World Cup 2018 Preview: South Korea

South Korea are the only side from outside of Europe and South America to be ever-present at the World Cup since 1986.

Nickname(s): Taegeuk Warriors, The Reds, Red Devils

Best Finish: Fourth (2002)

How they qualified: The Red Devils qualified for their ninth consecutive World Cup despite an indifferent campaign. In the first round of qualifying, South Korea won all eight games, but against similarly inferior opposition in the second round, they won four, drew three, and lost three. Nevertheless, qualification was assured with a second placed finish thanks to two consecutive 0-0 draws against Iran and Uzbekistan.

Coach: Shin Tae-Yong

Tae-Yong was appointed in July 2017 following the dismissal of Uli Stielike. A former midfielder for the Taeguk Warriors, the 46-year-old most recently coached South Korea at the U20 World Cup in 2017 and won the AFC Champions League with Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma in 2010.

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Key Man: Son Heung-Min

Like many of South Korea’s top talents, the Tottenham forward honed his skills in the German Bundesliga, until earning a move to White Hart Lane where he has become a highly important player, despite not being an immediate starter. For his national team, the former Hamburg and Bayern Leverkusen man is the star of the show. But in the eyes of a growing fan base, he pales in comparison to the legendary Ji Sung-Park. However, if he can guide the Reds into the quarter-finals or better, that can always change.

Opening fixtures:

18 June vs Sweden

23 June vs Mexico

27 June vs Germany

Squad: TBD

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One thought on “World Cup 2018 Preview: South Korea

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