South Korea national football team

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Korea Republic
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) 태극전사 (Taegeuk Jeonsa, "Taegeuk Warriors")
Association Korea Football Association (KFA)
대한축구협회
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation EAFF (East Asia)
Head coach Shin Tae-yong
Captain Ki Sung-yueng
Most caps Hong Myung-Bo (136)
Cha Bum-kun (136)
Top scorer Cha Bum-kun (59)
Home stadium Seoul World Cup Stadium
FIFA code KOR
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 57 Increase 4 (7 June 2018)
Highest 17 (December 1998)
Lowest 69 (November 2014 – January 2015)
Elo ranking
Current 26 Decrease 1 (9 July 2018)
Highest 15 (September 1980, June 2002)
Lowest 82
First international

Non-FIFA international
 South Korea 5–1 Hong Kong 
(Hong Kong; 6 July 1948)[1]

FIFA international
 South Korea 5–3 Mexico 
(London, United Kingdom; 2 August 1948)
Biggest win
 South Korea 16–0 Nepal   
(Incheon, South Korea; 29 September 2003)
Biggest defeat
 South Korea 0–12 Sweden 
(London, United Kingdom; 5 August 1948)
World Cup
Appearances 10 (first in 1954)
Best result Fourth Place (2002)
Asian Cup
Appearances 13 (first in 1956)
Best result Champions (1956, 1960)
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Appearances 2 (first in 2000)
Best result Fourth Place (2002)
Confederations Cup
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팀
Revised Romanization Daehan Min'guk Chukgu Gukga Daepyo Tim
McCune–Reischauer Taehan Min'guk Ch'ukku Kukka Taep'yo T'im

The Korea Republic national football team (Korean: 대한민국 축구 국가대표팀) represents South Korea in international association football and is organised by the Korea Football Association.

Since the 1960s, South Korea has emerged as a major football power in Asia and is historically the most successful Asian football team, having participated in nine consecutive and ten 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. South Korea won the first two AFC Asian Cup tournaments though they have been unable to win since, finishing second in 1972, 1980, 1988, and 2015, and third in 1964, 2000, 2007, and 2011. They also took the gold medal at the 1970, 1978, and 1986 Asian Games. They have qualified for every FIFA World Cup since 1986.[2]

The team is commonly nicknamed "The Reds" by both fans and the media due to the color of their primary kit. The national team's supporting group is officially referred to as the Red Devils.[3]

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Korea was not introduced to football until the late 1800s; it is often said that soccer in Korea dates to 1882, when British sailors from HMS Flying Fish played a game while their vessel was visiting the Incheon Port.[4]

Korea became a Japanese colony in 1905 and was annexed by force in 1910. In 1921, the first All Korea Football Tournament was held, and in 1928, the Joseon Football Association (JFA) was organized, which created a foundation to disseminate and develop football in Korea.[5] Korean teams participated in competitions with Japanese teams from around 1926; Joseon Football Club became a de facto national team for Koreans, and won the 1935 Japanese national championship.[4] Koreans also played on the Japanese national team, most notably Kim Yong-sik who played for Japan at the 1936 Summer Olympics; Japan's last prewar national team in 1940 had two Korean players, Kim Yong-sik and Kim Sung-gan.

The JFA was reorganized in 1945 as Japanese colonial rule ended with the close of World War II.[4][6] Following the establishment of the South Korean state in the late 1940s, a new Korea Football Association (KFA) was founded in 1948 and joined FIFA, the international football governing body. The same year, the South Korean national team made its international debut at the Olympic Games in London.[4] The KFA joined the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) in 1954.

1954–1989[edit]

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(Indonesia). 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, for the first time since 1954. They, however, failed to win a game despite the presence of Cha Bum-kun, at the time one of the best Asian players, 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.

