Daegu FC coach Choi Won-kwon expressed his regrets about veteran striker Lee Geun-ho (38, photo) who announced his retirement. Lee Geun-ho decided to leave his beloved ground after the 2023 K League 1 Split A Final Round. At the K League 1 Split A Media Day held on the 18th, Lee Geun-ho said, “Coach Choi kept trying to dissuade me, and I asked him to stay with me for one more year, but he eventually accepted.” He added, “When I heard that it was better than last year, I thought, ‘If I want to retire, now is the time.’” .스포츠토토
Lee Geun-ho, who started his professional career with Incheon United in 2004, moved to Daegu in the 2007 season to gain travel opportunities. As he had hoped, Lee Geun-ho showed his presence by scoring 10 goals in 27 games this season, and scored 13 goals in the 2008 season, scoring double digits for two consecutive years. Love calls from overseas clubs poured in for Lee Geun-ho. Lee Geun-ho played for Japan’s J-League Jubilo Iwata and Gamba Osaka starting in the 2009 season, then returned to K-League Ulsan Hyundai in the 2012 season, where he led them to win the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League and even received the AFC Player of the Year award. Lee Geun-ho has played in 385 games in the K-League, scoring 80 goals and 53 assists. He wore the Taegeuk symbol and played 84 games in the A match, scoring a total of 19 goals. In particular, he scored his first goal for his national team against Russia at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which he participated in during his military service.
Lee Geun-ho is evaluated to still have his competitive edge. Last season, he scored 2 goals in 31 games, and this season he also scored 2 goals and 1 assist in 27 games. Thanks to Lee Geun-ho’s performance, Daegu entered Split A this season in 5th place with 12 wins, 13 draws, 8 losses, and 49 points.
Now, Lee Geun-ho has only 5 games left. Lee Geun-ho said, “I want to give fans the gift of a goal before I retire.”