assists in the opening game of the season against Chunnam Dragons on 7 March 2009. On 4 April 2009, he scored the winning goal in a match against Seoul's fierce rival, Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
FC Seoul confirmed that Lee Chung-Yong had agreed a deal to join Premier League side Bolton Wanderers. A statement from FC Seoul said: "The contract will be signed officially after a work permit is issued." On 29 July 2009, it was announced that he had been granted a work permit allowing him to complete a £2.2m transfer from FC Seoul. He had already agreed personal terms on a three-year contract with Bolton the previous week and also underwent a successful medical. The transfer was officially confirmed on 14 August 2009, Lee was reported as stating "I am looking forward to this new chapter in my career and cannot wait to play my first game for my new club." With Gary Megson's dismissal in December 2009, he became his last full signing for the club.
He made his first Bolton appearance on 15 August 2009 when coming on as a substitute for Gavin McCann in the 1–0 defeat against Sunderland at the Reebok Stadium and scored his first goal, the winning goal of the match in a 2–1 victory against Birmingham City on 26 September. He was named Man of the Match in the match against Tottenham Hotspur, providing teammate Ricardo Gardner with an assist. As a result of these good performances, Lee was named in the ESPN Soccernet Team of the Week twice in a row. His terrific form for his rookie season continued weeks later, after the international break, as he assisted Ivan Klasnic's first goal in the 3–3 draw against Manchester City at the Reebok Stadium. He was consequently named 'Man of the Match' by Sky Sports for his significant attacking presence and dribbling prowess: "The South Korean was a constant thorn in City's side and looks to be a real find for Gary Megson." 
At the end of his first season, Lee won a triumvirate of awards including Bolton Player of the Year, Players' Player of the Year, and best newcomer awards. There was interest from Liverpool after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but Lee stated that it was likely that he would remain at Bolton for the 2010–11 Premier League, and on 25 November he signed an extension to his contract, keeping him at the club until 2013.
During a pre-season friendly against Newport County on 30 July 2011, Lee suffered a broken leg after a challenge from Tom Miller. It was initially reported that the injury would rule Lee out for a minimum of nine months, but by early September, Bolton were hopeful that the player would return before the end of the season. Towards the end of April 2012, Lee started training with the Bolton first-team again and was hopeful of playing a game or two before the season concluded.
On 4 May 2012, manager Owen Coyle ruled out a return for Lee that season, but just two days later Lee returned to action as a second half substitute for Martin Petrov in Bolton's 2–2 draw with West Bromwich Albion, and received a standing ovation from the home crowd. On 29 May 2012 it was confirmed that Lee had signed an unannounced new contract the previous summer, extending his stay at the Reebok to the end of the 2014–15 season. Every game Chung-Yong had scored in for Bolton, Bolton had won. This streak was broken however on 27 October 2012 as Bolton lost 2–1 to Middlesbrough with Bolton's goal coming from Lee.
In the 2012-2013 season, Lee was eased back into the first team fold as he worked his way back to full fitness. After such a serious injury, it took Lee several months to regain the sharpness that he had displayed in his first two seasons with the club. However, during the second half of the season, Lee appeared to be getting closer to the form which marked him out as one of South Korea's top footballing talents. He finished the season with a respectable return of four goals and seven assists in the Championship.
Lee's international career started as part of the South Korea national under-20 football team in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Despite impressing against quality opposition including USA, Pato-led Brazil, and Poland, South Korea failed to make the cut for the next round. His individual performances, however, were enough to impress many neutrals and rumored to have caught the eye of many European scouts.
After his U-20 tenure, Lee Chung-Yong was part of the unsuccessful 2008 Beijing Olympics U-23 national team. When 2008 Beijing Olympics were being held, Koreans nominated Lee as the most anticipated player among Korean soccer players. His first under-23 match was against Syria in Damascus, 17 October 2007.
On 31 May 2008, Lee was given his national team debut by manager Huh Jung-Moo in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification match against Jordan. He would score his first national team goal against the same team in the return leg at home on 5 September 2008 in Seoul World Cup Stadium. Lee Chung-Yong was one of the most consistent and important players in South Korea's successful seventh consecutive qualification for the World Cup and eighth overall, an Asian record.
On 17 June 2010, Lee scored an injury time goal in the first half against Argentina in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Lee scored again in the round of 16 match against Uruguay in South Korea's 2–1 defeat. He was named in the top 10 rising stars of the 2010 FIFA World Cup by Sports Illustrated.
