FIFA World Cup

Seung-Woo: U-20 FIFA World Cup poster boy

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Provided by Agency France Presse Sports

The 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup gets on set this Saturday and all the spot lights will be on the hosts, South Korea.

In their roster they have Lee Seung-Woo–plays for Barcelona U-19 team known as Juvenil A and has the national media giving daily updates on his fashion style as well as choice of hairbands.

Nicknamed the “Korean Messi”, it is not just the dribbling, the pace and the confidence that Lee, possesses which attributes the Argentine star but his goal scoring prowess at Barcelona. At the age of 13, he was already breaking Messi’s club records.

At the moment, the player is in good form. In a warm-up match with South American champion Uruguay, Lee scored the first goal of their 2-0 triumph.

“Uruguay are a very strong team and it is good to score against them and good for us to get the win,” said Lee.

“We are focused on the first game of the tournament with Guinea. They have had good results in Africa and we know they are skilful and physically strong. It will be a tough game.”

He does not however have a personal target of goals for the tournament. “If we can stay long in the tournament, then I should have many opportunities to score. If we give our best effort and run more than our opponents, there will be good results.

“We want to go all the way and show what we are made of.”

Lee has been one of the biggest stars in Korean football since earning rave reviews for Barcelona. He also shone in 2014 as South Korea reached the final of Asia’s U-16 Championship.

He came to the attention of the wider world as his recruitment led Barcelona to a FIFA two-year transfer ban–after breaching regulations for the transfer of minors.

Lee was subsequently unable to play competitively for the club until he turned 18 in January 2016.That is all in the past and now they is a chance for him to show fans around the world–especially those in South Korea, how accurate his nickname is.

“Since I joined Barcelona Juvenil A, my goal has been to make it to the senior national team and Barcelona FC,” said Lee.

“I want to challenge myself further after leading the team to a win at the U20 World Cup.”

About James Sibeleki

African football writer, covering the game across the continent. Covered the U-20 Africa Cup of the Nations, in Zambia.

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