South Korea national football team
|Nickname(s)||Taegeuk Warriors (태극전사)
|Association||Korea Football Association (KFA)
|Sub-confederation||EAFF (East Asia)|
|Head coach||Uli Stielike|
|Asst coach||Carlos Armua|
|Most caps||Hong Myung-bo (136)|
|Top scorer||Cha Bum-kun (55)|
|FIFA ranking||69 (18 December 2014)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||17 (December 1998)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||69 (November 2014-December 2014)|
|Highest Elo ranking||15 (Sep 1980, Jun 2002)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||82|
| South Korea 5–1 Hong Kong
(Hong Kong; June 6, 1948)
| South Korea 16–0 Nepal
(Incheon, South Korea; September 29, 2003)
| South Korea 0–12 Sweden
(London, England; August 5, 1948)
|Appearances||9 (First in 1954)|
|Best result||Fourth Place, 2002|
|Appearances||12 (First in 1956)|
|Best result||Champions, 1956 and 1960|
|CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|Appearances||2 (First in 2000)|
|Best result||Fourth Place, 2002|
|Appearances||1 (First in 2001)|
|Best result||Group Stage, 2001|
|South Korea national football team|
|Hangul||대한민국 축구 국가대표팀|
|Hanja||大韓民國 蹴球 國家代表|
|Revised Romanization||Daehan Min'guk Chukgu Gukga Daepyo Tim|
|McCune–Reischauer||Taehan Min'guk Ch'ukku Kukka Taep'yo T'im|
Since the 1960s, South Korea has emerged as a major football power in Asia and is historically the most successful Asian team and has participated in eight consecutive and nine overall FIFA World Cup tournaments, the most for any Asian country. Despite initially going through five World Cup tournaments without winning a match, South Korea became the first and currently only Asian team to reach the semi-final stages when they co-hosted the 2002 tournament with Japan. They have since improved their ability to play on foreign soil and were able to reach the Round of 16 in the 2010 World Cup. They won the first two AFC Asian Cup tournaments though they have been unable to win since, finishing second in 1972, 1980, and 1988, and third in 2000, 2007, and 2011. They also took the gold metal at the 1986 Asian Games. The Korean professional football league was launched in 1983. This not only pleased domestic fans, but it has also upgraded the overall level of the Korean football.
The traditional rival of South Korea is Japan. The South Korea football team has played 75 matches against the Japanese football team with 40 victories, 22 draws, and 13 losses. The football rivalry is long-seated and is often seen as an extension of an overall rivalry that runs deep between the two nations. Controversies occasionally flare up between matches between the two nations. In addition South Korea has a rivalry with China, with China failing to defeat them in twenty-eight competitive matches before finally winning a game in 2010. A strong rivalry has also been developed with Iran.
The team is commonly nicknamed "The Reds" by both fans and the media due to the color of their primary kit. This led to the creation of an official supporting group referred to as the Red Devils in 1995.
- 1 History
- 2 Recent results and fixtures
- 3 Coaching staff
- 4 Players
- 5 Competitive record
- 6 Honours
- 7 National team record
- 8 Sponsorship
- 9 Kit
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Koreans were not introduced to football until 1882, when British crew members played a game while their vessel was visiting the Incheon Port. In 1921, the first All Korea Football Tournament was held, and in 1928, The Korea Football Association was organized, which created a foundation to disseminate and develop football in Korea. In 1940, however, the Governor-General of Korea forced the Korea Football Association to dissolve.
Following the establishment of the Republic of Korea, the Korea Football Association (KFA) was reinstated in 1948 and joined FIFA, the international football governing body. The same year, the Korean national team made its international debut at the Olympic Games in London. The KFA joined the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) in 1954.
South Korea first entered the World Cup in 1954 as the second Asian team ever to compete in the World Cup after the Dutch East Indies. South Korea played games against Hungary and Turkey, losing 9–0 and 7–0 respectively (the game scheduled against West Germany was never played because neither were seeded in their group, as per that tournament's rules). It would take thirty-two years before South Korea was able to participate in the World Cup finals again.
