Ko Young-joon signs 3.5-year deal with Serbian giants Partizan

‘Son of Pohang’ Ko Young-jun (22) has joined the prestigious FK Partizan in Serbia. He will compete with Hwang In-beom (27-Zvezda, Zvezda) for the league title in the Serbian Superliga.

Partizan announced on Wednesday (July 23), “We have signed South Korean international Ko Young-joon. The club has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Ko, who can play as an attacking midfielder and winger. He has completed his medical in Belgrade and will immediately join the winter training in Cyprus with his new teammates,” the club officially announced.

After coming through the Pohang Steelers’ youth system and making his debut in the K League in 2020, Ko has reached his dream of playing in Europe. He steadily progressed in a Pohang jersey and established himself as a key player for the team, accumulating six goals and four assists in 37 league games in 2022 and eight goals and one assist in 28 league games in 2023.

In 2022, he was called up by Paulo Bento (54-Portugal) to play in the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E-1 Championship, where he wore the tricolor. At last year’s Asian Games in Hangzhou, he was called up by Hwang Sun-hong (55) and won a gold medal. The Asian Games gold medal made his transition to Europe easier, as he received military service benefits.

Ko was considered one of the most technical players in the K League. He is known for his ability to make bold runs without hesitation and create chances for his teammates. Add to that the fact that his shooting has skyrocketed in recent seasons, and his goalscoring record has been on an upward curve. In addition to his offensive talent, he has also developed into a player who contributes a lot to the team with his work rate and defensive ability under Pohang coach Kim Ki-dong (52).

Partizan is the most prestigious team in Serbia. They boast a storied history in their home country, having won the Serbian Superliga eight times and the Serbian Cup seven times. The team is a regular fixture in European competitions, with Dusan Blahovic (23-Juventus), Aleksandar Mitrovic (29-Alhilal), and Stevan Jovetic (34-Olympiakos) all coming from the club. As for South Korean players, Kim Ki-woo (40), the current head coach of Cheonan City, wore the jersey in 2005 when he was still an active player.

Meanwhile, Ko will have to compete with Hwang In-bum, whose club Tsrvena Zvezda is Partizan’s biggest rival. The match between the two Belgrade-based teams is called ‘Vechiti Derby’. Currently, Partizan (47 points) leads the league with a narrow lead over Zvezda (46 points).

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