1990–2001[edit]

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 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[edit]

Seoul Plaza during the 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.[7]

South Korea's second round opponents were Italy, who they defeated 2–1 in a very physical match. The Korean team was awarded an early penalty but Ahn Jung-hwan's effort was saved by Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon. Christian Vieri then scored to put Italy ahead but Seol Ki-hyeon scored an equalizer in the 88th minute, allowing the game to go through to extra time. Francesco Totti was controversially sent off for an alleged dive and Ahn redeemed his missed penalty by scoring 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.[8][9] The game then went to the penalties and South Korea won the penalty shootout 5–3, and becoming the first Asian team to reach the final four.[10] 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.

2003–2006[edit]

Despite widespread pleas for him to stay, Hiddink resigned following the 2002 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 South 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.

2006 FIFA World Cup[edit]

South 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.

2007–2010[edit]

South Korea's next major tournament was the 2007 Asian Cup. The team struggled in the group stages without key 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 1–2 defeat to Bahrain. They narrowly defeated co-host Indonesia in their final group game and managed to scrape through with four points. They defeated Iran in the quarterfinals via penalty shootout following a 0–0 draw. South 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.[11] 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 South 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 27 consecutive games in 2009, and qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

2010 FIFA World Cup[edit]

South Korea playing against Argentina at the FIFA World Cup, in June 2010.
South Korea national football team – October 2012

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 Suárez. South Korea equalized in the second half after Lee Chung-yong scored his second goal of the tournament but South Korea conceded another goal by Suárez 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.

2010–2014[edit]

Following the 2010 FIFA 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 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, key players Park Ji-sung and Lee Young-pyo retired and the team's performance began to decline. Following a humiliating 3–0 loss to Japan and a shocking 1–2 loss to Lebanon in Beirut, Cho was unceremoniously sacked despite an initial 6–0 victory over Lebanon on home soil. 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. 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.

2014 FIFA World Cup[edit]

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 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.[12] 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 relented and resigned under heavy media pressure 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.

2015–2018[edit]

Following the 2014 World Cup, the South Korean team's rank, as well as public support of the team, continued to 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 FIFA World Cup. Shortly after the announcement, the national team managed a 3–1 victory over Venezuela, their first victory in almost nine months. However, they suffered a 0–1 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.

South Korea automatically qualified for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup due to their third-place finish in the 2011 tournament. They were drawn into Group A with host country Australia, Kuwait and Oman. They began the tournament with a 1–0 win over Oman, with Cho Young-cheol scoring the winning goal. They obtained another narrow 1–0 victory in their second game against Kuwait, the team's first back-to-back victory in over a year. The victory allowed the team to automatically qualify for the quarterfinals, but their shaky performance was criticized. In their final group stage match Korea managed to find its form and defeated host and tournament favorites Australia with the same result in their final group stage match and qualified to the knockout stage as the Group A winner. However, key players Koo Ja-cheol and Lee Chung-yong suffered injuries and had to leave the tournament. South Korea defeated Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals with two goals from Son Heung-min in extra time and advanced to semi-finals for the tenth time, a tournament record. Another 2–0 victory over Iraq in the semi-finals allowed them to advance to the final for the first time since 1988. In the final, South Korea faced Australia in a rematch of their group stage match. Australia took the lead in the first half but South Korea managed to equalize in the final minutes of the game, forcing the match into extra time. However, Australia managed to score again, defeating South Korea 2–1.[13] Despite the loss in the final, the team was praised for its performance as they had managed to reach the final without conceding any goals. Public confidence, which had fallen to an all-time low following the World Cup, was restored and the team was given a hero's welcome upon their return.[14]

For the combined qualification matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, South Korea was drawn with Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, and Laos in Group G of the second round. After winning seven matches without conceding a goal, South Korea qualified for the third round of the AFC qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. Following a series of poor results in the third round of qualifiers, including defeats to China and Qatar, head coach Uli Stielike was sacked and was replaced by former U-20 and U-23 coach Shin Tae-yong for the remainder of the qualifying round.[15] Under Shin, the team managed to qualify as the second-placed team in their group following two goalless draws against Iran and Uzbekistan, sending South Korea to the World Cup for the ninth consecutive time.[16]