South Korea would later participate in the first Asian Cup in 1956. They drew with Hong Kong but defeated Israel and South Vietnam to take first place. They hosted and won the second Asian Cup in 1960, winning all of their games. However, they failed to repeat this success and lost all their games in the 1964 Asian Cup and failed to qualify in 1968. They recovered in 1972 and took second place. They once again failed to qualify in 1976 but reached second place again in 1980.
In 1986, South Korea was able to qualify for the 1986 FIFA World Cup held in Mexico, their first since 1954. They however failed to win a game despite the presence of Asian football legend Cha Bum-Kun, losing 3–1 to Argentina, drawing 1–1 with Bulgaria, and losing 3–2 to Italy.
Their next major tournament was the 1988 AFC Asian Cup, in which they won all their games in the group stage and defeated China 2–1 in the semi-finals but lost on penalties 4–3 in the final against Saudi Arabia.
South Korea started the 1990s poorly. At the 1990 FIFA World Cup, they lost all their games against Spain 3–1, Uruguay 1–0, and Belgium 2–0. South Korea failed to qualify for the 1992 Asian Cup as well.
In the 1994 FIFA World Cup they managed to draw with Spain 2–2. Hong Myung-Bo scored a goal and assisted teammate Seo Jung-Won with the second, with both goals occurring in the last five minutes of the game. In their next game they earned another draw with Bolivia 0–0. In their last game against Germany they nearly managed another draw with Hwang Sun-Hong and Hong Myung-Bo each scoring a goal in the second half after being down 3–0 but they were unable to score thereafter and were defeated 3–2. In the 1996 Asian Cup they barely managed to make it out of the group stage as they ranked third on their group, losing to Kuwait on goal difference. A comparison made between all the third ranked teams in each group allowed South Korea to advance. However, they suffered a 2–6 loss to Iran in the quarter-finals, conceding five goals in the second half.
Afterwards, former South Korean legend Cha Bum-Kun became the head coach going into the 1998 FIFA World Cup. After performing well in the qualification, however, the team played poorly in the tournament, losing to Mexico 3–1 and the Netherlands 5–0. Cha was sacked after the loss to the Netherlands. The team then managed a 1–1 draw against Belgium. In the 2000 AFC Asian Cup, South Korea managed to advance out of the group stage and defeated rivals Iran 2–1 in the quarter-finals but were beaten by Saudi Arabia 2–1 in the semi-finals. They defeated China 1–0 to gain third-place.
Semifinalists: 2002 World Cup
South Korea co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament with Japan. As they had never won a game in the World Cup previously, hopes were not very high. In addition there was pre-tournament criticism concerning Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, who many felt did not take his job seriously. However once the tournament began the South Korean team achieved their first ever victory in a World Cup with a 2–0 victory against Poland. Their next game was against the United States and earned a 1–1 draw, with striker Ahn Jung Hwan scoring a late game equalizer. Their last game was against the favored Portuguese side. Portugal earned two red cards in the match, reducing them to nine men and Park Ji-Sung scored the winning goal in a 1–0 victory, allowing the South Korean team to qualify for the second round for the first time in their history. The team's success led to widespread euphoria from the Korean public, with many people joining the Red Devils, which gained widespread attention with their passionate support of the team.
South Korea's second round opponents were Italy, who they defeated 2–1 in a very physical match. The Korean team was down for most of the match but Seol Ki-Hyeon scored an equalizer in the 88th minute, allowing the game to go through to extra time. Ahn Jung-Hwan scored the winner with a headed golden goal, allowing them to advance to the quarter-final. South Korea faced Spain in the quarter finals. Spain managed to score twice in this match, but both goals were cancelled by the referee officials. The game then went to the penalties and South Korea won the penalty shootout 5–3 in a very controversial game, and becoming the first Asian team to reach the final four.
