Lee Kang-in

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Lee Kang-in
Personal information
Full name Lee Kang-in Lopez
Date of birth (2001-02-19) 19 February 2001 (age 18)
Place of birth Incheon, South Korea
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 16
Youth career
2009–?[2] Incheon United
?–2011[3] Flyings FC
2011–2017 Valencia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2017–2019 Valencia B 26 (4)
2018– Valencia 3 (0)
National team
2017– South Korea U20 16 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 April 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15 June 2019

Lee Kang-in (Korean이강인; Hanja: 李康仁; also romanized as Kangin Lee; Korean pronunciation: [i.ɡaŋ.in] or [i] [kaŋ.in]; born 19 February 2001) is a South Korean footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder in La Liga for Valencia CF.

Club career[edit]

Lee joined Valencia CF's academy in July 2011.

In 15 December 2017, he was called up to Valencia CF Mestalla. He had his debut on 21 December 2017, in a match with Deportivo Aragón, being substituted in the 82nd minute.

He had his first assist on 17 February 2018, against UE Llagostera, being substituted in at the 76th minute and assisting in extra time. He had his first goal on 6 May 2018, starting against CE Sabadell FC.

He made his first team debut on 30 October 2018, starting and playing 83 minutes in a 2–1 win over CD Ebro in the Copa del Rey, becoming the youngest Korean footballer to debut professionally in Europe.[4][5]

Lee made his La Liga debut on 12 January 2019, substituting in for Denis Cheryshev in the 86th minute in a 1–1 draw with Real Valladolid during 2018–19 season. At 17 years, 10 months, and 24 days, Lee became the second youngest player in the 18–19 La Liga after Ander Barrenetxea from Real Sociedad who debuted at the age of 16 years, 11 months, and 24 days. He also became the youngest ever non-Spanish and the first Asian league debutant for Valencia, as well as the fifth Korean to play in La Liga (after Lee Chun-soo in 2003 for Real Sociedad, Lee Ho-jin in 2006 for Racing de Santander, Park Chu-young in 2012 for RC Celta de Vigo and Kim Young-gyu in 2013 for UD Almería).[6]

On 30 January 2019, Lee officially joined the Valencia first-team, receiving jersey number 16.[7]

In February 2017, Valencia extended his contract until June 2019. On 21 July 2018, Valencia CF re-signed him until June 2022.

International career[edit]

Lee received his first callup to the senior South Korea national football team in March 2019 for friendlies against Bolivia and Colombia, and became the 7th youngest to be in the South Korea national football team.

2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup[edit]

Lee was selected to play for the South Korea U-20 football team in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup and played in every group and knockout match, leading his team to a historic runner-up finish in the tournament and scoring two goals and four assists in seven games.[8] As a result, he received the Golden Ball award as the tournament's best player.[9]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 18 April 2019[10]
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Valencia B 2017–18 Segunda División B 11 1 11 1
2018–19 Segunda División B 15 3 15 3
Total 26 4 26 4
Valencia 2018–19 La Liga 3 0 6 0 2 0 11 0
Career total 29 4 6 0 2 0 37 4





South Korea U20



In 2007, the six-year-old Lee was featured in the third season of the KBS N Sports reality football show Shoot-dori (means "shooting kid", ko:날아라 슛돌이).[14] After his exceptional performance, he passed through Yoo Sang-chul's youth academy and in 2009 joined the Incheon United FC U-12 youth team. Lee later attended Seokjeong Elementary School in Incheon and played for Flyings FC. In January 2011, he went to Spain under the recommendation of his youth team coach and underwent tests for the Villarreal CF and Valencia CF youth teams.

Personal life[edit]

He was born on 19 February 2001 in Incheon, the youngest of three children. His father Lee Woon-seong was a taekwondo instructor in Incheon and a big football fan (especially of Diego Maradona) [15].


  1. ^ "Lee, Lunin headline award winners at Poland 2019". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 15 June 2019.
  2. ^ "엑스포츠인터뷰 -슛돌이 3기 이강인을 만나다" (in Korean). Xportsnews. 11 May 2009.
  3. ^ "슛돌이 이강인, 발렌시아 CF 유소년팀 입단" (in Korean). Starnews Korea. 6 July 2011.
  4. ^ "'Valencia, Spain' debut ... 83 Cup of King Cup" (in Spanish). Telereport.com. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  5. ^ "CD Ebro vs Valencia CF Live". LaLiga. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Valencia CF vs R. Valladolid CF Live" (in Spanish). La Liga. 12 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Comunicado oficial I Kang In" (in Spanish). Valencia. 30 January 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  8. ^ "[엠스플 축구] 지도자들 "이강인 '골든볼' 수상 대단하지만 걱정도 되는 게 사실"" (in Korean). MBC SPORTS+. 17 June 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Lee, Lunin headline award winners at Poland 2019". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 15 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Korea Republic – Lee Kang-In – Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Barcelona 1–2 Valencia". BBC Sport. 25 May 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Spirited comeback earns Ukraine first U-20 title". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 15 June 2019.
  13. ^ "L'équipe type du Festival International Espoirs 2018" (in French). Toulon Tournament. 11 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Meet Lee Kang-in – Valencia's South Korean starlet with an €80 million release clause". Goal.com. Goal.com. 24 November 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  15. ^ http://news1.kr/articles/?3645906

External links[edit]