Article and Interview by: Trisha Inocencio and Marai Claudel
Interview Transcript: Marai Claudel
Photographer: Adcel Faurillo
With undeniable boy next door looks and great athletic capabilities, Ian (his english name) is set to melt the hearts of not just the Pinay football fans but K-Fangirls as well, with his shy personality and tall physique, fangirls will easily get drawn towards his unusual charm and persona.
Born on July 17, 1990 in Seoul, he is a 6-footer South Korean professional football player who currently belongs to the Philippine Football League (PFL), the highest level of men’s club football in the Philippines sanctioned by the Philippine Football Federation.
An alumni of Chung Ang University, the same school where Park Shin Hye studied, Ian graduated with a degree in Life Sport and began his professional football career at K-League’s Seongnam Ilhwa Football Club (K-League is South Korea’s professional association football league).
Last year, he became part of Meralco Sparks F.C. and now he is currently playing for Global Cebu F.C as the team’s center-defender.
Read on and get to know him more, as we share our exclusive interview with Ian Lee.
Q: When did you start playing football?
Ian: When I was 10 or 11 years old.
Q: How long have you been playing football?
Ian: About 17 years.
Q: Your football idol?
Ian: A Spanish player, Andrés Iniesta. I admire him because he has great techniques in playing football.
Q: When did you start playing as a professional football player?
Ian: Right after I graduated from the university, I joined the K League.
Q: When did you start playing football in the Philippines?
Ian: Last year, going on the second year. The first team was Meralco Sparks FC, it disbanded. I started playing with Global Cebu this January.
Q: What are the best things about your current club?
Ian: I think my teammates, the players are good. Their football technique is great. Also, they take care of me.
Q: Aside from football, what are your other interests or hobbies?
Ian: I usually play PlayStation. I also watch movies. I recently bought a DSLR camera. I’m going to go around and take pictures, photography.
Q: What do you think about the Philippines and the Filipinos in general… aside from the traffic?
Ian: Laughs… (Before the interview started, he said that the traffic left a lasting impression on him). I’m usually shy and careful to talk to others for the first time. But when I went to Vietnam to play for the AFC Cup, my team mates and I moved around there and met a Filipina randomly on the street. They look really close with each other even though they just met for the first time. So friendly.
Q: Do you know any Tagalog or Filipino words?
Ian: When I take the taxi, “Derecho, Kanan, Kaliwa.” “Salamat.”
Q: Do you have a favorite Filipino dish?
Ian: Pansit, that’s my favorite.
Q: What do you miss most about Korea?
Ian: My family and girlfriend. The weather because the weather here sometimes is too hot. I miss spring and fall. I don’t like summer and winter.
Q: What is your favorite Korean dish?
Ian: It’s hard to choose, I love everything.
Q: Do you have any favorite Korean actors/actresses?
Ian: SNSD Yoona. Yoona is the best.
Q: What music do you usually listen to?
Ian: Ed Sheeran.
Q: Any favorite Korean variety show?
Ian: Infinite Challenge, but no more. (Infinite Challenge had its last broadcast at the end of March after 13 years)
Q: The most recent movie that you’ve watched?
Ian: Black Panther.
Q: How do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Ian: I hope to still play football five years from now. If I’m too old to play football, I might be a coach. Teach future players in Korea or in the Philippines.
We would like to thank Ian for giving us his time and for being so cool during the interview. We wish him and his team all the best! We will be supporting by the sidelines and hoping for other opportunities for him.
Also would like to thank The Bowery for letting us (exclusively) use the whole second floor during the interview and also for the snacks. The Bowery is located at the G/F Rizal Dr. corner 29th street, Burgos Circle, BGC, Taguig.