Chelsea Women

Ji So-yun: Former Chelsea midfielder joins Suwon FC

Ali Rampling
Ji has moved to Suwon FC
Ji has moved to Suwon FC / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Former Chelsea midfielder Ji So-yun has signed for Suwon FC, a move that will see her play domestic football in her native South Korea for the first time in her senior career.

The playmaker announced her emotional departure from Chelsea at the end of the 2021/22 campaign, bringing an end to her eight-year stint in west London.

Ji lifted 13 major trophies during her time with the Blues and is heralded by many as the WSL's greatest ever overseas player. After announcing her departure in April, Emma Hayes declared that she had 'never seen a player like Ji in the women's game'.

The next chapter of the 31-year-old's career will see her return to South Korea with Suwon FC, who confirmed her arrival in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

"It's an honour to start my WK League career with Suwon FC Women," Ji said in a statement released by the club. "I will try to go back to the basics and become the player that can help the club win."

Suwon have been crowned K League champions once in 2010 and finished third during the 2021 season, before losing in the playoff semi finals.

Ji is South Korea's all-time top appearance maker and goalscorer, netting 64 times in 125 outings for her country. However, her move to Suwon is the first time she will have played non-international football in her home country since she represented the Hanyang Women's University team between 2009 and 2010.

Prior to moving to Chelsea, Ji had plied her trade in Japan, spending two years with INAC Kobe Leonessa.

The South Korean international had been on Hayes' radar for a while before the Chelsea manager first saw her play at the 2013 International Women’s Club Championship in Tokyo. Hayes was blown away inside the first 10 minutes, and a deal was struck in January 2014.