After overcoming an illness, former national team defender Jang Hyun-soo (32, Al Gharafa) took the field for the first time in half a year.
Jang started and played the full 90 minutes in the ninth round of the Qatar Stars League 2023-2024 season against Umm Salal at the Thani Bin Jassim Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on Sept. 25 (EDT), helping his team to a 2-1 win.레모나토토 도메인
The match marked Jang’s return to action after a roughly six-month absence. In June, Jang was diagnosed with a benign lymph gland tumor while playing for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia and was supported by the club to undergo treatment. On September 1, he announced on his personal channel that he had “recovered 100% from cancer.” He then visited the Al-Hilal training center where his contract ended to say goodbye to his teammates of four years and receive a plaque of appreciation. His move to Qatar’s Al Gharafa was announced on April 24. “Jang is back,” said Jang Hyun-soo in the club’s official video.
Jang made his debut just two days after the announcement. Wearing a shaved head and the number 20 jersey, he formed a center-back partnership with Damien Traore to lead the team to a 2-1 victory. Algarafe, where Goo previously played, took the lead in the 40th minute through Farid Bulaya. They equalized 12 minutes into the second half through Kenji Gore, but Perzani Sassi scored a dramatic winner in stoppage time. Al Gharafa, who have won four in a row, moved to 22 points and overtook second-placed Al Sadd, who have played two games less, at the top of the table with 19 points.
Jang Hyun-soo, a Yonsei University graduate, made his professional debut in 2012 with Japan’s FC Tokyo and spent more than a decade playing in other Asian leagues outside of Korea, including Guangzhou R&F and Al-Hilal. With Al-Hilal, he won three Saudi Pro League titles, two Asian Champions League titles, and was runner-up at the FIFA Club World Cup in 2022.
A member of the gold medal team at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, Jang made 58 appearances (3 goals) in A matches. However, in 2018, he was permanently banned from the national team after it was discovered that he had lied about his military service. At the time, former national team coach Paulo Bento said, “His exclusion (from the roster) is definitely a loss in terms of performance. He was basically a player who helped the team a lot,” he lamented. Bento went on to lead South Korea to the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with the center-back combination of Kim Min-jae and Kim Young-kwon.