The South Korean team's run was halted by a 1–0 loss to Germany in the semi-finals. They lost to Turkey 3–2 in the third-place match to gain fourth place. Team captain Hong Myung-Bo received the Bronze Ball as the World Cup's third best player, the first Asian footballer to be awarded this. In addition Hong was selected for the team of tournament alongside teammate Yoo Sang-Chul, the first and only time Asian footballers have been named. This level of success was unprecedented for a country that had never before won a game in the World Cup. They had gone further than any Asian team and upset several established European teams in the process, leading to an increase in the popularity of football in the country. Hiddink became a national hero in South Korea, becoming the first person to be granted honorary citizenship as well as being given a private villa.
Despite widespread pleas for him to stay, Hiddink resigned following the World Cup. After his departure there was a greater emphasis on hiring foreign coaches. As a result, Portuguese coach Humberto Coelho became the new manager. Under his management Korea participated in and won the first EAFF East Asian Cup in 2003. However, following shocking defeats to Oman and Vietnam and a hapless 0–0 draw against the Maldives, Coehlo was sacked. Dutch coach Jo Bonfrere then took over. They had less success the next year in the Asian Cup, losing to Iran in the quarter finals. South Korea hosted the East Asian Cup in 2005 but finished in last place.
Korea qualified for the 2006 World Cup after defeating Kuwait in the qualifiers, finishing second in Group B after Saudi Arabia. By this point Bonfrere had come under heavy criticism for the team's poor performance during the 2005 East Asian Cup as well as a 0–2 defeat to Saudi Arabia during World Cup qualification. He eventually resigned, and as a result, the Korean Football Association named Dick Advocaat the new coach to lead the team into the World Cup. During the 2006 World Cup, South Korea achieved their first World Cup victory outside Asia by beating Togo 2–1, with goals from Lee Chun-Soo and Ahn Jung-Hwan. Their next game was against France, who held the lead for most of the game but a goal by Park Ji-Sung allowed the South Korean team to draw with the eventual finalists. This placed South Korea at the top of their group but they lost their last game 2–0 to Switzerland, which eliminated them from the tournament. Advocaat resigned after failing to reach the second round and was replaced by assistant coach Pim Verbeek, who had also worked under Hiddink during the 2002 World Cup.
Korea's next major tournament was the 2007 Asian Cup. The team struggled in the group stages without star players Lee Young-Pyo, Park Ji-Sung, and Seol Ki-Hyeon. The team drew its first game 1-1 against Saudi Arabia but suffered a shocking 2-1 defeat to Bahrain. They defeated Indonesia in their final game and managed to scrape through with four points. They defeated Iran in the quarterfinals via penalty shootout following a 0-0 draw. Korea entered another penalty shootout after another goalless draw to Iraq but were defeated. They then beat Japan on penalties once more to gain third place. Later, it was discovered that during the tournament, four veteran players, including then captain Lee Woon-Jae, broke team rules to go on a late-night drinking binge in an Indonesian bar. Each of the four players were banned from national team participation for at least two years. Pim Verbeek resigned after the tournament, taking blame for the team's unsatisfactory performance as they had failed to score a single goal following the group stage and had to resort to penalties for three games in a row. He also criticized the unrealistic expectations from the fans. Afterwards, South Korea chose its first Korean coach since 2000 when Huh Jung-Moo, who had coached the team in 2000, took the helm for the second time. Under his management the South Korean team managed to win the 2008 East Asian Cup, go undefeated for twenty-seven consecutive games in 2009, and qualify for the 2010 World Cup.
South Korea won the 2010 World Cup AFC qualification with 16 points – seven wins and seven draws in total. In the 2010 World Cup they were placed in Group B. They won their first game against Greece 2–0, with goals from Lee Jung-Soo and Park Ji-Sung. They then faced Argentina and suffered a large loss 4–1, including an own goal by forward Park Chu-Young. They then obtained a 2–2 draw in a hard fought match against Nigeria, with Lee Jung-Soo scoring in the tournament once more and Park Chu-Young redeeming his own goal from the previous game by scoring from a free-kick. This allowed them to make it to the second round for the first time on foreign soil. In the knockout stage they met Uruguay, who took an early lead with a goal from Luis Suarez. South Korea equalized in the second half after Lee Chong-Yong scored his second goal of the tournament but South Korea conceded another goal by Suarez in the 80th minute. Despite maintaining the majority of the possession in the second half, South Korea was unable to equalize again and were eliminated from the tournament.