2018 FIFA World Cup[edit]

South Korea national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

At the 2018 FIFA World Cup they were placed in Group F, where they finished in third place with three points. They lost their first game against Sweden 1–0. They then faced Mexico and lost 2–1. In the final group stage match, against the defending champions Germany, South Korea won 2–0, and effectively eliminated Germany from the group stage for the first time in 80 years. Germany had 28 shots with 6 on target, but the South Korean defense, led by keeper Cho Hyun-woo, did not concede once.[17][18][19]

Team image[edit]

Kits and crest[edit]

Red has been the traditional color of the national team, leading to the nickname "The Reds" by fans as well as leading to the namesake of the supporter group Red Devils. The away colors have varied between white and blue. In 1994, the home kit shifted from red to white, but in October 1995 , the red returned as home color, paired with black shorts.

South Korea has been used Taegeuk as crest on jersey, But In May 2001, unveiled new crest emboded tiger and attached on 2002 new jersey[20]

Supporters[edit]

The official supporter group of the national team are the Red Devils, which was founded in 1995. The Red Devils are known for their passionate support of the team and commonly referred to as the 12th member of the team.[7] The most common cheer is shouting "대~한민국 (Dae~han Minguk, Republic of Korea)" followed by five claps. FIFA Fan Fest was influenced by Korean-style street cheering.

Rivalries[edit]

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 in matches between the two nations.

South Korea also possesses a strong rivalry with North Korea, though matches are infrequent due to diplomatic and security reasons.

South Korea has had great success against China, with China failing to defeat them in twenty-eight competitive matches before finally winning a game in 2010.

Recently, a rivalry has also developed with Iran.[21] The two teams have met in five consecutive Asian Cup quarterfinal matches (1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, and 2011), with each team recording two wins, two losses, and a tie. They have played against each other officially since 1958, totalling 28 matches as of January 2015, including seven World Cup qualifiers. These two teams were among the strongest Asian national football teams during the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, the teams have developed one of Asia's greatest rivalries. Although the teams only had one chance to play against each other in the final match of the AFC Asian Cup, in 1972, they have faced each other five consecutive times at the quarterfinals stage since 1996. Iran leads the series with 13 wins, 7 draws and 9 losses.

Recent results and fixtures[edit]

  Win   Draw   Loss

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Head Coach South Korea Shin Tae-yong
Assistant Coach South Korea Jeon Kyung-jun
Assistant Coach South Korea Kim Nam-il
Assistant Coach South Korea Cha Du-ri
Goalkeeping Coach South Korea Kim Hae-woon
Fitness Coach South Korea Lee Jae-hong

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on 2 June 2018.
Caps and goals correct as of 27 June 2018, after the match against Germany.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Kim Seung-gyu (1990-09-30) 30 September 1990 (age 27) 33 0 Japan Vissel Kobe
21 1GK Kim Jin-hyeon (1987-07-06) 6 July 1987 (age 31) 15 0 Japan Cerezo Osaka
23 1GK Jo Hyeon-woo (1991-09-25) 25 September 1991 (age 26) 9 0 South Korea Daegu FC

2 2DF Lee Yong (1986-12-24) 24 December 1986 (age 31) 31 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
3 2DF Jung Seung-hyun (1994-04-03) 3 April 1994 (age 24) 6 0 Japan Sagan Tosu
4 2DF Oh Ban-suk (1988-05-20) 20 May 1988 (age 30) 2 0 South Korea Jeju United
5 2DF Yun Young-sun (1988-10-04) 4 October 1988 (age 29) 7 0 South Korea Seongnam FC
6 2DF Park Joo-ho (1987-01-16) 16 January 1987 (age 31) 37 0 South Korea Ulsan Hyundai
12 2DF Kim Min-woo (1990-02-25) 25 February 1990 (age 28) 22 1 South Korea Sangju Sangmu
14 2DF Hong Chul (1990-09-17) 17 September 1990 (age 27) 16 0 South Korea Sangju Sangmu
19 2DF Kim Young-gwon (1990-02-27) 27 February 1990 (age 28) 56 3 China Guangzhou Evergrande
20 2DF Jang Hyun-soo (1991-09-28) 28 September 1991 (age 26) 54 3 Japan FC Tokyo
22 2DF Go Yo-han (1988-03-10) 10 March 1988 (age 30) 21 0 South Korea FC Seoul

