Lee Dong-gook (Korean이동국), Korean pronunciation: [i.doŋ.ɡuk̚]; born 29 April 1979) is a South Korean professional football striker who currently plays for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. He is a record scorer in the K League 1, and had brief spells in Europe with SV Werder Bremen and Middlesbrough.

Lee Dong-gook
Lee Dong-Gook from acrofan.jpg
Personal information
Full name Lee Dong-gook
Date of birth (1979-04-29) 29 April 1979 (age 40)
Place of birth Pohang, Gyeongbuk, South Korea
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Number 20
Youth career
1995–1998 Pohang Steelers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2007 Pohang Steelers 102 (38)
2000–2001Werder Bremen (loan) 7 (0)
2003–2005Gwangju Sangmu (draft) 46 (12)
2007–2008 Middlesbrough 23 (0)
2008 Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 10 (2)
2009– Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 345 (158)
National team
1998–1999 South Korea U20 9 (6)
1999–2002 South Korea U23 29 (20)
1998– South Korea 105 (33)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 December 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 5 September 2017
Lee Dong-gook
Hangul
이동국
Hanja
李同國
Revised RomanizationI Dong-guk
McCune–ReischauerI Tongguk

Lee has earned 105 international caps for South Korea since 1998, scoring 33 goals. He has played at two FIFA World Cups, two CONCACAF Gold Cups, two AFC Asian Cups and the 2000 Olympics.

Club careerEdit

Pohang SteelersEdit

Lee started playing football for Pohang Steelers and scored eleven goals with outstanding performance in his first season. He also contributed to team's title with two winning goals in the 1997–98 Asian Club Championship. He was named the K League Young Player of the Year and made his debut for the South Korea national team. In January 2001, he was sent on loan to Werder Bremen of Bundesliga but he didn't settle in Bremen and only appeared seven matches as a substitute during six months. At the 2002 Korean FA Cup, he led Pohang to the final by scoring in the round of 16, quarter-final and semi-final, but failed to win. In July 2002, he left Pohang to perform his military service, joining the military team Gwangju Sangmu for two years. Early in the 2006 season, his performance was at its height with six goals in seven matches.[1] In April 2006, however, he tore the cruciate ligaments in his knee while playing in a league match that forced him out for six months, and was unable to play in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[2]

MiddlesbroughEdit

In January 2007, after being granted a work permit, Lee signed for Premier League club Middlesbrough on an 18-month contract.[3] On 24 February 2007, he made his debut, coming on as an 85th minute substitute for Yakubu in the 2–1 win against Reading.[4] On 29 August 2007, he scored his first goal against Northampton Town in the 2007–08 Football League Cup.[5] On 26 January 2008, he scored his second goal against Mansfield Town in the 2007–08 FA Cup.[6] However, he didn't score during 23 appearances in the Premier League and disappointed English fans.[7] His contract expired at the end of the 2007–08 season and Middlesbrough decided not to extend his contract.[8]

Seongnam Ilhwa ChunmaEdit

Lee signed a contract with Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma in 2008. However, he was unsuccessful, and was linked another move to several K-League and J. League clubs.

Jeonbuk Hyundai MotorsEdit

Lee was transferred to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the 2009 transfer window. He scored a brace in his debut for Jeonbuk on 15 March 2009 against Daegu FC. Lee completed his second senior hat-trick on 2 May 2009 against Jeju United. On 4 July, he scored his second hat-trick of the season against Gwangju Sangmu Phoenix. He eventually became the K-League Top Scorer in 2009 K-League, scoring 20 goals in 27 league matches. He also scored one goal in the second leg of final in K-League Championship, and Jeonbuk beat Seongnam Ilhwa by 3–1 to win the first league trophy in their history.

Lee became the K-League's all-time leading scorer with 117 goals when he got two goals in the 2012 season opener against Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma on 3 March 2012.[9]

On 2 June 2019, Lee scored his 200th career goal at Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in a match against Sangju Sangmu FC.[10]

International careerEdit

Lee Dong-gook participated in the AFC U-19 Championship in 1998. He played with Kim Eun-jung as two top and led South Korea to win the title. Also, Lee was the top scorer and MVP of the competition.[11]

Lee was a member of the South Korea national football team at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He also took part in the 2000 AFC Asian Cup and finished top scorer with six goals.

