Jung Woo-young’s brilliant defense even on the top stage of Asian soccer

Chung Woo-young (33-Kalis) has established himself as a top-class player in his first year with top-ranked Saudi Arabia in the 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) League. He’s a seasoned player with a wealth of experience under his belt.

This season, Jung has become a staple in Khaleej’s defense and central midfield, averaging 88.1 minutes per game in 12 Saudi Arabian top-flight matches.

As of Nov. 6, Jung ranks sixth in interceptions in the 2023-24 Saudi Arabian Premier League. His defensive stats per 90 minutes are also impressive, with 5.82 ball possession recovered, 1.33 tackles won, and 1.02 interceptions.레모나토토

He has yet to concede a shot on goal or a penalty kick. The team’s passing has remained stable, with an 89% passing success rate and 94% passing accuracy in the defensive zone. His per-90-minute stats, including 4.39 effective roving passes and 3.98 passes over 22.86 meters, show a veteran’s ease.

In addition to his role as a launching pad for attacks from his defensive midfield position, Jung has the height (6-foot-2) and skill to play center back as well as central midfield.

It’s rare to find a player in Asian soccer who possesses these attributes at a certain level. That’s why Paulo Bento (54-Portugal), who took over as coach in 2018, used Jung to lead South Korea to a 16th-place finish at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The midfielder has shown his status as a key player in the Khaleej’s midfield by taking two direct free-kicks in the Saudi Arabian top flight this season. He even scored his debut goal at home in the FA Cup round of 16.

His skills and leadership were also recognized in Japan, where he became the second Korean captain in J-League history with Vissel Kobe. According to Saudi Arabian electronic newspaper Sharq, Khaleej have been eager to sign him as a player they need to play more organized football from the back.

Saudi Arabia has one of only 11 “club soccer’s top divisions with a combined player value of more than €1 billion ($1.397 billion)” in the world, according to transfer market specialist Transfermarkt.

The kingdom has been attracting a string of global soccer stars to its top flight, starting with Cristiano Ronaldo, 38, of Portugal, in January, to demonstrate its ability to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup. That’s why they signed Jung Woo-young, who Sharp describes as an “unquestionable Korean star.”

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