8 3MF Ju Se-jong (1990-10-30) 30 October 1990 (age 27) 13 1 South Korea Asan Mugunghwa
10 3MF Lee Seung-woo (1998-01-06) 6 January 1998 (age 20) 6 0 Italy Hellas Verona
13 3MF Koo Ja-cheol (1989-02-27) 27 February 1989 (age 29) 70 19 Germany Augsburg
15 3MF Jung Woo-young (1989-12-14) 14 December 1989 (age 28) 33 1 Qatar Al-Sadd
16 3MF Ki Sung-yueng (Captain) (1989-01-24) 24 January 1989 (age 29) 104 10 England Newcastle United
17 3MF Lee Jae-sung (1992-08-10) 10 August 1992 (age 25) 38 6 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
18 3MF Moon Seon-min (1992-06-09) 9 June 1992 (age 26) 5 1 South Korea Incheon United

7 4FW Son Heung-min (1992-07-08) 8 July 1992 (age 26) 70 23 England Tottenham Hotspur
9 4FW Kim Shin-wook (1988-04-14) 14 April 1988 (age 30) 51 10 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
11 4FW Hwang Hee-chan (1996-01-26) 26 January 1996 (age 22) 17 2 Austria Red Bull Salzburg

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have also been called up to the South Korea squad within the last twelve months.

Retired players are not listed.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Gu Sung-yun (1994-06-27) 27 June 1994 (age 24) 0 0 Japan Consadole Sapporo 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE
GK Kim Dong-jun (1994-12-19) 19 December 1994 (age 23) 0 0 South Korea Seongnam FC v.  Latvia, 3 February 2018

DF Kim Jin-su (1992-06-13) 13 June 1992 (age 26) 34 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE / INJ
DF Choi Chul-soon (1987-02-18) 18 February 1987 (age 31) 11 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE
DF Kwon Kyung-won (1992-01-31) 31 January 1992 (age 26) 5 1 China Tianjin Quanjian 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE
DF Hong Jeong-ho (1989-08-12) 12 August 1989 (age 28) 42 2 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v.  Poland, 27 March 2018
DF Kim Min-jae (1996-11-15) 15 November 1996 (age 21) 7 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v.  Poland, 27 March 2018 INJ
DF Kim Kee-hee (1989-07-13) 13 July 1989 (age 29) 23 0 United States Seattle Sounders v.  Morocco, 10 October 2017
DF Kim Ju-young (1988-07-09) 9 July 1988 (age 30) 10 0 Unattached v.  Morocco, 10 October 2017
DF Rim Chang-woo (1992-02-13) 13 February 1992 (age 26) 6 0 United Arab Emirates Al-Wahda v.  Morocco, 10 October 2017
DF Oh Jae-suk (1990-01-04) 4 January 1990 (age 28) 4 0 Japan Gamba Osaka v.  Morocco, 10 October 2017
DF Song Ju-hun (1994-01-13) 13 January 1994 (age 24) 1 0 Japan Albirex Niigata v.  Morocco, 10 October 2017
DF Yun Suk-young (1990-02-13) 13 February 1990 (age 28) 12 0 South Korea FC Seoul v.  Russia, 7 October 2017