In 2002, Lee was not chosen by Guus Hiddink to represent South Korea in 2002 World Cup. Fans called him "Lazy Genius," because they felt that he did not fully use his potential. This is also because Hiddink emphasized strong stamina, great power, and agile speed, which are the categories that Lee struggles in, except power.[12][13] He later admitted that he spent his days drinking and did not watch a single game that took place during the 2002 World Cup.[14]

Lee was coach Dick Advocaat's first-choice selection at forward for Korea ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but a knee injury suffered in a K-League match forced him to miss the tournament.[2]

On 1 November 2007, Lee was banned from the national team for twelve months after it was revealed that he, along with team captain Lee Woon-Jae, teammates Kim Sang-Sik and Woo Sung-Yong, went on a late night drinking spree with several female employees during the Asian Cup, in which Korea received third place.[15]

Unlike the other members who were involved in this incident, because Lee played for Middlesbrough in England, the KFA could not ban him from his club team matches.[16]

Lee was listed onto the South Korea national football team line up for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He came on as a substitute in a game against Uruguay and nearly scored a goal but his shot lacked the power to clear the line. He played in qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup but was not listed on the final team for the tournament. After the World Cup he was recalled back to the team for a friendly match against Venezuela, where he scored a brace in a 3–1 victory, the national team's first win in nearly six months.

In August 2017, Lee was called up for the 2018 World Cup Qualifier games against Iran and Uzbekistan, being one of the oldest players on the squad.

Personal lifeEdit

Lee married Lee Su-jin, a runner up of Miss Korea 1997, in December 2005.[17] The couple have five children: twin daughters Lee Jae-si and Lee Jae-ah (born 14 August 2007), twin daughters Lee Seol-ah and Lee Su-ah (born 18 July 2013) and son Lee Si-an, nicknamed Daebak (born 14 November 2014).

Lee, along with his five children, has appeared on the Sunday variety show "The Return of Superman" [18] since 2015. The show is on KBS World TV and can also be viewed on YouTube with English captions. "The Return of Superman" shows famous Korean fathers taking care of their children for 48 hours without their wife. Lee Dong Gook is the first on the show to have five children to take care of.[19]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of 1 December 2019
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Pohang Steelers 1998 K League 15 7 0 0 9 4 24 11
1999 K League 15 7 0 0 4 1 19 8
2000 K League 7 4 0 0 1 0 8 4
2001 K League 17 3 2 1 19 4
2002 K League 21 7 4 3 0 0 25 10
2005 K League 17 3 3 0 7 4 27 7
2006 K League 10 7 0 0 0 0 10 7
Total 102 38 9 4 21 9 132 51
Werder Bremen (loan) 2000–01 Bundesliga 7 0 0 0 7 0
Gwangju Sangmu (draft) 2003 K League 27 11 0 0 0 0 27 11
2004 K League 19 1 2 0 4 3 25 4
2005 K League 1 0 1 0
Total 46 12 2 0 5 3 53 15
Middlesbrough 2006–07 Premier League 9 0 2 0 0 0 11 0
2007–08 Premier League 14 0 2 1 2 1 18 2
Total 23 0 4 1 2 1 29 2
Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 2008 K League 10 2 0 0 3 0 13 2
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2009 K League 29 21 4 4 3 1 36 26
2010 K League 28 12 2 0 2 1 8 4 40 17
2011 K League 29 16 1 0 0 0 8 9 38 25
2012 K League 40 26 2 2 6 4 48 32
2013 K League 1 30 13 2 2 8 3 40 18
2014 K League 1 31 13 2 0 7 3 40 16
2015 K League 1 33 13 1 1 7 4 41 18
2016 K League 1 27 12 0 0 14[a] 5 41 17
2017 K League 1 30 10 1 0 31 10
2018 K League 1 35 13 2 0 8 4 45 17
2019 K League 1 33 9 0 0 8 1 41 10
Total 345 158 17 9 5 2 74 37 441 206
Career total 533 210 32 14 36 15 74 37 675 276
  1. ^ Includes one appearance in FIFA Club World Cup

