Age is no barrier to ‘Lion King‘
Although the K-League’s all-time top scorer Lee Dong-gook recently turned 33, it seems like his career still has not reached its pinnacle. He has 121 goals in 287 K-League appearances
“I think I still have room for improvement. It’s not appropriate for a footballer to say when his finest hour is, but he should always prepare for it by maintaining his best form and conditions.” Lee said in an interview with fifa.com
The Jeonbuk Motors striker is currently ranked second for the most goals this season with six, tied with Ianis Zicu of the Pohang Steelers, Suwon Bluewings’ Dzenan Radoncic, and FC Seoul’s Dejan Damjanovic. Everton Santos of Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma leads with seven. Lee is the only Korean player among the top six scorers.
He got off to a good start scoring twice in his team’s season opener against Seongnam on March 3 and has a scoring average of .67 this year. The Motors are currently fifth in the table on 17 points from 10 games.
His last goal was against Gyeongnam FC on April 8. After Kim Jung-woo opened the scoring at the end of the first half, the Motors sealed the win when Lee steered in Hugo Droguett’s cross for a 2-0 victory.
More recently, he led the Motors over China’s Guangzhou Evergrande in the Asian Champions League with a brace at the end of the second half at Guangzhou Tianhe Stadium, Tuesday. The result takes Jeonbuk to the top of Group H. With one game left in the group stage, the Motors are on nine points, two ahead of Guangzhou and Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol. The Korean side hosts Kashiwa on May 15 needing just a draw to advance to the next round.
After unsuccessful stints in Europe, Lee returned home and bounced back in the domestic league with stellar performances. Thanks to his great contribution, in 2009 the Motors won their first championship title and repeated the feat a year later.
“I’ve got wonderful team-mates and I’m also satisfied with everything here. Everyone here loves football, and the fans create a wonderful atmosphere at the stadium,” Lee said. “It’s just amazing. I’m happy when I play here and I think it’s natural that you can notice it when you see me play.”
It appears the 33-year-old striker still has that plenty of determination to go further.
“Whether or not I’m having my best period, well, you’ll find out when you see me play on the pitch.”