‘Golden Right Foot’ Lee Seung-won (Gangwon FC) will join ‘Golden Left Foot’ Lee Kang-in (Mallorca) in the hunt for the U20 World Cup Golden Ball (MVP).
Lee was directly involved in five of South Korea’s eight goals in the tournament, including one goal and four assists in five games, leading his team to the quarterfinals. He opened the scoring in the first group game against France and assisted on the winning goal, set up the equalizer in the second game against Honduras, and assisted on the winners in the Round of 16 against Ecuador and the quarterfinals against Nigeria. All of them appeared in dramatic scenes directed by Kim Eun-ho.
In particular, Lee has been recognized as a “dead-ball specialist,” as all four of his assists came from set pieces (three corners and one free kick). This is the first time a South Korean player has done so in a FIFA-organized tournament.
Lee’s performance is reminiscent of Lee Kang-in, who won the Golden Ball at the 2019 World Cup in Poland. At that tournament, Lee was involved in six of South 메이저놀이터 Korea’s 10 goals, leading the team to a runner-up finish. Two of his goals came from penalty kicks, while his four assists came from corner kicks, free kicks, crosses, and through balls.
What makes Lee stand out is that, despite playing far fewer minutes than Lee Kang-in, he performed just as well, in line with Kim Eun-jung’s policy of using players evenly. In the seven games leading up to the final, Lee played 621 minutes and recorded six offensive points, while Lee played 396 minutes in five games and recorded five.
An attacking midfielder with physical strength, mobility, and fundamentals, Lee wasn’t a high-profile player until high school, when he wasn’t even selected for his age group’s national team. But when he enrolled at Dankook University early last year and was discovered by Kim, he gained wings and became the focal point of Kim’s team, earning the captain’s armband through hard work and integrity.
Joining Lee for the Golden Ball will be Korea’s quarterfinal opponent on Monday, Italy’s Chang. Cesare Cassaday (Reading), Korea’s quarterfinal opponent on Monday. He leads the team in scoring with six goals (two assists). For Israel, who made a surprise run to the quarterfinals in their first appearance at the tournament, Dor Tugman (2 goals, 1 assist) stands out with a theater assist and a theater goal.
In the previous 22 editions of the tournament, the Golden Ball winner has come from the winning team 14 times. There have been three from runners-up and four from third-place teams. It has even been awarded once to a seventh-place team.
Scoring a lot of goals doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll win the Golden Ball. There have only been six instances of a player winning the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe (top scorer) at the same time. The closer South Korea gets to the top thanks to Lee’s performance, the closer he gets to the Golden Ball.