Valencia's South Korean footballer Kang-in Lee has become the target of constant "international requests from the Asian market," the Spanish club's international business development manager, Fabio Fusco, told the 'Soccerex Connected' forum on Tuesday.
"Lee Kang-in is constantly playing and we receive many requests from the Asian market for him. That shows how global football is. But the most important thing for us is to develop talent with our values, to be ambassadors of our values," Fusco said.
Lee, 19, arrived at the Valencia academy at the age of 11 and made his debut on the first team in October 2018, when he played in the knockout round of the Copa del Rey against Ebro, which the 'Che' side won. Lee, however, did not play in the semifinals or final. Last season he played 24 games and scored two goals.
Fusco noted that Valencia has about 60 million international fans, of which Asia is "one of the most interesting markets," but they also have an international following in African countries such as Egypt, and in Latin America.
Fusco, who participated in a round table discussion centering on the internationalization of Spanish football with Iván Codina, LaLiga's managing director for South East Asia, Australia, Japan and South Korea, explained that COVID-19 has created "a very complex situation" at the clubs, but also "an opportunity to connect" with a different audience during the stoppage.
During the pandemic pause, Valencia launched new social media channels "in up to six different languages," worked on new sponsorship agreements and on new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality.
"Everything has changed but we believe that it is an opportunity for clubs, beyond the income problems we have, to show how important football is to unite people and think about a better future," Fusco said. EFE