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World Cup 2010 Focus: South Korea 's Taegeuk Warriors

Posted by Walker Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Asia’s most successful national side will come to South Korea for their seventh consecutive World Cup with their usual status of underdogs. Well-respected Dutch duo Guus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat managed the Koreans at previous World Cups, but this time they will be led by Huh Jung-Moo, who scored a goal for Korea at Mexico ’86.

Their qualification for this summer’s showpiece event was fairly straightforward, as they topped their group as expected, despite a series of underwhelming performances along the way. Korea caused shockwaves in 2002 when they hosted the tournament and reached the semi-finals, eliminating Portugal, Italy and Spain along the way. Replicating this success is not a realistic target for Huh Jung-Moo’s men this time round though.

“This will be the last chapter in my football life,” Huh Jung-Moo said. “I will put in all my energy to achieve good results in the World Cup.”

Former Fulham winger Seol Ki-Hyeon is a notable omission from the squad due to a long-term knee injury. The squad does include well-known British players. Manchester United’s versatile Park Ji-Sung is the captain, and the main source of danger for Korea’s opponents. Ki Sung-Yong of Celtic will play in central midfield, with Bolton’s hugely impressive Lee Chung-Yong on the wing. Ex-Tottenham full-back Lee Young-Pyo is still important for his nation, and so is the infamous Ahn Jung-Hwan. He now plays his club football back in his homeland, but will be remembered by Italians for eliminating them from the 2002 World Cup with a controversial winner whilst he was a Perugia player.

Grouped with powerhouses Argentina, as well as Nigeria and Greece, the Koreans will fancy their chances of progressing through the group stage as possible runners-up.

South Korea provisional FIFA World Cup squad:
Kim Young-Kwang (Ulsan), Lee Woon-Jae (Suwon), Jung Sung-Ryong (Seongnam); Kwak Tae-Hwi (Kyoto), Kim Dong-Jin (Ulsan), Kim Hyung-Il (Pohang), Oh Beom-Seok (Ulsan), Lee Young-Pyo (Al Hilal), Lee Jung-Soo (Kashima Antlers), Cha Du-Ri (SC Freiburg), Cho Yong-Hyung (Jeju); Koo Ja-Cheol (Jeju), Ki Sung-Yong (Celtic), Kim Bo-Kyung (Oita), Kim Nam-Il (Tom Tomsk), Shin Hung-Min (Pohang), Kim Jae-Sung (Pohang), Kim Jung-Woo (Gwangju), Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton), Park Ji-Sung (Manchester United); Park Chu-Young (AS Monaco), Ahn Jung-Hwan (Dalian Shide), Lee Seung-Ryul (Seoul), Yeom Ki-Hun (Suwon), Lee Keun-Ho (Jubilo Iwata), Lee Dong-Guk (Jeonbuk).

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