Asia is fast becoming a conveyor belt for football players who are full of heart and have great technical ability. One only has to look at recent players coming out of Japan with the likes of Honda and Inamoto; or South Korean Park Ji Sung to see that the football authorities in Asia are doing something right.
One of the most prized talents currently in training is Lee Seung-woo, who was recently promoted from Barcelona’s La Masia to the train with the B Team. He is a player that has already made headlines off the pitch after his signing was ruled as ineligible by FIFA President Sepp Blatter; falling foul of a set of strict rules regarding the signing of young players by clubs.
“The rules for the signing of minors are very clear … The popularity of football also brings some dangers. The financial success of our sport makes it, unfortunately, of interest to international mafias, who get rich due to illicit activities like match-fixing or tricking underprivileged kids with false promises of a professional career in Europe,” he said.
Although many thought this ban would see the talented youngster move elsewhere for first team football, Seung-woo or The Korean Messi, as he is now known, has been persuaded to sit it out in Spain. Apparently Barcelona have offered him professional terms on a deal that he will finally be able to sign on his 18th birthday. At youth level Seung-woo has simply been unplayable with 38 goals and 18 assists in just 29 games for the U15s - in comparison to Messi's 37 goals in 30 appearances at a similar age.
In truth Lee is a totally different prospect to Messi but he does list the little Argentinean as one of his all time heroes.
“I watch Messi very closely,” Lee said. “I want to be a perfect player just like him. My goal is to try my absolute best to become the first Korean to play for Barcelona’s senior team.”
Young Lee possesses skill, speed, and an eye for goals that you don’t see come along very often. His touch in around the box is light and always positive. He is direct strong and all about scoring goals. Lee recently stated that he wants to be the youngest player in history to represent South Korea at both the Olympics and World Cup and judging by this video you have to think his dreams will all come true.