Korean soccer stars shining in the international arena isn’t a novel occurrence, with names like Son Heung Min, a longstanding icon in the English Premier League, and Lee Kang In, playing alongside Kylian Mbappé at Paris Saint-Germain. However, there’s a rising star that’s been grabbing headlines recently: Hwang Hee Chan, the burgeoning sensation of the Premier League.
At 27, Hwang isn’t what you’d call a ‘young’ player, but his introduction to what many consider the pinnacle of football leagues, the English Premier League, is relatively recent.
His journey in this esteemed league began with Wolverhampton Wanderers last year. Hwang’s dynamic start led to his loan being converted into a permanent deal in January 2022, marking a significant milestone in his career.
Hwang’s football journey catapulted into the spotlight during his stint at RB Salzburg, where he played alongside now-Manchester City star Erling Haaland. Here, his impressive tally of goals and assists, particularly in the Champions League, didn’t go unnoticed.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 8, 2019
Nicknamed “Hwangso” or “The Bull,” a nod to his surname and his robust style of play, Hwang’s arrival at Molineux came after he played a crucial role in helping Leipzig secure a second-place finish in the Bundesliga. This success at Leipzig was a well-deserved accolade following his exceptional performance at RB Salzburg.
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Hwang, initially brought to Europe as a teenager, had already set numerous records in South Korea, both at school and international levels.
In Austria, Hwang participated in high-profile matches from a young age, including starting in the 2018 Europa League semi-final. He also had a brief stint in Germany on loan at Hamburger SV. Returning to Salzburg, Hwang, alongside Haaland and Takumi Minamino, dazzled in the Champions League during the 2019/20 season.
Hwang’s remarkable tally of 16 goals and 22 assists that season caught Leipzig’s attention, leading to his transfer. By then, Hwang had become an integral player for South Korea, representing his country at both the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2018 World Cup.
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His debut in the Premier League was marked by a goal against Watford, one of five in his inaugural season with Wolves.
Yet, arguably, the pinnacle of Hwang’s career thus far was his extra-time winner against Portugal, propelling South Korea into a round of the competition they had never reached before.
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And in a moment that resonated with fans worldwide, Hwang celebrated his monumental goal by showing off his impressive physique, a celebration that was as memorable as the goal itself.
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Another poignant moment was Hwang’s late winner against league leaders Manchester City just a few weeks ago. The goal was a feast not only for his team but also for the media after the Man City coach had referred to Hwang as “the Korean guy” in a previous press conference.
Wolves 2-1 Man City
‘THAT KOREAN GUY’ pic.twitter.com/sCq4UK1m3N
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) September 30, 2023
For Hwang, it’s only up from here! The same goes for his fans, who can’t wait to see more from this unexpected soccer star.