On 15 October 2013, Lee made his 50th appearance for the Korean national team in a friendly match against Mali. Lee provided two assists as Korea won the game 3-1. One month later, Lee captained the side in a friendly against Switzerland and scored the winning goal with an 87th minute header. It was his first international goal in more than three years, his last coming in the 2010 World Cup.
Club career statistics
- As of 15 December 2013
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
- FC Seoul
- K-League Cup Top Assistor : 2007
- K-League Best XI : 2008
- Bolton Player of the Year : 2010
- Bolton Players' Player of the Year : 2010
- Bolton Best Newcomer Award : 2010
- North West Premier League Player of the Year : 2009–10
- Statistics correct as of matches played 19 November 2013
|2008||5||0||3||3||2||1||8||2||4||2010 WCQ (AFC)|
|2009||5||0||1||6||0||4||11||0||5||2010 WCQ (AFC)|
|2012||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||2014 WCQ (AFC)|
|2013||3||0||0||7||1||3||10||1||3||2014 WCQ (AFC)|
- Results list South Korea's goal tally first.
|1.||5 September 2008||Seoul||Jordan||1–0||1–0||Friendly match|
|2.||14 November 2008||Doha||Qatar||1–0||1–1||Friendly match|
|3.||16 May 2010||Seoul||Ecuador||2–0||2–0||Friendly match|
|4.||17 June 2010||Johannesburg||Argentina||1–2||1–4||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|5.||26 June 2010||Port Elizabeth||Uruguay||1–1||1–2||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|6.||15 November 2013||Seoul||Switzerland||2-1||2-1||Friendly match|
Lee and his girlfriend attended the same middle school. Lee dislikes drinking and smoking, and even refrains from drinking coffee. He currently spends 2–3 hours a day studying English and also attends English classes. Since moving to the UK, Lee has developed a closer friendship with his national team captain Park Ji-Sung who played for local rivals Manchester United. There is a video on YouTube that shows his personal life since moving to the UK. Lee is known to Bolton fans and team-mates as "Chungy." 
- "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- "월드컵 허정무호 젊은 '쌍룡', 이란 격파 선봉에". NEWSIS. 20 January 2009.
- Dart, Tom (12 January 2009). "Football's top 50 rising stars". London: The Times. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "한국 축구, 이제 이청용의 시대다" (in Korean). sportalkorea. 23 June 2010.
- "[위원석의하프타임] 실패가 두렵지 않은 이청용의 네번째 도전" (in Korean). Sportsseoul. 21 July 2009.
- "태극전사 라이프 스토리② 이청용"딱 10분 보니 큰 일낼 놈이다 싶었죠"…"가족은 나의 힘" 이청용, 가족사진 공개" (in Korean). The Dong-a Ilbo. 12 October 2009.
- Nakrani, Sachin (22 July 2009). "Bolton to complete Lee Chungyong signing". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- "Lee Chung-Yong Deal Complete". Bolton Wanderers Football Club. 14 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- Shaw, Phil (27 September 2009). "Birmingham City 1 Bolton Wanderers 2: match report". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010.[dead link]
- "Honours even in Reebok thriller". Sky Sports.
- "Lee set for new Bolton deal". Sky Sports. 9 September 2010.
- Iles, Mark (25 November 2010). "Chung-Yong signs new Wanderers deal". The Bolton News (Manchester). Retrieved 25 November 2010.
- "Chung-Yong Injury Update". bwfc.co.uk. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
- "Chung-Yong Lee hopes for early Wanderers return". Bolton News. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
- "Coyle rules out Lee recall". Bolton News. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- "Chung-Yong deal flies under the radar". Bolton News. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- Stevenson, Jonathan (17 June 2010). "Argentina 4–1 South Korea". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 2010-06-17.
- Chowdhury, Saj (26 June 2010). "Uruguay 2–1 South Korea". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- Chang, Jen (10 July 2010). "Ozil and Coentrao among players whose stock rose at the World Cup". Sports Illustrated.
- "이청용 "1년 사귄 중학교 동창 여친 큰 힘 돼"" (in Korean). Sports Seoul. 12 October 2009.
- "Spice boys cook up a storm". The Sun (United Kingdom). 27 March 2010.
- Bolton Wanderers Team Profiles Chung-Yong Lee
- Lee Chung-Yong at kleague.com
- National Team Player Record (Korean)
- Lee Chung-Yong – FIFA competition record
- Lee Chung-Yong at National-Football-Teams.com
- Profile from Soccerbase
- Premier League profile