|Date of birth||11 April 1985|
|Place of birth||Incheon, South Korea|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Winger / Striker|
(on loan from Ulsan Hyundai)
|2013–||→ Sangju Sangmu (army)||34||(16)|
|2003–2005||South Korea U-20||8||(0)|
|2003–2005||South Korea U-23||17||(5)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10 July 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
|Revised Romanization||Yi Geun-ho|
Lee Keun-ho (Hangul: 이근호, born: 11 April 1985) is a South Korean football player who currently plays for Sangju Sangmu on loan from Ulsan Hyundai and South Korean national team. His pace, work-rate, and link-up plays mark him as a highly rated forward in Asia.
Lee Keun-ho was born in Incheon, South Korea . He is well known for his friendship with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors midfielder Ha Dae-Sung. Having played together in elementary, middle, and high school, they also played together at Daegu FC. His older brother Lee Won-Ho is coaching a local side in Incheon.
Lee Keun-ho played for Boo-Pyung High School as a teenager, lifting three trophies with Kim Seung-Yong, now playing for Gamba Osaka. After graduating Boo-Kyung high school, Lee joined his hometown club, Incheon United in 2004. However, he was surplus to requirement, and usually stayed in the reserve squad.
In 2006 season, he was nominated as the Best Player in the R-League, the Korean reserves league for Incheon Reserves. Then, Daegu FC's manager Byun Byung-joo signed him at the beginning of 2007 season. Newly appointed manager Byun Byung-Joo brought intensively aggressive football to Daegu, named "Bullet Football" and Lee began to claim the spotlight with his powerful dribbles. In his first season, he came 7th in the top scorers chart, then came 5th in the 2008 season. In both seasons, he was top scoring South Korean in the league. During his two seasons at Daegu, he quickly became the fans' favourite, and was nicknamed "Silver Fox" due to his on the ball speed and agility (which resembled one of a fox) and also because of his silvery/grey hair. In his last game for Daegu, against Pohang Steelers in the semi-final of Korean FA Cup, he played full-time even with injury, but failed to rescue his side from a defeat.
Daegu wanted to keep Lee but Lee was willing to move to Europe, so in December 2008, Lee's contract with Daegu FC expired, meaning he became a free agent. Several European clubs showed their interest in acquiring his talents. He was offered a trial at English Premier League club Blackburn Rovers, however he turned them down. In February 2009, it was again rumoured that Blackburn Rovers would be interested in signing the still Free Agent Lee Keun-ho, but again, he rejected the opportunity.
In April 2009, Lee signed for Júbilo Iwata, on a 9 months contract. He made 6 goals and 4 assists in his first 8 league games. In June, he left the club, with some media linking him with Paris Saint-Germain in the French Ligue 1; however, the move did not materialize. In June 2010, he signed for 2008 AFC Champions League winners Gamba Osaka. The 2011 season was his best season in the J. League Division 1, having scored 15 goals for Gamba Osaka at 32 matches.
On 10 January 2012, Lee returned to K-League, signing for Ulsan Hyundai on a three-year deal. In his first season with the club, he won the AFC Champions League that was named as the tournament Most Valuable Player and also named as the Asian Footballer of the Year at the end of the year.
Lee was selected for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in Netherlands. However, for most matches, he remained in the bench, not playing a single match in the group stage, while his team-mate Park Chu-Young made good impressions.
Lee was confirmed in the Olympics squad in 2006, and became the most valuable player in the squad to qualify for the Olympic games. He was selected for the 2007 Asian Cup. He also capped for the South Korea U-23 football team in qualification for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
On 11 October 2008, Lee scored a brace in an international friendly against Uzbekistan in a 3–0 victory for South Korea. On 15 October 2008, Lee scored two goals in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match against United Arab Emirates. The game ended 4–1 for Korea. On 19 November 2008, Lee scored the most important goal in his international career yet in an away game against Saudi Arabia, which ended South Korea's nineteen-year losing spell against the Saudis.
Lee was included in South Korea's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In their first group-stage match against Russia on 17 June 2014, Lee came on as a substitute for Park Chu-Young in the 52nd minute and scored his first ever World Cup goal in a 1–1 draw when his shot from outside the box was spilled by goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev over his head and over the line.
|Korea Republic national team|
Club career statistics
- As of 10 July 2014
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|South Korea||League||KFA Cup||League Cup||Asia||Total|
|Japan||League||Emperor's Cup||League Cup||Asia||Total|
|2009||Júbilo Iwata||J. League Division 1||24||12||1||1||1||0||-||26||13|
|South Korea||League||KFA Cup||League Cup||Asia||Total|
|2013||Sangju Sangmu||K League Challenge||25||15||0||0||-||-||25||15|
- K League Best 11: 2007, 2008, 2012
- K League Challenge Most Valuable Player: 2013
- K League Challenge Best 11: 2013
- K League Challenge Topscorer: 2013
- AFC Champions League Most Valuable Player: 2012
- Asian Footballer of the Year: 2012
- 이근호, 주빌로 이와타 이적확정…계약기간 9개월 (Korean)
- 李 根 鎬（イ グノ）選手の移籍加入内定 (Japanese)
- Lee Move in Doubt
- Lee Keun-ho Rejoins Jubilo Iwata
- "Lee Keunho crowned Asian player of the year". FIFA. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- 베어벡호, 이라크에 3–0 완승…이천수 1골 1도움 (Korean)
- "Russia v South Korea: World Cup 2014 – as it happened". Guardian. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- KFA::::KOREA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION::::"The Korea Football Association" Archived 1 February 2010 at WebCite
- イ･グノ ジュビロ磐田 Jubilo IWATA
- Lee Keun-ho at kleague.com
- National Team Player Record (Korean)
- FIFA Player Statistics
- Lee Keun-ho at National-Football-Teams.com