The European Champions League (UCL) has organized a ‘mini Korea-Japan’ match. Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) and Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad) will face off.

UEFA drew the UCL Round of 16 for the 2023-2024 season at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on June 18 (ET). As a result, PSG and Real Sociedad will meet head-to-head. The UCL Round of 16 will be played on a home-and-home basis starting on February 13 next year.

PSG, led by Luis Enrique, won two games and drew two in Group F of the competition. They finished second in the group behind Dortmund (Germany) and advanced to the round of 16. Imanol Alguacil’s Real Sociedad has three points in Group D with three games remaining. They finished first in their group, ahead of Inter Milan (Italy), Benfica (Portugal), and Salzburg (Austria). Lee and Gubo will now face off against each other in Europe. The two previously played together at Real Mallorca (Spain).

Both players are key to the team. Lee donned the PSG jersey ahead of this season. His absence from the squad for a while due to the Hangzhou Asian Games and national team commitments caused some concern. However, he has made his way into the starting lineup with flying colors. He has started the last five games in a row, leading the team’s offense. Gubo has six goals and three assists in the Spanish Primera Liga this season with Real Sociedad. He also has one assist in the UCL, leading the team’s offense. This has helped Real Sociedad to a 6th place finish in the league with 8 wins, 6 draws, and 3 losses. He was named Primera Liga Player of the Month in October.

Lee and Gubo were quick to react to the news of the UCL round of 16 clash. Gubo broke the news on his personal social networking site and called out Lee. Lee responded immediately.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich (Germany), featuring “monster defender” Kim Min-jae, will face Lazio (Italy) in the Round of 16. Bayern Munich entered the tournament in first place in Group A with five wins and one draw. Lazio finished second in Group E (3 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses) to reach the Round of 16.

In addition, defending champions Manchester City (England) will face Copenhagen (Denmark), Real Madrid (Spain) will face Leipzig (Germany), and FC Barcelona (Spain) will face Napoli (Italy).


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