South Korea national football team

Last updated

Korea Republic
South Korea national football team.png
Nickname(s) 태극전사 (Taegeuk Warriors)
아시아의 호랑이 (Tigers of Asia)
Association Korea Football Association (KFA)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation EAFF (East Asia)
Head coach Paulo Bento
Captain Son Heung-min
Most caps Cha Bum-kun
Hong Myung-bo (136)
Top scorer Cha Bum-kun (58)
FIFA code KOR
Kit left arm kor20h.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body kor20H.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm kor20h.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts korea20h.png
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks kor20h.png
Kit socks long.svg
First colours
Kit left arm kor20A.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body kor20A.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm kor20A.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts korea20a.png
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks kor20along.png
Kit socks long.svg
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 39 Steady2.svg (27 May 2021) [1]
Highest17 (December 1998)
Lowest69 (November 2014 – January 2015)
First international
Flag of South Korea (1948-1949).svg  South Korea 5–3 Mexico  Flag of Mexico.svg
(London, England; 2 August 1948)
Biggest win
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 16–0 Nepal    Flag of Nepal.svg
(Incheon, South Korea; 29 September 2003)
Biggest defeat
Flag of South Korea (1948-1949).svg  South Korea 0–12 Sweden  Flag of Sweden.svg
(London, England; 5 August 1948)
World Cup
Appearances10 (first in 1954 )
Best resultFourth place (2002)
Asian Cup
Appearances14 (first in 1956 )
Best resultChampions (1956, 1960)
EAFF Championship
Appearances8 (first in 2003 )
Best resultChampions (2003, 2008, 2015, 2017, 2019)
FIFA Confederations Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2001 )
Best resultGroup 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 South Korea national football team (Korean : 대한민국 축구 국가대표팀; recognized as Korea Republic by FIFA) represents South Korea in men's international football and is governed by the Korea Football Association. South Korea has developed and emerged as a major football power in Asia since the 1980s 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 only Asian team to reach the semi-final stages when they co-hosted the 2002 tournament with Japan. South Korea also won two AFC Asian Cup titles, and finished as runners-up on four occasions. Furthermore, the team won three gold medals and three silver medals at the senior Asian Games. [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]

Contents

History

Early history

Korea (Joseon) was not introduced to the sport of association football until the late 19th century; it is often said that football in Korea dates to 1882, when the Royal Navy 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 into it outright in 1910.

In 1921, the first All Joseon Football Tournament was held, and in 1928, the Joseon Football Association 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 Emperor's Cup. [4] Koreans also played for the Japanese national team, most notably Kim Yong-sik who played for Japan at the 1936 Summer Olympics. [6]

The Joseon FA was reorganized in 1945 as Japanese occupation ended with the end of World War II. [4] [7] 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 and won 5–3 against Mexico at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. [4]

First World Cup team (1954)

In 1954, South Korea entered FIFA World Cup qualification for the first time, and qualified for the 1954 FIFA World Cup by beating Japan 7–3 on aggregate. [8] South Korea were only the second Asian team to compete at a World Cup after the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), and the first fully-independent Asian nation to do so. South Korea lost their only two games by heavy margins: 9–0 against Hungary (the joint-heaviest defeat in World Cup history) and 7–0 against Turkey. Their third scheduled game, against West Germany, was never played because neither were seeded in their group, as per that tournament's rules. [9] It would take thirty-two years before South Korea was able to participate at the World Cup finals again.

Despite this poor performance, South Korea successfully rallied by winning the inaugural AFC Asian Cup in 1956. [10] They hosted the next edition in 1960 and successfully retained the title, beating South Vietnam, Israel, and Republic of China in the process. [11] However, the South Korean players received fake medals, instead of the gold medals they had been promised, and returned them to the KFA. [12] The KFA promised to give them real medals, but this did not occur until 2019. South Korea have not won the AFC Asian Cup since 1960, something that has thus been attributed to the "curse of the fake gold medals." [13]

Foundation of Yangzee (1967)

In 1965, the South Korean government was hesitant to play football matches against North Korea and thus withdrew from the 1966 FIFA World Cup qualification to avoid possibly playing the northern neighbors. Kim Yong-sik, the KFA vice-president at that time, had evaluated North Korea as a world class team. [14] This would be proven true, as the North Koreans advanced to the quarter-finals at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. In March 1967, the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) founded Yangzee FC, collecting famous footballers in South Korea to train them intensively. [15] Yangzee players received benefits like exemption from military service, long-term overseas training and high salaries in return for intensive training. [15] At the 1968 Summer Olympics qualification, South Korea was eliminated by goal difference although their points were tied with Japan, the group winners. [16] They also participated in the 1969 Asian Club Championship, finishing as runners-up. [17] However, South Korea failed to qualify for the 1970 FIFA World Cup despite governmental support, and Yangzee was losing support as Kim Hyong-uk, the director of KCIA and supporter of the club, was dismissed from his post, and tensions between South and North Korea were beginning to subside. [15] Yangzee was eventually dissolved in March 1970 without ever having played against North Korea, but players achieved a good result by winning the 1970 Asian Games. [18]