MF Lee Chung-yong (1988-07-02) 2 July 1988 (age 30) 79 8 Unattached 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE
MF Lee Myung-joo (1990-04-24) 24 April 1990 (age 28) 17 1 South Korea Asan Mugunghwa 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE
MF Kwon Chang-hoon (1994-06-30) 30 June 1994 (age 24) 16 4 France Dijon 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE / INJ
MF Lee Chang-min (1994-01-20) 20 January 1994 (age 24) 7 1 South Korea Jeju United 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE
MF Son Jun-ho (1992-05-12) 12 May 1992 (age 26) 3 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE
MF Yeom Ki-hun (1983-03-30) 30 March 1983 (age 35) 57 5 South Korea Suwon Samsung Bluewings v.  Poland, 27 March 2018 INJ
MF Lee Seung-gi (1988-06-02) 2 June 1988 (age 30) 15 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v.  Latvia, 3 February 2018
MF Kim Seung-dae (1991-04-01) 1 April 1991 (age 27) 5 1 South Korea Pohang Steelers v.  Latvia, 3 February 2018
MF Kim Tae-hwan (1989-07-24) 24 July 1989 (age 28) 5 0 South Korea Sangju Sangmu v.  Latvia, 3 February 2018
MF Kim Sung-joon (1988-04-08) 8 April 1988 (age 30) 3 0 South Korea FC Seoul v.  Latvia, 3 February 2018
MF Lee Chan-dong (1993-01-10) 10 January 1993 (age 25) 2 0 South Korea Jeju United v.  Latvia, 3 February 2018
MF Yun Il-lok (1992-03-07) 7 March 1992 (age 26) 8 1 Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 2017 EAFF E-1 Football Championship
MF Nam Tae-hee (1991-07-03) 3 July 1991 (age 27) 38 4 Qatar Al-Duhail v.  Morocco, 10 October 2017
MF Kim Bo-kyung (1989-10-09) 9 October 1989 (age 28) 36 4 Japan Kashiwa Reysol v.  Morocco, 10 October 2017
MF Park Jong-woo (1989-03-10) 10 March 1989 (age 29) 15 0 South Korea Suwon Samsung Bluewings v.  Morocco, 10 October 2017
MF Hwang Il-su (1987-08-08) 8 August 1987 (age 30) 4 0 South Korea Ulsan Hyundai v.  Morocco, 10 October 2017

FW Lee Keun-ho (1985-04-11) 11 April 1985 (age 33) 84 19 South Korea Ulsan Hyundai 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE / INJ
FW Ji Dong-won (1991-05-28) 28 May 1991 (age 27) 47 11 Germany Augsburg 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE
FW Suk Hyun-jun (1991-06-29) 29 June 1991 (age 27) 11 4 France Troyes 2018 FIFA World Cup PRE
FW Jin Seong-wook (1993-11-16) 16 November 1993 (age 24) 4 0 South Korea Jeju United v.  Latvia, 3 February 2018
FW Lee Jeong-hyeop (1991-06-24) 24 June 1991 (age 27) 19 5 Japan Shonan Bellmare 2017 EAFF E-1 Football Championship
FW Hwang Ui-jo (1992-08-28) 28 August 1992 (age 25) 11 1 Japan Gamba Osaka v.  Morocco, 10 October 2017
FW Lee Dong-gook (1979-04-29) 29 April 1979 (age 39) 105 33 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v.  Uzbekistan, 5 September 2017

INJ Withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.

World Cup captains[edit]

Statistics below are from matches which the Korea Football Association consider as official.[22]
Bold names denote a player still playing or available for selection.

As of 28 June 2018
# Player World Cup Caps Goals
1 Chu Yung-kwang 1954 7 0
2 Park Chang-sun 1986 34 9
3 Chung Yong-hwan 1990 86 3
4 Choi In-young 1994 51 0
5 Choi Young-il 1998 55 0
6 Hong Myung-bo 2002 136 10
7 Lee Woon-jae 2006 133 0
8 Park Ji-sung 2010 100 13
9 Koo Ja-cheol 2014 70 19
10 Ki Sung-yueng 2018 104 10

Most capped players[edit]

Statistics below are from matches which the Korea Football Association consider as official.[22]
Bold names denote a player still playing or available for selection.

