Former South Korean center back Jang Hyun-soo (33) has signed an extension with Qatari club Al Gharafa.

“After the signing of Real Madrid star Joselu, the club decided to take a step forward and signed the South Korean player to a new three-year contract,” Al Gharafa announced on Wednesday (KST).

“Jang is regarded as one of the best defenders in the Asian continent. His performance for the Panthers (nicknamed Algarafa) in the second half of last season was a decisive motivation for us to sign him. “He not only has the skills, but also the leadership.

Jang joined Al Gharafa from Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal in November last year and established himself as the first-choice center back for Al Gharafa coach Pedro Martins in the second half of the Qatar Stars League, 토토사이트 순위 making 11 appearances.

It was a season to remember. In June of last year, Jang was diagnosed with a benign tumor in his lymph glands, and he stopped playing and focused on his treatment. On September 1, he announced on his personal channel that he had “recovered 100% from cancer”. Al Hilal, unusually, showed its support to the Korean player. Jang was one of Alhilal’s most beloved foreigners. He was even given a special farewell ceremony when he left for Al Gharafa.

Jang made his professional debut with FC Tokyo in Japan in 2012 after graduating from Yonsei University and has 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 2014 Incheon Asian Games gold medal team, 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 falsified his military service record. 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 at the time.

Jang was once rumored to return to Korea, but he will continue to challenge in Qatar for the next three years. He will soon be joined by Spanish forward Joselu, who won the European Champions League with Real Madrid in the 2023-2024 season. Al Gharafa finished third in the Qatari league in the 2023-2024 season and qualified for the elite playoffs of the Asian Champions League.

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