Golden generation (1986)

In 1986, South Korea won the East Asian tournament of the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification including two victories against Japan in the final round, and was able to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1954. After one of the greatest forwards of German Bundesliga at that time, Cha Bum-kun, [21] [22] joined the existing winning team, the South Korean squad for the 1986 FIFA World Cup was evaluated as the golden generation in their country. [23] South Korea lost 3–1 to the eventual champion Argentina but Park Chang-sun scored the first South Korean goal of the World Cup in the first group match. They drew 1–1 with Bulgaria and faced the defending champion Italy in the crucial last match. They conceded Alessandro Altobelli's opening goal, but Choi Soon-ho scored the equalizer outside the penalty area. However, Altobelli's second goal was followed by Cho Kwang-rae's fatal own goal, and South Korea lost 3–2 in the match although Huh Jung-moo pulled one back. Afterwards, South Korean newscasts and journalists criticized the referee David Socha, claiming that his judgements about situations of the game were poor including the decision to award a penalty to Italy. [24] [25] South Korea redeemed their failure of World Cup success with a gold at the 1986 Asian Games. [26]

Tragedy of Marseille (1998)

In 1997, Cha Bum-kun became the head coach going into the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification . South Korea consecutively won four early qualifiers against Kazakhstan , Uzbekistan , Japan and the United Arab Emirates , and quickly solidified their position as first place of the group. At the 1998 FIFA World Cup , they lost their first match against Mexico 3–1. Ha Seok-ju scored a deflected free kick for the opening goal, but was then sent off only three minutes after for an ill-advised tackle. [27] South Korea was then thoroughly outclassed by the Netherlands , managed by Guus Hiddink , losing 5–0 in Marseille . Cha was sacked in the middle of the group stage after the loss to the Netherlands. The only South Korean player to be praised from the match was the goalkeeper Kim Byung-ji , [28] who conceded five of the Netherlands' 17 shots on target. [29] The team then managed a 1–1 draw against Belgium .

Hiddink's magic (2002)

On 18 December 2000, the KFA named Dutch coach Guus Hiddink as the manager of the team for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, co-hosted in South Korea. [30] The KFA promised him to ensure long-term training camps and authority about management of coaching staff. [31] At the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, they lost 5–0 against France, the eventual champions, and failed to advance to the semi-finals although defeating Australia and Mexico. South Korean journalists criticized Hiddnk and gave him a nickname "Oh-dae-ppang", which means five to nothing in Korean, when South Korea lost 5–0 again in the friendly match against Czech Republic after the Confederations Cup. [32] At the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup, South Korea finished in fourth place with two draws and three losses without a win. However, they showed their improvement in friendly matches against European teams just before the World Cup, finishing the preparation for the tournament successfully. [33] [34] [35]

Seoul Plaza during the 2002 World Cup Seoul Plaza 2002 FIFA World Cup.jpg
Seoul Plaza during the 2002 World Cup

South Korea co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament with Japan. They had never won a game in the World Cup previously but the South Korean team achieved their first ever victory in a World Cup with a 2–0 victory against Poland when the tournament began. 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 South Korean public, with many people joining the Red Devils, which gained widespread attention with their passionate support of the team. [36]

South Korea's second round opponents were Italy, who they defeated 2–1. The South 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 disallowed by the referees. [37] [38] The game then went to the penalty shoot-out where South Korea won 5–3, thus becoming the first Asian team to reach the final four. [39] 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 and finished the tournament in 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.[ citation needed ]

Captain Park era (2008)

South Korea playing against Argentina at the FIFA World Cup, in June 2010. FIFA World Cup 2010 Argentina South Korea3.jpg
South Korea playing against Argentina at the FIFA World Cup, in June 2010.

In 2008, South Korea chose Huh Jung-moo as their manager, and Park Ji-sung as the next captain. Under Huh and Park, the South Korean team was undefeated for 27 consecutive games in 2009. [40] At the fourth round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, they recorded four wins and four draws without a loss against North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, 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 4–1 defeat, including an own goal by forward Park Chu-young. They then obtained a 2–2 draw in a 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.

Miracle of Kazan (2018)

For the combined qualification matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, South Korea won all seven matches without conceding a goal in the second round but following a series of poor results in the third round of qualifiers, including losses to China and Qatar, the former manager Uli Stielike was sacked and was replaced by under-23 coach Shin Tae-yong for the remainder of the qualifying round. [41] Under Shin Tae-yong, 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. [42]

South Korea national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia Mex-Kor (37).jpg
South Korea national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

