From ‘Japanese technician’ Jun Amano (31) to ‘Speed Racer’ Lee Dong-jun (25). Over the past two years, as strikers who played key players in Ulsan Hyundai under coach Hong Myung-bo’s system wore Jeonbuk Hyundai uniforms in succession, the ‘Hyundai house fight’ reached its peak.
Lee Dong-joon, who played as a national winger, entered the German Bundesliga after receiving a love call from Hertha Berlin in January. However, after finishing the 2021-2022 season with only 4 appearances due to a knee injury, he was recently removed from the lineup due to an injury to his leg muscles and even his left ankle.
Lee Dong-joon, whose dream of qualifying for the World Cup finals in Qatar was thwarted amid bad luck from injury, has a contract with Hertha Berlin until 2025, but he drew a change. Just in time, he received a love call from Jeonbuk, led by manager Kim Sang-sik, and even a complete transfer was completed. <This magazine’s exclusive online report on 12.16> After this magazine’s report, influential German media such as ‘Built’ also said, ‘Lee Dong-jun is breaking up with Hertha Berlin. He returned to his hometown, Korea, and joined Jeonbuk Hyundai.”
Lee Dong-jun also tried to return to Ulsan, his former team, in the form of a lease. However, the Ulsan club was in a difficult situation to immediately accept the annual salary of Dong-jun Lee, which was around 1 billion won, and speedy winger Um Won-sang, who was recruited as a replacement after he left, played a big role this year. There was no reason to forcefully join Lee Dong-jun. In addition, the belief in Esaka Ataru, a new foreign player who could also play the role of a winger, played a role.
On the other hand, Jeonbuk, which is planning to remodel the team after renewing the contract with manager Kim Sang-sik, is likely to break up with its main winger, such as Moon Seon-min. Born in 1997, Lee Dong-jun, who can still draw various futures and has top-notch speed and scoring ability, was a good alternative. In addition, Hertha Berlin was not greedy for more than the transfer fee paid to Ulsan (about 1 million euros), but Jeonbuk made a ‘big investment’ by matching Lee Dong-jun’s annual salary to a similar level and even paying the transfer fee.
Jeonbuk is not sparing its full support in line with coach Kim’s wishes. After sharing sympathy with the club about renewing the contract, coach Kim started to reinforce his power early. A typical example is Amano, who joined Ulsan on loan from Yokohama Marinos in the Japanese J-League this year and contributed to the championship by recording 9 goals and 1 assist. <Exclusive report on page 6 of this magazine on November 21st> Director Kim spotted Amano for the Asia Quarter position that Kunimoto had left, and courted her long ago through a video meeting. In the end, Ulsan and Jeonbuk competed for Amano, and Amano’s transfer was completed as Jeonbuk offered an additional $100,000 in annual salary. 메이저놀이터
It was difficult to imagine that two former ‘Hong Myung-bo’, who had won the K-League title for the first time in 17 years this year, would transfer to Jeonbuk, the ‘biggest rival’ at the same time. Lee Dong-joon is the ‘No. 1 recruited player’ since Hong’s appointment to Ulsan last year. In line with his belief, he made a big success with 11 goals and 4 assists (32 games) that year. While trying to join the re-challenge of winning the Ulsan championship this year, he received a love call from Germany and moved to Jeonbuk, which is embarrassing news for coach Hong and coaches. Prior to that, when Amano went to Jeonbuk, director Hong once showed a sad feeling, saying, “I conveyed my will to stay (in Ulsan) during the break, but it’s a pity.”
Fans’ joys and sorrows were also mixed. On Amano and Lee Dong-jun’s social media, Ulsan fans are raising their voices, saying, “Why Jeonbuk?” and “Disappointed.” On the other hand, Jeonbuk fans responded with a ‘welcome’ sign with a green heart sign. Hyundai, which competed for the championship for four consecutive years until last year, is expected to heat up the rivalry between the two clubs with Amano and Lee Dong-jun.