Who is the player who has won the most championships in the AFC Champions League, the battlefield that determines the strongest player in Asian club football? Interestingly, an unexpected name holds the highest position on record.
That is veteran goalkeeper Kwon Soon-tae. Kwon Soon-tae, who plays for Kashima Antlers, a prestigious Japanese J-League, has established himself as the player with the most AFC Champions League titles (three times) so far. Kwon Sun-tae first rose to the top in the 2006 AFC Champions League when he was a rookie playing for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, and kissed the trophy in the 2016 AFC Champions League, where he worked as a signboard gatekeeper. And in the 2018 season after moving to Kashima, he reached the top of the AFC Champions League.
However, there is another player challenging this record. It is Jang Hyun-soo of Al-Hilal. Al Hilal, to which Jang Hyun-soo belongs, faces Urawa in the first leg of the 2022 AFC Champions League Final, scheduled at King Fahd National Stadium in Riyadh at 2:30 am (Korean time) on the 30th, and the venue is moved to Saitama Stadium 2002 at 6 pm on the 6th. move on to the second round of the finals.
In this confrontation, if Al-Hilal defeats Urawa and wins, Hyun-Soo Jang can win several titles. So far, Hyun-soo Jang has won two championships in his career. He won the 2019 AFC Champions League and reached the top of the 2021 AFC Champions League by beating Pohang Steelers. Therefore, if they win again by beating Urawa this time, together with Kwon Soon-tae mentioned at the beginning, they will achieve the tie record for the most wins in the AFC Champions League career.
However, the tie record for the most wins in career is not entirely up to Jang Hyun-soo. The two tournament victories achieved so far were achievements made with Al-Hilal teammates, including Abdullah Al Mayouf, who kept the goal for Saudi Arabia at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In other words, if he wins again, he will share the tie record for most wins in his career with his teammates ㅋㅋㅋ벳.
However, if the condition is limited to Korean players, the record becomes special. Along with Kwon Sun-tae, he could become the Korean player who has won the most AFC Champions League titles. The history of being the first Korean player to win three championships in only one team and the first Korean national field player to achieve three championships in total is also followed. The upcoming AFC Champions League final is bound to be the greatest motivation for Jang Hyun-soo.
However, it is regrettable that Jang Hyun-soo’s condition is not very good. Currently, media outlets in Saudi Arabia are reporting that there is a possibility that Jang Hyun-soo will not be able to play in the first game on the 30th because he is suffering from foot pain. In the semifinals of the 2022-2023 Saudi Arabia Champions Cup against Al Ittihad on the 24th, he played 120 minutes full-time in this state, and his physical condition worsened. Still, he is Jang Hyun-soo, whom I definitely want to play against Urawa. Great records come from pain.