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Bizarre reason why Jesse Lingard's new FC Seoul teammates all 'woke up a year younger' in June

Bizarre reason why Jesse Lingard's new FC Seoul teammates all 'woke up a year younger' in June

Jesse Lingard has signed for South Korean side FC Seoul after a long spell as a free agent.

Many of Jesse Lingard's new teammates at FC Seoul woke up a "year younger" last year thanks to a rule change.

Lingard has been a free agent ever since his Nottingham Forest contract expired at the end of the 2022/23 season.

He trained with former club West Ham and Saudi Pro League side Al Ettifaq, but did not earn a deal.

It was claimed that Lingard had a total of 27 clubs across world football keen on him, but K-League outfit FC Seoul won the race for his signature.

The former Manchester United man is believed to be the league's top earner after signing a two-year contract.

He will also become the seventh English player to play in the K-League.

And though he will go into a squad including a Brazilian, German, Syrian and Serbian, the majority of his teammates are of course from South Korea.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

And incredibly, back in June, it was announced that South Korean people had become a year younger.

Originally, the age system in the country included a babies' gestation period, meaning newborns considered were considered one-year old at birth.

However, the unusual policy was scrapped for a more traditional age system last year.

The law was passed in December following strong campaigning from South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol and applied to the likes of Heung-Min Son, Kim-Min Jae and Park Ji-Sung once it came into effect.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

The trio are therefore technically a year younger in their native country, though internationally their age was the same and often passports and legal drinking and smoking age went off date of birth.

Explaining the change, Se-Woong Koo, a South Korean journalist, told Al Jazeera: “It’s tremendously confusing for many people; some people think of how old they are in terms of the Western way of counting, others do according to the Korean way of counting, and there is in fact more than one way of doing it the Korean way so to speak.

“Some people think your age increases with the Lunar New Year, not with the Solar New Year. Some people wonder if their birthday has anything to do with it.”

FC Seoul kick off their new season against Gwangju FC on 2 March.

Featured Image Credit: Getty & FC Seoul

Topics: Jesse Lingard, West Ham United, Manchester United