Spanish media spotlights two former Barcelona players, Lee Seung-woo (Suwon FC) and Baek Seung-ho (Jeonbuk Hyundai), as they face Atletico Madrid.
Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo highlighted Lee Seung-woo and Baek Seung-ho, who both grew up in Barcelona’s La Masia academy, ahead of the Team K League clash with Atletico Madrid in South Korea on Saturday (June 26).
The two teams will meet for the first time in the 2023 Coupang Play Series at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on July 27 at 8pm.바카라사이트
Both Lee Seung-woo and Baek Seung-ho were named to the “Fan Eleven,” a group of K League All-Stars selected by K League fans, and will be participating in the all-star game for the second consecutive series.
The media said, “Western soccer fans may not recognize most of the players in the Team K League. The K League enjoys a certain heritage in Asia, if not as much as the Japanese J League, but the truth is that the league is not at the highest level.” “Atlético will be facing players who have represented Korea or who have played there before. The quality they can show is guaranteed.”
“We have veterans like Cho Hyun-woo and Kim Young-kwon, but the two players that Spanish fans know best are Lee Seung-woo and Baek Seung-ho. They are two youngsters who were once in Barcelona,” he said, introducing the two players.
“They were expected to be the new generation of world soccer. But they didn’t reach that level. We have to talk about how their contracts led to harsh disciplinary action by FIFA, which prevented the registration of new players during several transfer windows in the early 2010s.”
The pair joined Barcelona’s La Masia in the early 2010s. Baek Seung-ho joined Barcelona in 2011 from Matan Middle School, the youth team of Suwon Samsung. Lee Seung-woo and another member, Jang Eun-hee, joined a year later from Incheon and Pohang youth teams, respectively.
Lee and Baek Seung-ho, who had garnered a lot of attention while growing up in La Masia, were at the top of their game at the junior high school level and were considered the future of Barcelona. The same was true for Jang Eun-hee.
However, FIFA’s disciplinary action stalled the three players. In 2013, FIFA ruled that Barcelona had violated Article 19 of the FIFA Statutes on the Transfer of Players, which prohibits the transfer of players under the age of 18 abroad, and Lee, Jang, and Baek were all banned from official competition for three years.
During the three-year ban, the three players tried to maintain their game by playing for their age-group national teams.
They played in the 2014 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 Asian Cup, the 2015 Suwon JS Cup, and the 2015 Suwon Continental Cup, but not being able to play regularly took its toll on the young players, who were still developing.
Seung-woo Lee continued to play for Barcelona B after the age of 18, but then moved on to Ellas Verona (Italy), Sint-Truiden (Belgium), and Portimonense (Portugal, on loan) before joining his current team Suwon FC last year.
Baek Seung-ho also returned to Barcelona after turning 18, but continued his European career with Peralada, Girona (Spain), and Darmstadt (Germany). Eventually, he broke into the domestic scene with Jeonbuk Hyundai in 2021.
Photo via Sports News DB, Coupang Play, Mundo Deportivo