The Korea Herald


Montenegrin striker Mugosa rejoins Incheon United after 1 season in Japan

By Yonhap

Published : July 11, 2023 - 09:36

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This image shows the K League 1 club's Montenegrin striker Stefan Mugosa, on Monday. (Incheon United) This image shows the K League 1 club's Montenegrin striker Stefan Mugosa, on Monday. (Incheon United)

Montenegrin striker Stefan Mugosa has reunited with the South Korean club Incheon United, following one unsuccessful year in Japan.

Incheon announced late Monday that Mugosa had agreed to a new deal that will keep him in the K League 1 until 2025, after he terminated his previous deal with the Japanese club Vissel Kobe.

The club livestreamed Mugosa's arrival at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on its YouTube channel Monday evening, showing Mugosa taking off his polo shirt to reveal an Incheon uniform underneath.

"Long time no see. I am so happy that I am coming home," Mugosa told his fans, with his usual No. 9 on the back of his shirt. "I can't wait to see you again."

Mugosa, 31, was one of the most prolific goal scorers in the K League 1 when he first played for Incheon from 2018 to June 2022. He ranked inside the top five in goals for three straight seasons, from 2018 to 2020. At the time of his departure in 2022, Mugosa had a league-best 14 goals in only 18 matches. He still finished third overall by the season's end without playing the final 20 matches here.

With Vissel Kobe, though, Mugosa ended up playing in only five league matches over the next 12 months without scoring once, leading to a return to a familiar place in South Korea.

According to Incheon, Mugosa and Vissel Kobe mutually agreed to terminate his contract in Japan before the player hit free agency next year.

"Mugosa rejected offers from multiple clubs from South Korea and other countries, and focused on returning to Incheon," the South Korean club said in a statement. "He has to ramp back up after playing so little over the past year, but he is determined to help the club."

Mugosa will be formally reintroduced to fans before a home match against Daejeon Hana Citizen FC on Sunday.

Through 21 matches, Incheon ranked ninth among 12 teams with 24 points. They have netted 21 goals, the third-fewest total in the K League 1 so far. (Yonhap)