Versatile midfielder Hwang In-beom just can't catch a break

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Versatile midfielder Hwang In-beom just can't catch a break

Hwang In-beom  [YONHAP]

Hwang In-beom [YONHAP]

At 26-years-old, Hwang In-beom has already gone through more off-the-pitch upheavals than most players will in their entire career — and none of them were his fault.
Hwang, a regular starter for Greek club Olympiacos and the Korean national team, can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to team selection.  
After starting his career with Daejeon Citizen in 2015, Hwang started his military service in 2018 with Asan Mugunghwa. That move proved to be short-lived, as Hwang earned a military exemption at the 2018 Asian Games and dropped straight back into the Daejeon squad.
In 2019, Hwang moved to the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Major League Soccer league on a two-year deal, but was traded to Rubin Kazan in the Russian league in 2020.
Hwang appeared to find his feet in Russia, establishing himself as a regular starter with Rubin Kazan and gaining a reputation as one of the best playmakers in the league. Despite a run in with Covid-19 and an ankle injury, Hwang remained a consistent figure in the Rubin Kazan squad for the best part of two years.
Hwang In-beom played for Russian side Rubin Kazan from 2020 to 2022.  [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Hwang In-beom played for Russian side Rubin Kazan from 2020 to 2022. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Then Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting FIFA to permit foreign players to leave the country and eventually to void their contracts.
Hwang eventually returned to Korea where he played out the rest of the 2022 season with FC Seoul, making nine appearances during his brief spell with the club. He re-signed with the club in July last year, only to sign with Olympiacos a week later.
But that move to Olympiacos, the winningest team in Greek football history, has been just as tumultuous as the rest of Hwang’s career.
Despite having won the league 47 times, including for the last three straight seasons, Olympiacos sit in third place with no way to win the league this season. That comes despite having seen four different managers, 21 signings and 47 players used.
Hwang In-beom signed for Olympiacos in July last year.  [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Hwang In-beom signed for Olympiacos in July last year. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

But even more bizarrely, the club spent a good part of the season threatening to resign from the league, despite club president and owner Evangelos Marinakis, also the owner of Nottingham Forest and the man behind a lot of the complaints about the league, also being the president of the league.
Olympiacos’ constant threats to resign come due to the club’s belief that the league is rigged. Accusations of corruption — and, not so long ago, evidence of it — are incredibly common in Greece, prompting the league to use only foreign referees during playoffs due to constant accusations of bias against domestic referees.
Or at least that used to be the case. UEFA withdrew its commitment to provide referees earlier this week after Italian referee Davide Massa reported last week that as he entered the changing room following last week’s fiery clash between league leaders AEK Athens and Olympiacos, he felt “a blow on the genitals without recognizing from whom,” according to the official match report.
UEFA now say the safety of match officials cannot be guaranteed in Greece.
All this adds up to yet another very tumultuous year for Hwang, who still managed two goals and four assists in two appearances this season.
Hwang is a versatile box-to-box midfielder that is able to hang back and play a deeper defensive role or support the attacking line as a playmaker. For the Korean national team, Hwang often plays in the center in a supportive role behind the likes of Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan.
Interest in Hwang In-beom has been growing, with Inter Milan sending scouts to watch him play in January this year. With the transfer window set to open in just a few weeks, Hwang might be hoping for a move to somewhere a little less hectic next season.

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