Kim and Jang are latest in long line of outstanding South Korea internationals to excel in Roshn Saudi League
Kim Seung-gyu made many vitals saves for Al Shabab in his astounding debut campaign.
The South Korea goalkeeper is just the latest in a number of his compatriots to impress in Saudi Arabia.
The 32-year-old has been Korea’s number one for a number of years and was in between the sticks when the Taeguk Warriors reached the knockout stage of FIFA World Cup 2022.
As a former AFC Champions League winner with Ulsan Horangi back in 2012, he has plenty of experience on the biggest stages and has shown that on numerous occasions this season with only Abdullah Al Mayouf of Al-Hilal and Al Ittihad’s Marcelo Grohe collecting more than his 10 clean sheets so far in Roshn Saudi League.
Kim was sure to have shared a few words with compatriot Jang Hyun-soo after the recent derby. The defender joined Al Hilal in the summer of 2019 to become one of the most successful foreign imports in the league.
Consistent and steady at the back, Jang, who captained South Korea at the 2018 World Cup and that famous 2-0 win over Germany, has won two AFC Champions League titles as well as three domestic championships.
Al Hilal have had a number of star attackers and midfielders during Jang’s time, but his professionalism and commitment to the club have been second to none.
Kwak Tae-hwi played for both Al Shabab and Al Hilal. The powerful defender joined the former in 2013 and was snapped up by the latter soon after.
Kwak was a valued member of Al Hilal’s squad, though did not quite have the same success in terms of trophies as Jang, as the league title proved to be elusive and he finished as runner-up in the 2014 final of Asia’s champions league as Al Hilal narrowly lost to Western Sydney Wanderers.
There have also been members of the famous 2002 national team that reached the semi-finals of World Cup 2022 to play in Saudi Arabia.
Lee Young-pyo was probably the best known. The former PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham Hotspur left-back joined Al Hilal in 2009 from Borussia Dortmund.
The versatile defender had two happy and fruitful seasons in Riyadh, collecting two league titles along the way and, now a media pundit back in his homeland, still talks fondly of his time.
Seol Ki-hyeon had a short loan spell at the same club. The forward, who scored Korea’s equaliser against Italy in that famous 2-1 win in 2002, had been one of the first Asians to play at the top levels in Europe.
Leaving Anderlecht of Belgium, he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in England’s Championship before leaving for Premier League spells with Reading and then Fulham.
Fellow attacker Lee Chun-soo joined Al Nassr on a similar loan from Feyenoord in 2009 and the winger showed fans some glimpses of his undoubted talent, before heading back to Korea. Al Hilal fans will also remember Yoo Byung-soo, who scored goals at the club from 2011 to 2013.
These days however, Kim and Jang are flying the South Korean flag in Riyadh.