As of 28 June 2018
# Player Career Caps Goals
1 Cha Bum-kun 1972–1986 136 58
Hong Myung-bo 1990–2002 136 10
3 Lee Woon-jae 1994–2010 133 0
4 Lee Young-pyo 1999–2011 127 5
5 Yoo Sang-chul 1994–2005 124 28
Kim Ho-kon 1971–1979 124 5
7 Cho Young-jeung 1975–1986 113 1
8 Kim Tae-young 1992–2004 105 3
Lee Dong-gook 1998–present 105 33
10 Ki Sung-yueng 2008–present 104 10

Top goalscorers[edit]

Statistics below are from matches which only FIFA international matces.
Bold names denote a player still playing or available for selection.

As of 11 June 2018
# Player Career Goals Caps
1 Cha Bum-kun 1972–1986 58 136
2 Hwang Sun-hong 1988–2002 50 103
3 Park Lee-chun 1969–1974 36 89
4 Kim Jae-han 1972–1979 33 58
Lee Dong-gook 1998–present 33 105
6 Huh Jung-moo 1974–1986 30 103
Choi Soon-ho 1980–1991 30 97
Kim Do-hoon 1994–2003 30 72
9 Kim Jin-kook 1972–1977 27 97
Lee Young-moo 1975–1981 27 85
Choi Yong-soo 1995–2003 27 69

Squads[edit]

Honours[edit]

Worldwide competitions[edit]

Fourth place: 2002

Continental competitions[edit]

Winners: 1956, 1960
Runners-up: 1972, 1980, 1988, 2015
Third place: 1964, 2000, 2007, 2011
1st, gold medalist(s) Gold Medal: 1970, 1978, 1986
2nd, silver medalist(s) Silver Medal: 1954, 1958, 1962
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Bronze Medal: 1990
Fourth place: 1994
Fourth place: 2002

Regional competitions[edit]

Winners: 2003, 2008, 2015, 2017
Runners-up: 2010
Third place: 2013
Fourth place: 2005
Winners: 1990
Runners-up: 1992, 1995
Third place: 1998

Other awards[edit]

Winners: 2002

Team record[edit]

Competitive record[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA GP W D L GS GA
Brazil 1950 Did not enter
Switzerland 1954 Group stage 16th 2 0 0 2 0 16 2 1 1 0 7 3
Sweden 1958 Preliminary competition entry denied[23]
Chile 1962 Did not qualify 4 2 0 2 6 9
England 1966 Did not enter
Mexico 1970 Did not qualify 4 1 2 1 6 5
West Germany 1974 8 3 4 1 10 4
Argentina 1978 12 5 6 1 16 9
Spain 1982 3 2 0 1 7 4
Mexico 1986 Group stage 20th 3 0 1 2 4 7 8 7 0 1 17 3
Italy 1990 22nd 3 0 0 3 1 6 11 9 2 0 30 1
United States 1994 20th 3 0 2 1 4 5 13 9 3 1 32 5
France 1998 30th 3 0 1 2 2 9 12 9 2 1 28 8
South Korea Japan 2002 Fourth place 4th 7 3 2 2 8 6 Qualified as hosts
Germany 2006 Group stage 17th 3 1 1 1 3 4 12 7 3 2 18 7
South Africa 2010 Round of 16 15th 4 1 1 2 6 8 14 7 7 0 22 7
Brazil 2014 Group stage 27th 3 0 1 2 3 6 14 8 3 3 27 11
Russia 2018 19th 3 1 0 2 3 3 18 12 3 3 38 10
Total Fourth place 10/21 34 6 9 19 34 70 135 82 36 17 264 86

AFC Asian Cup[edit]

