|Date of birth||8 February 1998|
|Place of birth||Pyongyang, North Korea|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2018||→ Olbia (loan)||5||(0)|
|2014||North Korea U16||(4)|
|2015||North Korea U17||4||(0)|
|2016||North Korea U19||2||(0)|
|2018||North Korea U23||2||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 July 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 2 July 2019
|Revised Romanization||Choe Songhyeok|
Choe started out with Chobyong, a North Korean academy known for developing young talent. Choe signed with Italian club Fiorentina in February 2016, joining the Primavera (under-19) squad. On March 5, he made his debut for Fiorentina Primavera, during a 4–2 victory over Virtus Entella U19. In doing so, he became the first North Korean footballer to ever make an appearance for an Italian club at any level.
However, problems related to his nationality quickly began arising, and he only made three more appearances with the team. It was reported that the North Korean regime had placed strict restrictions on him during his time abroad. In addition to them keeping his travel documents, he was not allowed to use the internet, nor have relations with the media or teammates, unless directly related to football. Additionally, it was rumored that his signing bonus and 70% of his future salary would be repatriated to his home country. For this reason, in May, the Italian Parliament requested that the government review the contract. The following month, Fiorentina decided to terminate his contract. Choe took the matter to court, and the Italian Football Federation ruled that the club was obligated to continue honoring the contract. Subsequently, Fiorentina appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, arguing that the contract should be invalidated because they were not aware that it violated international sanctions at the time of its signing.
After only two appearances with the club (both with the under-19 squad), Choe was loaned out to fellow Serie C side Olbia in January 2018. He made his long-awaited professional debut on February 25, replacing Roberto Biancu in the late minutes of a 1–0 defeat to Robur Siena.
Choe was also named to the North Korea U-17 national team that competed in the North Korea U17 squad at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he made four appearances. However, North Korea was knocked off in the round of 16 by Mali.
North Korea U16
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