Following the World Cup, Cho Kwang-rae took over as the coach. In the 2011 AFC Asian Cup they started out with a 2-1 victory over Bahrain. They drew 1-1 with Australia in their second game and finished the group stage with a smashing 4-1 victory over India. South Korea finished with seven points but was second in the group after Australia on goal difference. They played Iran in the quarterfinals and after extra time beat them 1-0. They faced rivals Japan in the semi-finals. South Korea took the lead after Ki Sung-Yueng converted a penalty in the 23rd minute. Japan scored an equalizer and the game went to extra time. Japan went ahead during the first half of extra time but Korea scored an equalizer at the end of the game, forcing the game into penalties. Korea failed to score, with Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima saving two penalites and were beaten 3–0 in the penalty shoot-out. They defeated Uzbekistan 3–2 to earn third place for the second Asian Cup in a row. They managed to win the Fair Play Award and midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol finished as the tournament's top scorer with five goals. Following the Asian Cup the team's performance began to decline and following humiliating losses to Lebanon and Japan, Cho was unceremoniously sacked. He was hurriedly replaced with Choi Kang-hee with the task of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup as the team was in jeopardy of breaking its long-running streak of World Cup qualifications. Under Choi South Korea narrowly qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil by finishing second in their group via goal difference. Choi's contract was up after the conclusion of the qualification matches and was replaced by former player Hong Myung-Bo, who had captained the 2002 World Cup team and coached the under-23 team to a bronze medal finish at the 2012 Olympics.
Low Point: 2014 World Cup and After
Despite high expectations under Hong, South Korea continued its run of poor form. A victory against Costa Rica was followed by losses to Mexico and the United States and shortly prior to the World Cup the team registered dismal losses against Tunisia and Ghana. South Korea started its World Cup campaign against Russia, with forward Lee Keun-Ho scoring in the second half after coming on as a substitute for Park Chu-Young. Russia equalized six minutes later and the game ended in a 1–1 draw. South Korea suffered a disastrous 4–2 loss to Algeria in their second game, conceding three goals by half time with no shots on goal. Son Heung-Min and Koo Ja-Cheol both scored goals in the second half but the South Koreans were unable to equalize, leaving them at the bottom of their group. Their final game was against Belgium and despite Belgian midfielder Steven Defour earning a red card in the match they were able to win 1-0, eliminating South Korea and leaving them without a single win for the first time since 1998.
The team's poor performance resulted in a hostile reaction from fans, who threw toffees at them upon their return. Hong was heavily criticized for the perceived lack of strategy and team selection controversies. Following the World Cup, Hong initially intended to continue in his position until the 2015 Asian Cup, but under heavy media pressure relented and resigned along with several KFA associates in responsibility for the failures at the World Cup. The KFA reinstated Lee Yong-soo as its technical committee director, who held the same position during Hiddink's success in 2002.
Following the World Cup the South Korean team's rank continued its decline. The team was ranked 57th before the tournament and dropped to a low of 69th by the end of the year, their worst ever. After initial negotiations with Bert van Marwijk broke down, the KFA appointed Uli Stielike in October as the new manager with a contract up to the 2018 World Cup. Shortly after the announcement the national team managed a 3-1 victory over Venezuela, their first victory in almost nine months. They suffered a 1-0 loss to Uruguay shortly after. Stielike officially took over the team following the loss to Uruguay. Under his management the team won its first game against Paraguay 2-0 but were beaten by Costa Rica 3-1 shortly after.
