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“I’m a winner…” Jesse Lingard explains why he moved to South Korea



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Credit: Sky Sports

Ex-Manchester United player Jesse Lingard has opened up on his move to South Korea as he signs for FC Seoul on a two-year contract.

Jesse Lingard dedicated more than two decades to Manchester United, emerging as a club icon during a challenging period, contributing crucial goals in three finals that led to multiple trophy victories.

His time under the management of Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho saw Lingard securing triumphs in prestigious competitions such as the FA Cup, Europa League, Carabao Cup, and Community Shield. However, he departed the club on a free transfer in June 2022.

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Following a season with Nottingham Forest, Lingard recently inked a deal with FC Seoul in South Korea, and he has opened up on how the move came to fruition.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “It’s a new challenge. I’ve accepted it, I’m here and I’m ready to embrace the culture. It’s a new beginning for me, a new chapter in my career.

“I just want to enjoy playing football again, putting a smile on people’s faces and showing Korean fans what I can do.

“Over the summer, I had multiple offers and, when FC Seoul came into the equation, the commitment that they showed, they came to Manchester to watch me train. I got put through some tests by the physios in Manchester, they came with the contract on paper, so I think the commitment shown by the club really in my mind.

“I had already made up where I wanted to go because, as I say, there were multiple offers, they were all verbal offers, but the commitment shown by FC Seoul showed how much interest [they had] and how much they wanted me at the club. So it was only right for me to repay that and come to the club.”

Speaking further, he explained that despite not having a club since leaving Forest, he kept training.

“I think, over the last eight months, being without a club is hard but my mindset is to never give up,” he said. “Like I say, it was tough but I knew, by January, I needed to sign for a club. I was training pretty much every day.

“I had my birthday celebrations and then, after that, it was a strict programme of training every couple of days throughout the week. I flew to Dubai, I had my own personal trainer, so I was training there two times a day for two weeks and came back in great condition, physically, spiritually, mentally and in great position to sign for a club.

“Of course, I’m not match fit at the moment, I’ve not played a game since I think late October but it shouldn’t take me too long to catch up to my fitness. I look after my body very well, eating the right things. I don’t drink so I’m not too far off being match fit.”

He ended by explaining that he is happy that he can now focus on his football again.

“Now I’ve finally signed, I can concentrate on my football and I’m looking forward to getting back on the pitch and winning with FC Seoul because I’m a winner,” he added. “I’m a competitor and I want to win trophies while I’m here.

“I came here to embrace the culture, learn new things, learn more about the K League; make it more global than it is already. Personal goals? I have them written down back at home but it’s about the team and I want to play for the team and we want to win every game.

 “I understand the fans are very passionate. They show a lot of emotional support towards the players. The welcome at the airport was amazing, it’s something that I’d never seen before, so I’d like to thank the fans for that as well.

“I’ll be able to explore Korea a lot more. It’s bigger than I thought, to be honest. Like I said, the people are lovely and I can’t wait to explore a little bit more now.”