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Center back in 233 La Liga games “Jang Hyun-soo, a player I admire”

Asian All-Star Jang Hyun-soo (32) has been recognized by a former defender in European soccer’s big leagues.

Alvaro Gonzalez (33-Spain) sent a message to Jang wishing him “a speedy recovery to play soccer again,” the Arabic-language news outlet Al-Awaba reported on Wednesday.

Jang is undergoing treatment for a benign tumor found in his lymph glands. “Even though we were not teammates, I had a lot of respect for him as an opponent,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez is a center back who played for Santander from 2011-2012, Zaragoza from 2012-2014, Espanyol from 2014-2016, and Villarreal from 2016-2020, scoring five goals and providing six assists in 233 Spanish La Liga games for the UEFA’s second-ranked club.

He has experience in all UEFA club competitions, including the Europa League with Villarreal and the Champions League and Conference League with Marseille (France) from 2020-2022.

In the 2022-23 season, Gonzalez joined Al-Nasr in the Saudi Arabian top flight, where he played alongside Al-Hilal’s Jang Hyun-soo. With the same position as a central defender, the matchup was rare.

Saudi Arabia are the top-ranked team in the 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) League, Jang is a 2021 Asian Champions League All-Star, and Al-Hilal are the defending champions of Saudi Arabia and the AFC Champions League.

Since Jang’s arrival, Al-Hilal has won the 2019-2021 AFC Champions League, the 2020-2022 Saudi Arabian First Division, the 2020-2023 Saudi Arabian Football Association Cup, and the 2021 Saudi Super Cup.

Even after the signing of African All-Star Kalidou Koulibaly, Jang was projected to be Al-Hilal’s starting center back in 2023-24 until a medical disclosure. Photo via TNT Sports
At the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup, where Al Hilal finished as runners-up, Jang was the full-time center back, supporting the club’s greatest achievement in history.안전놀이터

Jang is highly regarded in Saudi Arabia, where he was expected to start for Al-Hilal even after the arrival of Khalidou Koulibaly (32-Senegal), the International Federation of Futures Hockey Statistics (IFFHS) Africa’s Best 11 of the 2010s, until health problems surfaced.

‘Al-Bawaba’ reported, “The player began a course of treatment for a tumor at the King Faisal Specialized Hospital Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Monday. Al-Hilal is paying for the treatment through a non-profit foundation he established for charity.”

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