Recent results and fixtures
Win Draw Loss
|25 January 2014||Costa Rica||0 – 1||South Korea||LA Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles|
|Report||Kim Shin-Wook 9'||Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Baldomero Toledo (United States)
|29 January 2014||Mexico||4 – 0||South Korea||Alamodome, San Antonio|
Pulido 45+1', 86', 89'
Referee: Héctor Rodríguez (Honduras)
|1 February 2014||United States||2 – 0||South Korea||StubHub Center, Carson|
|14:00 PST||Wondolowski 4', 60'||Report||Attendance: 27,000
Referee: Hugo Cruz (Costa Rica)
|5 March 2014||Greece||0 – 2||South Korea||Karaiskakis Stadium, Athens|
|Report||Park Chu-Young 18'
Son Heung-Min 55'
Referee: Ovidiu Haţegan
|28 May 2014||South Korea||0 – 1||Tunisia||Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul|
|Report||Dhaouadi 44'||Attendance: 57,112
Referee: Martin Atkinson (England)
|9 June 2014||South Korea||0 – 4||Ghana||Sun Life Stadium, Miami|
|19:00 UTC−5||Report||J. Ayew 11', 53', 89'
Referee: David Gantar (Canada)
|5 September 2014||South Korea||3 – 1||Venezuela||Bucheon Sports Complex, Bucheon|
|20:00 UTC+9||Lee Myung-Joo 33'
Lee Dong-Gook 53', 64'
|Report||M. Rondón 21'||Attendance: 34,456
Referee: Võ Minh Trí (Vietnam)
|8 September 2014||South Korea||0 – 1||Uruguay||Goyang Sports Complex, Goyang|
|20:00 UTC+9||Report||Giménez 70'||Referee: Ryuji Sato (Japan)
|10 October 2014||South Korea||2 – 0||Paraguay||Cheonan Stadium, Cheonan|
|20:00 UTC+9||Kim Min-woo 27'
Nam Tae-hee 32'
Referee: Valentin Kovalenko (Uzbekistan)
|14 October 2014||South Korea||1 – 3||Costa Rica||Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul|
|20:00 UTC+9||Lee Dong-gook 45+1'||Report||Borges 37', 47'
|Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)
|14 November 2014||Jordan||0 – 1||South Korea||Amman International Stadium, Amman|
|Han Kyo-won 34'|
|18 November 2014||Iran||1 – 0||South Korea||Azadi Stadium, Tehran|
|Azmoun 83'||Attendance: 52,000
|4 January 2015||Saudi Arabia||v||South Korea||Sydney|
2014 World Cup
|2014 FIFA World Cup 17 June 2014||Russia||1 – 1||South Korea||Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá|
|18:00 UTC−4||Kerzhakov 74'||Report||Lee Keun-Ho 68'||Attendance: 37,603
Referee: Néstor Pitana (Argentina)
|2014 FIFA World Cup 22 June 2014||South Korea||2 – 4||Algeria||Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre|
|16:00 UTC−3||Son Heung-Min 50'
Koo Ja-Cheol 72'
Referee: Wilmar Roldán (Colombia)
|2014 FIFA World Cup 26 June 2014||South Korea||0 – 1||Belgium||Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo|
|17:00 UTC−3||Report||Vertonghen 78'||Attendance: 61,397
Referee: Ben Williams (Australia)
2015 Asian Cup
|2015 AFC Asian Cup 10 January 2015||South Korea||v||Oman||Canberra Stadium, Canberra|
|2015 AFC Asian Cup 13 January 2015||Kuwait||v||South Korea||Canberra Stadium, Canberra|
|2015 AFC Asian Cup 17 January 2015||Australia||v||South Korea||Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane|
2015 EAFF East Asian Cup
|2015 EAFF East Asian Cup 2 August 2015||China PR||v||South Korea||Wuhan|
|2015 EAFF East Asian Cup 5 August 2015||Japan||v||South Korea||Wuhan|
|2015 EAFF East Asian Cup 9 August 2015||South Korea||v||North Korea||Wuhan|
|Assistant Manager||Carlos Armua|
|Assistant Coach||Shin Tae-yong|
|Assistant Coach||Park Kun-ha|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Kim Bong-soo|
The following players have also been called up to the South Korea squad within last 12 months. Retired players are not listed.