AFC Asian Cup Record Qualification Record
Year Result Position GP W D L GS GA GP W D L GS GA
British Hong Kong 1956 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 9 6 4 4 0 0 9 1
South Korea 1960 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 9 1 Qualified as hosts
Israel 1964 Third place 3rd 3 1 0 2 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0
Iran 1968 Did not qualify 4 1 1 2 9 4
Thailand 1972 Runners-up 2nd 5 1 2 2 7 6 0 0 0 0 0 0
Iran 1976 Did not qualify 4 2 0 2 3 3
Kuwait 1980 Runners-up 2nd 6 4 1 1 12 6 3 3 0 0 10 1
Singapore 1984 Group Stage 9th 4 0 2 2 1 3 4 3 1 0 13 0
Qatar 1988 Runners-up 2nd 6 5 1 0 11 3 3 1 1 1 5 3
Japan 1992 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 7 2
United Arab Emirates 1996 Quarter-Finals 7th 4 1 1 2 7 11 3 3 0 0 17 0
Lebanon 2000 Third place 3rd 6 3 1 2 9 6 3 3 0 0 19 0
China 2004 Quarter-Finals 6th 4 2 1 1 9 4 6 4 0 2 30 4
IndonesiaMalaysiaThailandVietnam 2007 Third place 3rd 6 1 4 1 3 3 6 3 2 1 15 5
Qatar 2011 Third Place 3rd 6 4 2 0 13 7 Qualified as top three finishers
Australia 2015 Runners-up 2nd 6 5 0 1 8 2 Qualified as top three finishers
United Arab Emirates 2019 Qualified 8 8 0 0 27 0
Total 2 Titles 14/17 62 32 16 14 100 62 50 36 5 9 164 23

FIFA Confederations Cup[edit]

FIFA Confederations Cup Record
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA
Saudi Arabia 1992 Did not enter
Saudi Arabia 1995 Did not qualify
Saudi Arabia 1997
Mexico 1999
South Korea Japan 2001 Group stage 5th 3 2 0 1 3 6
France 2003 Did not qualify
Germany 2005
South Africa 2009
Brazil 2013
Russia 2017
Total Group Stage 1/10 3 2 0 1 3 6

EAFF East Asian Cup[edit]

EAFF East Asian Cup Record
Year Result Position GP W D L GS GA
Japan 2003 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 4 1
South Korea 2005 Fourth place 4th 3 0 2 1 1 2
China 2008 Champions 1st 3 1 2 0 5 4
Japan 2010 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 8 4
South Korea 2013 Third place 3rd 3 0 2 1 1 2
China 2015 Champions 1st 3 1 2 0 3 1
Japan 2017 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 7 3
South Korea 2019 To be determined
Total 4 Titles 7/7 21 8 10 3 29 17

Olympic Games[edit]

Football at the Summer Olympics has been an under-23 tournament since 1992.
Summer Olympic Games Record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
United Kingdom 1948 Quarter-finals 8th 2 1 0 1 5 15
Finland 1952 Did not enter
Australia 1956 Did not qualify
Italy 1960
Japan 1964 Group Stage 14th 3 0 0 3 1 20
Mexico 1968 Did not qualify
West Germany 1972
Canada 1976
Soviet Union 1980
United States 1984
South Korea 1988 Group Stage 11th 3 0 2 1 1 2
1992–present See South Korea national under-23 football team
Total Quarter-finals 3 / 19 8 1 2 5 7 37

Asian Games[edit]

Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
Asian Games Record
Year Result Position GP W D L GS GA
India 1951 Did not enter
Philippines 1954 Runners-up 2nd 4 1 2 1 15 12
Japan 1958 Runners-up 2nd 5 4 0 1 15 6
Indonesia 1962 Runners-up 2nd 5 4 0 1 9 5
Thailand 1966 Round 1 11th 2 0 0 2 0 4
Thailand 1970 Champions 1st 6 3 2 1 5 3
Iran 1974 Round 2 8th 5 1 1 3 4 10
Thailand 1978 Champions 1st 7 6 1 0 15 3
India 1982 Group Stage 9th 3 1 0 2 4 3
South Korea 1986 Champions 1st 6 4 2 0 14 3
China 1990 Third place 3rd 6 5 0 1 18 1
Japan 1994 Fourth place 4th 6 3 0 3 17 7
Thailand 1998 Quarter-finals 6th 6 4 0 2 12 6
2002–present See South Korea national under-23 football team
Total 3 Titles 12/13 61 36 8 17 128 63

