Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain, PSG) was selected as the next-generation star who will shine at the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.AFC introduced five players, including Lee Kang-in and Japan’s Kubo Takefusa (Real Sociedad), on its official website on the 7th (local time) as the ‘Best Young Stars’ who will shine at the Qatar Asian Cup.AFC looked forward to the performance of Lee Kang-in, born in 2001, asking, “Can he become Park Ji-sung’s successor?”AFC praised Lee Kang-in, saying, “Lee Kang-in, who wore the uniform of PSG, the strongest club in France last summer, quickly integrated into the team. He has established himself as a key member of PSG along with Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele.” Next, in the final of the 2023 Tropez des Champions (French Super Cup) against Toulouse held on the 3rd local time, Lee Kang-in’s performance in leading the team to the championship with a preemptive goal 3 minutes after the start of the game was highlighted, highlighting the debut season on the French stage. They gave favorable reviews saying they were having a good time.
AFC said, “Lee Kang-in recorded 4 goals and 3 assists in last year’s international match, showing a good performance ahead of the Asian Cup.” They were also interested in asking, “Will he be able to resolve Korea’s resentment of being undefeated in the Asian Cup for 64 years?” Lee Kang-in’s friend and same-age rival, Kubo of the Japanese national team, also attracted attention.The two, who worked together in Mallorca (Spain), are considered the future of Korean and Japanese soccer, respectively.AFC introduced, “Kubo will be a key figure in the Japanese national team aiming to win its fifth Asian Cup.”Kubo, who plays for Spanish professional soccer team Real Sociedad, was in full bloom last season with 9 goals and 7 assists in the Primera Liga, and this season he has already scored 6 goals and 3 assists and is on the verge of achieving double-digit attack points.Kubo watched his country’s runner-up finish from the bench in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals.
Kubo, who had pledged to perform well in this competition, announced the news of a left thigh injury just a week before the opening.Kubo plans to join the Japanese national team and heal his injury. Iraqi striker Ali Jassim (Al-Quwa Al-Zawiya), born in 2004, is the youngest among the five young stars.Jassim scored 4 goals in 5 matches in the 2023-2024 AFC Champions League (ACL) group stage.Jassim previously made a name for himself by playing in the 2023 AFC U-20 Asian Cup held in Uzbekistan.Jassim scored the winning goal just before the end of the game against Iran in the quarterfinals of the tournament, leading Iraq to the semifinals and at the same time earning the right to participate in the FIFA U-20 World Cup.Jassim, who recorded one goal and one assist in the semifinals against Japan, contributed to Iraq finishing second in the U-20 Asian Cup following the host country, Uzbekistan.Jassim made his international debut against 슬롯게이밍 Qatar in October last year.