During six months at Werder Bremen in 2001, Lee's playing time was limited, partly due to injuries.
Lee left the Steelers in 2002 as he began his national service, joining the military team Gwangju Sangmu. He spent two seasons there. However, his career recovered after he returned to Pohang in 2004.
Lee rejected the opportunity to return to his former club Pohang Steelers on transfer deadline day, and was released by Gareth Southgate at the end of the season for the season 2008/09. He has received offers from Japanese Clubs and from Germany
In 2002, Lee was not chosen by Guus Hiddink to represent South Korea in 2002 World Cup. Fans called him "Lazy Genius," because they felt that he did not fully use his potential. This is also because Hiddink emphasized strong stamina, great power, and agile speed, which are the categories that Lee struggles in, except power. He later admitted to spending his days drinking and not watching a single game that took place in Korea.
On 1 November, 2007 Lee was banned from the national team for twelve months after it was revealed that he, along with team captain Lee Woon-Jae and teammates Kim Sang-Sik and Woo Sung-Yong, went on a late night drinking spree with several female employees during the Asian Cup, in which Korea received third place.
Unlike the other members who were involved in this incident, because Lee played for Middlesbrough in England, the KFA (Korea Football Association) couldn't ban him from his club team matches. Therefore, as long as he does not return to a Korean club team, he would not be restricted from his club team matches.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup |
/ K-League Cup
|Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma||2008||6||1||2||0||0||0||3||0||0||-||-||-||9||1||2|
|Gwangju Sangmu Phoenix||2004||19||1||5||-||-||-||4||3||0||-||-||-||23||4||5|
|SV Werder Bremen||2000-2001||7||0||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||?||?||?||7||0||1|
|1||2000-02-17||2-0||2000 Gold Cup|
|3||2000-10-19||3-0||Asian Cup 2000|
|4||2000-10-19||3-0||Asian Cup 2000|
|5||2000-10-19||3-0||Asian Cup 2000|
|6||2000-10-23||2-1||Asian Cup 2000|
|7||2000-10-26||1-2||Asian Cup 2000|
|8||2000-10-29||1-0||Asian Cup 2000|
|11||2004-07-23||2-0||Asian Cup 2004|
|12||2004-07-27||4-0||Asian Cup 2004|
|13||2004-07-27||4-0||Asian Cup 2004|
|14||2004-07-31||3-4||Asian Cup 2004|
|15||2004-09-08||2-1||2006 FIFA World Cup Qual.|
|16||2004-11-17||2-0||2006 FIFA World Cup Qual.|
|18||2005-02-09||2-0||2006 FIFA World Cup Qual.|
|19||2005-03-30||2-1||2006 FIFA World Cup Qual.|
|20||2005-06-08||4-0||2006 FIFA World Cup Qual.|