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Interview: FC Cartagena winger Lee Sang-hyeok


Lee Sang-hyeok, a 22-year-old left-winger, is one of the lesser-known South Koreans plying their trade in Europe. This autumn, Lee joined FC Cartagena in the Spanish second tier, a team that is doing well and currently in the playoff places. But Lee is still waiting to make his debut and guest columnist Nacho from Asiafut, spoke to the young winger to ask about how he's settling into life in Spain.

In Korea, Lee played for Sinjeong ES and Daegu FC's academy, but he never reached the first team as he left very young to Pardubice in the Czech Republic.

Q: First, how are you? How are you feeling in Spain?

A: I’m good, everything is good.

Q: How is life in Spain? What is different from Korea and the Czech Republic?

A: It has been a little over a month since I came to Spain. I have adapted to some extent and the Spanish are usually positive and kind.

Q: Why and how did you leave Korea to play in Europe for the first time?

A: I wanted to play on a bigger stage, so I went to the Czech Republic for the first time.

Q: In your opinion, how is Europe different to Korea? How is Spain different so far?

A: Actually, it’s hard to say what’s different because everyone lives I think it’s similar, or I’m used to it.

Q: What is the thing that is surprising you the most about Spain? In terms of culture, and in terms of football?

A: I was surprised when I first came to Spain because of the bright energy. In terms of football, I was surprised that each player played well with the ball and was serious about

Q: What do you like the most about Cartagena and Spain?

A: The players treated me well, so I got used to it and I think it’s the best when I train. And it’s better to help all the staff so that they can concentrate on football.

Q: If we may ask, how did you know about Cartagena? Did you know the city or the team? How did you feel about the possibility of joining a second-tier team in Spain? How do you feel now as a player? Is there more pressure than in the Czech Republic or South Korea?


FNR


A: The first time the agent told me, I wanted to go without having to worry No football player doesn’t want to play in La Liga, so that’s why I decided.

Q: How do you communicate with the team? Is there a Korean translator, do people speak English or are you learning Spanish?

A: I can speak English and I communicate with my team members. Of course, I am learning Spanish I can speak Czech, but I don’t think I need it here... (laughs)

Q: For those who have not seen you yet, how would you describe your playing style, or your strengths?

A: I usually prefer to play on the wing, and I think my strength is playing with my left foot and making chances.

Q: Who are the teammates that have surprised you the most?

A: Actually, I think it is hard to pick one player. All the players have good skills. I think that’s the strength of our team.

Q: Cartagena is currently in a playoff position, and the team is playing at a high level. What are your personal objectives or goals this season?

A: My personal goal is to play as many games as possible and build offensive points (combined goals and assists) to help our team get promoted.

Q: What players inspire or have inspired you to be a football player?

A: I want to say Son Heung-min. He’s our legend and he has shown many ways how to survive in Europe.

Q: What do you do asides from football? Do you study something?

A: Actually, I don’t do anything after training. I feel like I’m always preparing dinner or studying Spanish.





Q: What's your daily life like? Do you have any hobbies or interests?

A: Someone else says my daily life is really boring, because I’m home after training, and I’m recharging myself to prepare for the next training but sometimes play League of Legends.

Q: Do you have anything you'd like to say to the Cartagena fans?

A: I really appreciate them supporting us every game and I want to say thank you.

Q: Do you have any messages for Korean teenagers who want to be footballers?

A: I want to tell them that if you run toward your goal day by day without regrets, you will achieve that dream someday. I am also trying to do so.


We would like to thank Lee’s kindness and readiness to answer our questions. We very much appreciate the time he has given and shared with us and we wish him and FC Cartagena the best for the rest of the season.

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