Lee Keun-ho

For the younger footballer, see Lee Keun-ho (footballer, born 1993).
Lee Keun-ho
Personal information
Date of birth (1985-04-11) 11 April 1985
Place of birth Incheon, South Korea
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Winger / Striker
Club information
Current team
Jeju United
Number 22
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2006 Incheon United 2 (0)
2007–2008 Daegu FC 46 (19)
2009–2010 Júbilo Iwata 36 (13)
2010–2011 Gamba Osaka 52 (19)
2012–2014 Ulsan Hyundai 33 (8)
2013–2014Sangju Sangmu (military service) 43 (19)
2014–2015 El Jaish 18 (2)
2015Jeonbuk Hyundai (loan) 15 (4)
2016– Jeju United 35 (5)
National team
2003–2005 South Korea U-20 9 (3)
2006–2008 South Korea U-23 19 (5)
2007– South Korea 75 (19)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 December 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 4 December 2015
Lee Keun-ho
Hangul 이근호
Hanja 李根鎬
Revised Romanization Yi Geun-ho
McCune–Reischauer Yi Kŭn-ho
This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.

Lee Keun-ho (Hangul: 이근호, born: 11 April 1985) is a South Korean football player who plays for Jeju United and South Korea national team. His pace, work-rate, and link-up plays mark him as a highly rated forward in Asia.

Personal life

Lee Keun-ho was born in Incheon, South Korea . He is well known for his friendship with Beijing Guoan 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. He got married to Su-Ji in 2016.

Club career

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.[1][2] 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;[3] however, the move did not materialize.[4] In June 2010, he signed for 2008 AFC Champions League winners Gamba Osaka. The 2011 season was his best season in the J1 League, 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.[5]

He was transferred on 1 January 2013 to Sangju Sangmu on loan to complete his military service as per South Korean law.

International career

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 29 June 2007, Lee made his senior team debut in a friendly against Iraq through substitution in the second half. Lee also managed to score his debut goal from an assist made by Lee Chun-Soo.[6]

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.

Although he played in most of the qualification campaign, he was not named for the team to participate in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

On 26 March 2013, Lee scored the very important opening goal in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification against Qatar. The game ended 2–1 for Korea.

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.[7]

Korea Republic national team

Club statistics

As of 14 Sep 2014
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
South Korea League KFA Cup League Cup Asia Total
2004Incheon UnitedK-League-10--10
2007Daegu FC2082072-2910
Japan League Emperor's Cup League Cup Asia Total
2009Júbilo IwataJ1 League24121110-2613
Gamba Osaka20451--255
South Korea League KFA Cup League Cup Asia Total
2012Ulsan HyundaiK-League33800-71409
2013Sangju SangmuK League Challenge251500--2515
2014K-League Classic18400--184
Total South Korea 12446721947115753
Japan 883472517210739
Career total 2128014424514326492

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 29 June 2007 Seogwipo, South Korea  Iraq 3–0 3–0 Friendly match
2 11 October 2008 Suwon, South Korea  Uzbekistan 2–0 3–0 Friendly match
3 11 October 2008 Suwon, South Korea  Uzbekistan 3–0 3–0 Friendly match
4 15 October 2008 Seoul, South Korea  United Arab Emirates 1–0 4–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
5 15 October 2008 Seoul, South Korea  United Arab Emirates 3–1 4–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 19 November 2008 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  Saudi Arabia 0–1 0–2 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
7 4 February 2009 Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Bahrain 2–2 2–2 Friendly match
8 28 March 2009 Suwon, South Korea  Iraq 2–1 2–1 Friendly match
9 25 March 2011 Seoul, South Korea  Honduras 4–0 4–0 Friendly match
10 11 November 2011 Dubai, United Arab Emirates  United Arab Emirates 0–1 0–2 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
11 29 February 2012 Seoul, South Korea  Kuwait 2–0 2–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
12 8 June 2012 Doha, Qatar  Qatar 1–1 4–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
13 8 June 2012 Doha, Qatar  Qatar 4–1 4–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
14 15 August 2012 Anyang, South Korea  Zambia 1–0 2–1 Friendly match
15 15 August 2012 Anyang, South Korea  Zambia 2–1 2–1 Friendly match
16 26 March 2013 Seoul, South Korea  Qatar 1–0 2–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
17 6 September 2013 Incheon, South Korea  Haiti 3–1 4–1 Friendly match
18 10 September 2013 Jeonju, South Korea  Croatia 1–2 1–2 Friendly match
19 17 June 2014 Cuiabá, Brazil  Russia 1–0 1–1 2014 FIFA World Cup


Ulsan Hyundai
Sangju Sangmu



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