- As of 13 October 2014
From 1992, under-23 squad
- As of 14 November 2014}
|Trinidad and Tobago||1||0||1||0||1||1||+0||0.00||CONCACAF|
|United Arab Emirates||18||11||5||2||34||13||+21||61.11||AFC|
- *Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
- **Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.
FIFA World Cup
Main article: South Korea at the FIFA World Cup
AFC Asian Cup
Main article: South Korea at the AFC Asian Cup
FIFA Confederations Cup
EAFF East Asian Cup
- Fourth Place (1): 2002
- Quarter-Finals (1) : 1948
- Winners (2): 1956, 1960
- Runner-Up (3): 1972, 1980, 1988
- Third Place (4): 1964, 2000, 2007, 2011
- Quarter-Finals (2): 1996, 2004
- Gold medal (4): 1970, 1978, 1986, 2014
- Silver medal (3): 1954, 1958, 1962
- Bronze medal (1): 1990
- Fourth Place (1): 1994
- Quarter-Finals (1): 1998
- Fourth Place (1) : 2002
- Winners (1): 2002
National team record
|1977–1984|| Adidas, Asics Kolon Activ
|Adidas was South Korea's first official kit sponsor|
|1984–1987||Weekend||Sports Fashion Brand of Samsung C&T Corporation|
|1988–1995||Rapido||Weekend was renamed Rapido in 1988|
|1996–present||Nike||Sponsorship Contract Date : End of 1995
Contract Start Date : 1 January 1996
- Korea Football Association
- South Korea national football team results
- South Korea national football team records
- Be the Reds!
- Red Devils
- Korea Republic–Japan football rivalry
- North Korea–South Korea football rivalry
- List of national football teams
- "첫 A 매치 골 주인공은 故정남식·정국진씨" (in Korean). The Kukmin Ilbo. 5. 8. 2007. Check date values in:
- "Korea Football Association::::". KFA. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Asia’s finale sees three spots up for grabs". FIFA.com. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Football in South Korea, Major Sports in South Korea, Sports in South Korea, South Korea Sports, South Korea’s sports, Sports of South Korea". Asiarooms.com. 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "All Joseon Football Tournament - eNotes.com Reference". Enotes.com. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- (Korean) History of the Red Devils, Inews, 2006-05-21. Retrieved 2010-06-18
- "The Story Of The World Cup: South Korea/Japan 2002". firsttouchonline.com. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "Spain rage at referee". theguardian.com. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "Biggest World Cup controversies". www.worldcup.com.au. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
- "South Korea ban Boro's Dong-Gook". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 2 November 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jun/30/world-cup-2014-south-korea-toffee. Missing or empty
- "History of the FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition (by year)". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- 대표선수도 국제경기서 버젓이 서독 아디다스, 일본 미즈노등 외제 스포츠용품 국내시장 석권 (in Korean). Kyunghyang Sinmun. 1981-02-27.
- 필승!위크엔드스포츠-멕시코월드컵에서 대표팀과 함께 뜁니다 (in Korean). Kyunghyang Newspaper. 1986-05-30.
- 월드컵 상혼 장외서 뜨거운 "광고전쟁" (in Korean). Kyunghyang Newspaper. 1990-06-20.
- 축구협회 월드컵유니폼 교체 '후원금 최소 100억' (in Korean). Kyunghyang Newspaper. 1997-12-11.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to South Korea national football team.|
- Korea Football Association (Korean)(English)(Japanese)
- Red Devils (Korean)
- Korea Republic - FIFA
- ROKfootball - News, info and features on Korean football
1956 (First title)
1960 (Second title)
|Asian Games Champions
1970 (First title)
|Asian Games Champions
1978 (Second title)
|Asian Games Champions
1986 (Third title)
|Afro-Asian Cup Champions
1988 (First title)
2003 (First title)
2005 China PR
2005 China PR
2008 (Second title)
2010 China PR
2001 China PR
|AFC Men's Team of the Year
|AFC Men's Team of the Year