InternationalEdit

As of 5 September 2017[20]
National team Year Apps Goals
South Korea U20 1998 6 5
1999 3 1
Total 9 6
South Korea U23 1999 14 12
2000 6 3
2002 9 5
Total 29 20
South Korea 1998 8 0
1999 0 0
2000 10 8
2001 6 1
2002 4 0
2003 1 0
2004 10 8
2005 15 4
2006 9 1
2007 7 0
2008 0 0
2009 4 0
2010 10 3
2011 2 0
2012 8 5
2013 5 0
2014 4 3
2015 0 0
2016 0 0
2017 2 0
Total 105 33
Career total 143 59
Scores and results list South Korea's goal tally first.
Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
17 February 2000 Los Angeles   Costa Rica 1 goal 2–2 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup
7 October 2000 Dubai   Australia 1 goal 4–2 2000 LG Cup
19 October 2000 Tripoli   Indonesia 3 goals 3–0 2000 AFC Asian Cup
23 October 2000 Tripoli   Iran 1 goal 2–1 (a.e.t.) 2000 AFC Asian Cup
26 October 2000 Beirut   Saudi Arabia 1 goal 1–2 2000 AFC Asian Cup
29 October 2000 Beirut   China PR 1 goal 1–0 2000 AFC Asian Cup
16 September 2001 Busan   Nigeria 1 goal 2–1 Friendly
10 July 2004 Gwangju   Bahrain 1 goal 2–0 Friendly
23 July 2004 Jinan   United Arab Emirates 1 goal 2–0 2004 AFC Asian Cup
27 July 2004 Jinan   Kuwait 2 goals 4–0 2004 AFC Asian Cup
31 July 2004 Jinan   Iran 1 goal 3–4 2004 AFC Asian Cup
8 September 2004 Ho Chi Minh City   Vietnam 1 goal 2–1 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
17 November 2004 Seoul   Maldives 1 goal 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
19 December 2004 Busan   Germany 1 goal 3–1 Friendly
9 February 2005 Seoul   Kuwait 1 goal 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
30 March 2005 Seoul   Uzbekistan 1 goal 2–1 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
8 June 2005 Kuwait City   Kuwait 1 goal 4–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
16 November 2005 Seoul   Serbia and Montenegro 1 goal 2–0 Friendly
15 February 2006 Los Angeles   Mexico 1 goal 1–0 Friendly
7 February 2010 Tokyo   Hong Kong 1 goal 5–0 2010 EAFF Championship
14 February 2010 Tokyo   Japan 1 goal 3–1 2010 EAFF Championship
3 March 2010 London   Ivory Coast 1 goal 2–0 Friendly
25 February 2012 Jeonju   Uzbekistan 2 goals 4–2 Friendly
29 February 2012 Seoul   Kuwait 1 goal 2–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
11 September 2012 Tashkent   Uzbekistan 1 goal 2–2 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
14 November 2012 Hwaseong   Australia 1 goal 1–2 Friendly
5 September 2014 Bucheon   Venezuela 2 goals 3–1 Friendly
14 October 2014 Seoul   Costa Rica 1 goal 1–3 Friendly

FilmographyEdit

Variety showEdit

Year Title Network Role Note
2015–2019 The Return of Superman KBS2 Cast Episode 88–298