Head-to-head records[edit]

As of 27 June 2018
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Sponsorship[edit]

Sponsors[edit]

  • As of 10 June 2015

Nike, KT, Hana Bank, Naver, Hyundai Motor Company, Kyobo Life Insurance Company, Asiana Airlines, Hite, Caffe Bene, Coca-Cola, Seoul Milk

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "첫 A 매치 골 주인공은 故정남식·정국진씨" (in Korean). Kukmin Ilbo. 5 August 2007. 
  2. ^ Wright, Rob (6 June 2018). "World Cup 2018: Why you should follow South Korea". 
  3. ^ "Red Devils". EncyKorea. 
  4. ^ a b c d Hong, Fan (2016). Sport and Nationalism in Asia: Power, Politics and Identity. Routledge. pp. 93–97. ISBN 9781317574019. 
  5. ^ "Korea Football Association::::". KFA. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Korea Football Association | SportsKnowHow.com". www.sportsknowhow.com. Retrieved 22 June 2018. 
  7. ^ a b (in Korean) History of the Red Devils Archived 4 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Inews, 21 May 2006. Retrieved 18 June 2010
  8. ^ "Spain rage at referee". theguardian.com. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Biggest World Cup controversies". www.worldcup.com.au. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Story Of The World Cup: South Korea/Japan 2002". firsttouchonline.com. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "South Korea ban Boro's Dong-Gook". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2 November 2007. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "World Cup 2014: South Korea pelted with toffees on return home". The Guardian. 30 June 2014. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Shin Tae-yong named Korea Republic coach". AFC. 4 July 2017. Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017. 
  16. ^ "Korea Republic headed to ninth consecutive World Cup". fifa.com. FIFA. 5 September 2017. Archived from the original on 21 October 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  17. ^ "Holders Germany crash out of World Cup after losing 2-0 to South Korea". Sky News. Sky UK. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018. 
  18. ^ Emons, Michael (27 June 2018). "Germany knocked out of 2018 World Cup". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 16 July 2018. 
  19. ^ Kyung-don, Joo (27 June 2018). "(World Cup) S. Korea stun Germany, still out of tournament". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2018. 
  20. ^ ""호랑이 한국축구 새얼굴" .. 축구協 엠블럼 공식발표". 
  21. ^ "Asia's finale sees three spots up for grabs". FIFA.com. 17 June 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "History of the FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition (by year)" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  24. ^ Czechoslovakia records total

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Inaugural Champion
Asian Champions
1956 (First title)
1960 (Second title)
Succeeded by
1964 Israel 
Preceded by
1964 Myanmar 
Asian Games Champions
1970 (First title)
Succeeded by
1974 Iran 
Preceded by
1974 Iran 
Asian Games Champions
1978 (Second title)
Succeeded by
1982 Iraq 
Preceded by
1982 Iraq 
Asian Games Champions
1986 (Third title)
Succeeded by
1990 Iran 
Preceded by
1985 Cameroon 
Afro-Asian Cup Champions
1988 (First title)
Succeeded by
1991 Algeria 
Preceded by
Inaugural Champion
EAFF Champions
2003 (First title)
Succeeded by
2005 China PR 
Preceded by
2005 China PR 
EAFF Champions
2008 (Second title)
Succeeded by
2010 China PR 
Preceded by
2013 Japan 
EAFF Champions
2015 (Third title)
2017 (Fourth title)
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
2001 China PR 
AFC Men's Team of the Year
2002
Succeeded by
2003 Iraq 
Preceded by
2008 Japan 
AFC Men's Team of the Year
2009
Succeeded by
2010 Japan 

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