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News: K League legend Dejan Damjanović announces retirement

K League and Asian football legend Dejan Damjanović has announced his retirement at the age of 42. 

Dejan announced via Instagram on Wednesday, August 16th that, after a 25-year career, it was time to enjoy football from "off the field.": 

The former Incheon United, FC Seoul, Suwon Samsung Bluewings, and Daegu FC striker hangs up his boots after a trophy-laden career in Asia that saw him win three K League titles, multiple MVP and top goalscorer awards, and the record for the most goals scored in the AFC Champions League.

While representing K League clubs, Dejan made 469 appearances, scored 243 goals, and registered 55 assists.

No fewer than 198 of those goals were scored in K League competitions.


The former Montenegro international first arrived in South Korea in 2007, signing for Incheon United where 14 goals in 26 K League appearances earned him a move to FC Seoul.

Dejan enjoyed two spells with the capital club, winning the K League title twice and the K League Cup in his first that spanned from 2008 to 2013 before moving to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Sunning and then Beijing Guoan.

He then returned in time for the 2016 season and helped fire the club to the K League title again before departing for Suwon Bluewings as a free agent in 2018. At Big Bird, Dejan won the FA Cup in 2019 and the season before helped fire the Bluewings to the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League with nine goals in 12 appearances.

He then signed for Daegu FC in 2020 and helped guide the club to ACL qualification.

While an ACL trophy eluded him, despite appearing in numerous semifinals and even the 2013 final, Dejan was able to break the all-time goal-scoring record. Dejan equalled the AFC Champions League goalscoring record while in the colours of Hong Kong Premier League side Kitchee SC, his next destination after Daegu and final before calling it a day. 

In Kitchee's first match of the 2021 ACL campaign, a 2-0 win over Port FC, then the record was broken in the following match, a 2-1 loss to Cerezo Osaka. He ended his career with 43 ACL goals and during his two full seasons in Hong Kong was able to win two league titles as well as the Hong Kong Senior Challenge Shield.

FNR

K League Honours

FC Seoul

K League 2010, 2012, 2016
K League Cup 2010

Suwon Samsung Bluewings

Korean FA Cup 2019

Individual Awards

K League Players’ Player of the Year 2010
K League Cup Top Goalscorer 2010
K League 1 Best XI 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
K League 1 Top Goalscorer 2011, 2012, 2013
K League 1 MVP 2012

From the archives

Goodbye K League Interview: here
Dejan Damjanović AFC Champions League Goal Record Interview: here
Feature Interview: Dejan Damjanović is ACL's Greatest of all Time: here
End of an Era: What Dejan Damjanović's Suwon Move Says About FC Seoul: here
#KLUPod | Podumentary: Dejan Damjanović on what it takes to be the best: here
KLU's first Dejan Interview from 2017: here
Dejan FIFA Interview: here

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