Asian Football - South Korean legend Lee hangs up boots

Former Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund player Lee Young-pyo, one of South Korea’s greatest ever footballers, has retired.

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Asian Football - South Korean legend Lee hangs up boots
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FOOTBALL 2007-2008 Tottenham-Reading Lee Young-Pyo Stephen Hunt

The 36-year-old full-back, the third-highest-capped South Korean player with 127 international appearances, closed out his career by helping the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids, the Canadian team’s final game of the MLS regular season.

He played a key role in leading his country to consecutive World Cup appearances in Germany and South Africa after being a lynchpin of the side that made it to the semi-finals of the 2002 tournament when South Korea and Japan co-hosted the event.

His international performances led to him being recruited by PSV Eindhoven where he spent three successful seasons before heading to the Premier League with Spurs in 2005.

After three years at White Hart Lane, Lee moved to Dortmund for a season before spending two terms at Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal.

Lee has since seen out his last days on the pitch for the Whitecaps, who failed to qualify for this year’s MLS post-season play-offs.

“I have retired from football, but I’m feeling so happy at this moment because it is exactly what I wanted to get from retirement when I was young,” said Lee, who signed with Vancouver as free agent in December 2011.

“I will never forget the last two years in Vancouver in my life.”

Lee indicated he would be staying in Vancouver for the next two to three years to pursue his “interest” in sports business and administration.

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