HonoursEdit

PlayerEdit

Pohang Steelers

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

South Korea Youth

South Korea

Individual

EntertainerEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
2015 14th KBS Entertainment Awards Best Entertainer Award The Return of Superman Won
Male MC Newcomer Award Nominated
2016 15th KBS Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award in a Variety Show Won
2018 16th KBS Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 이동국 ‘악’ 무릎 부상. Naver.com (in Korean). The Hankyoreh. 5 April 2006. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b "South Korea star out of World Cup". BBC Sport. 14 April 2006.
  3. ^ "Middlesbrough complete Lee deal". BBC.co.uk. BBC Sport. 25 January 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Middlesbrough 2–1 Reading". BBC.co.uk. BBC Sport. 24 February 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Middlesbrough 2–0 Northampton". BBC.co.uk. BBC Sport. 29 August 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
  6. ^ "Mansfield 0–2 Middlesbrough". BBC.co.uk. BBC Sport. 26 January 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
  7. ^ "The worst strikers in the Premier League". Metro.co.uk. Metro. 29 February 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Trio Move On". Middlesbrough FC. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  9. ^ ‘라이언킹’ 이동국, 통산 최다 골 경신… 살아있는 전설 썼다 (in Korean). hyundai-motorsfc.com. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  10. ^ Joo Hwan, Noh (2 June 2019). "[K리그1현장리뷰]문선민 환상 발리골+이동국 200호골 전북 1위 탈환, 2-0 수적우위 상주 제압했다.(Moon Sun-min's fantasy volley ball plus Lee Dong-gook's 200th goal, recaptured Jeonbuk's No. 1 spot, and defeated Jeonbuk's 2-0 superior Sangju.)". 스포츠조선(Sports Chosun).
  11. ^ "U-19 Championship Roll of Honour". AFC. 1 October 2010. Archived from the original on 2 October 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Daum.net" (in Korean). News.media.daum.net. Archived from the original on 22 November 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  13. ^ "Daum.net" (in Korean). News.media.daum.net. Archived from the original on 22 November 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  14. ^ "Daum.net" (in Korean). News.media.daum.net. Archived from the original on 22 November 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  15. ^ "South Korea ban Boro's Dong-Gook". BBC Sport. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2007.
  16. ^ ""음주파동 4인방 형평성 '논란'" 데일리 서프라이즈". dailyseop.com. Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  17. ^ 경향닷컴 (in Korean). News.khan.co.kr. 19 December 2005. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  18. ^ "New Family with Two Sets of Twins Confirmed to Join "Superman Returns"!". Soompi. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  19. ^ "'Superman Is Back' to add another family to the show – soccer player Lee Dong Gook and his five kids!". allkpop.com. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Lee Dong-gook's official record of the national team".
  21. ^ 한국,일본꺾고 청소년축구 2연패 (in Korean). The Hankyoreh. 2 November 1998.
  22. ^ -올스타축구- 6만관중 환호속 남부팀 대승 6-2 (in Korean). Yonhap. 16 August 1998.
  23. ^ "-프로축구 올스타전- 이동국, 생애 두번째 MVP" (in Korean). Yonhap. 5 August 2001.
  24. ^ "K리그 올스타전, MVP 이동국" (in Korean). SBS. 15 August 2003.
  25. ^ "MVP 이동국… 히딩크 앞에서 해트트릭" (in Korean). Kyunghyang. 5 July 2012.
  26. ^ "고종수 MVP 베스트11 뽑혀'겹경사'이동국은 신인왕" (in Korean). The Hankyoreh. 8 January 1999.
  27. ^ "Asian Nations Cup 2000". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 4 March 2011.
  28. ^ [아시안컵] 결승골 이동국…득점왕 등극 (in Korean). Kukmin Ilbo. 30 October 2000.
  29. ^ a b c d "[2009 K리그 대상] 이동국 '별중의 별' MVP 수상" (in Korean). Best Eleven. 22 December 2009.
  30. ^ a b c d "[K리그]전북 이동국 2년 만에 MVP…신인왕은 이승기" (in Korean). Newsis. 6 December 2011.
  31. ^ a b c "[K리그 대상] 이동국, 클래식 MVP 수상...3관왕 영예" (in Korean). Sportalkorea. 1 December 2014.
  32. ^ a b c "K리그 대상 이동국 MVP·이재성 영플레이상 수상" (in Korean). SBS. 1 December 2015.
  33. ^ "데얀, K리그 MVP..감독상은 최용수 '서울 천하'" (in Korean). Yonhap. 3 December 2012.
  34. ^ "Match & Result". EAFF. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  35. ^ "AFC Champions League » Top Scorer". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  36. ^ "Veteran striker ready to give all in AFC Champions League final". Yonhap. 25 November 2016.
  37. ^ "ACL MD6: The Week In Numbers". AFC. 22 April 2018.
  38. ^ "K LEAGUE 기록" (in Korean). K League. Retrieved 7 December 2018.

External linksEdit

Awards
Preceded by
Lee Woon-Jae
K-League Most Valuable Player
2009
Succeeded by
Kim Eun-Jung
Preceded by
Kim Eun-Jung
K-League Most Valuable Player
2011
Succeeded by
Dejan Damjanović
Preceded by
Dudu
K-League Top Scorer
2009
Succeeded by
Yoo Byung-Soo
Preceded by
Koo Ja-Cheol
K-League Top Assistor
2011
Succeeded by
Mauricio Molina
Preceded by
Shin Jin-Won
K-League Rookie of the Year
1998
Succeeded by
Lee Sung-Jae
Preceded by
Saša Ognenovski
AFC Champions League Most Valuable Player
2011
Succeeded by
Lee Keun-Ho
Preceded by
Jose Mota
AFC Champions League Top Scorer
2011
Succeeded by
Ricardo Oliveira