At the 2018 World Cup, they lost their first game against Sweden 1–0 after conceding a penalty kick. They then faced Mexico and lost 2–1 after conceding another penalty kick. However, despite their two consecutive losses, South Korea was not eliminated just yet. To have any chance of advancing, South Korea would have to win their final group stage match against the defending champions Germany by at least two goals and Mexico would have to defeat Sweden in its last group stage game. [43] South Korea for its part did what it had to do to stay in contention and won 2–0 against Germany with goals from Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min, causing them to be eliminated in the first round for the first time in 80 years. Germany had 28 shots with 6 on target, but the South Korea's defense, led by keeper Jo Hyeon-woo, did not concede once. [44] However, Mexico lost to Sweden that same day and thus South Korea ultimately finished third in the group. As a result, South Korea saved Mexico from being eliminated and Mexican fans heavily praised the Koreans and celebrated their victory in front of the South Korean embassy. [45] The match is also called the "Miracle of Kazan" in South Korea although they dropped out of the tournament. [46]

Team image

Nicknames

The South Korea national football team has been known or nicknamed as the Taegeuk Warriors (Korean : 태극전사) and the Tigers of Asia (Korean : 아시아의 호랑이). [47] [48]

Kits and crest

Red is the traditional shirt color of the South Korean national team, who are consequently nicknamed the "Reds", while the fans are called the "Red Devils". The away shirt has varied between white and blue. In 1994, the home shirt shifted from red to white, but in October 1995, red returned as home color, paired with black shorts.

South Korea used to wear the South Korean flag as their shirt badge until 2001, when their tiger crest was unveiled. [49] On 5 February 2020, the KFA announced a new, more simplistic logo. [50] The emblem retained the tiger, albeit in a more minimalist design, enclosed in a rectangular frame. [50] Red, blue and white, South Korea's traditional colors, have been maintained in the new logo. [50]

Kit suppliers

Kit supplierPeriodNotes
Adidas, Asics, Kolon Sports,
Prospecs, Weekend  [ ko ]
1977–1985South Korea didn't have exculsive kit sponsor at that time,
though they contracted with Adidas as their first official kit sponsor. [51]
Weekend  [ ko ]1985–1988Sportswear brand of Samsung C&T Corporation [52]
Rapido  [ ko ]1988–1995Weekend was renamed "Rapido" in January 1988. [53]
Nike 1996–presentContracted at the end of 1995, [54] and sponsored since 1 January 1996.

Kit deals

Kit supplierPeriodContract dateContract durationTotalPer yearRef.
Nike 1996–present
December 1995
1996–1997$3 million$1.5 million
16 December 19971998–2002$38 million$7.6 million [55]
9 January 20032003–2007$50 million$10.0 million [56]
23 October 20072008–2011$49 million$12.3 million [57]
13 January 20122012–2019$120 million$15.0 million [58]
20 January 2020
2020–2031$204 million$17.0 million [59]

Home stadium

The South Korea national team played their first home match at the Dongdaemun Stadium on 21 April 1956. The match was a qualifier for the 1956 AFC Asian Cup against the Philippines. [60] They currently play their home matches at several stadiums, which are also used by K League clubs.

Rivalries

South Korea's greatest rival is Japan. This rivalry is an extension of a competitive rivalry between the two nations that goes beyond football. Some matches in the past have been tainted with controversy. South Korea leads the all-time series with 42 wins, 23 draws and 15 losses. [61]

A rivalry has also developed with Iran. [62] The two nations have played against each other officially since 1958, totalling 31 matches as of June 2019, including nine World Cup qualifiers. South Korea and Iran were among the strongest Asian national teams during the 1960s and 1970s. 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 in the quarter-finals between 1996 and 2011, with each team recording two wins, two losses, and a draw. Iran leads the all-time series with 13 wins, 9 draws and 9 losses. [61]

Another major rival is Australia, and is also one of the most followed rivalries in Asia.[ citation needed ] South Korea trails behind Australia with 8 wins, 11 draws and 9 defeats. In major competitions, South Korea won only two official matches against Australia, and also lost in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Final. [63]

South Korea has had great success against China, with China failing to defeat them in 28 competitive matches before finally winning a game in 2010. They also possess a strong rivalry with North Korea, though matches are infrequent due to diplomatic and security reasons.

Supporters

The official supporter group of the national team, the Red Devils, were founded in 1995. Known for their passionate support, they are commonly referred to as the 12th man. [36] Their most common chant is "Dae-Han-Min-Guk" (Korean : "대~한민국"; literally Republic of Korea or "Great Korea"), followed by five claps. [64] The FIFA Fan Fest was introduced at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea.

Recent results and fixtures

  Win  Draw  Loss  Fixtures  Cancelled or postponed
The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled. [65] [66] [67] [68]

2020

9 October Unofficial friendly South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg2–2Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea U23 Goyang, South Korea
20:00  UTC+9 Report Stadium: Goyang Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Kim Jong-hyeok (South Korea)
12 October Unofficial friendly South Korea U23  Flag of South Korea.svg0–3Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Goyang, South Korea
20:00  UTC+9 Report Stadium: Goyang Stadium
Attendance: 2,075
Referee: Kim Woo-sung (South Korea)
14 November Friendly Mexico  Flag of Mexico.svg3–2Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Wiener Neustadt, Austria
21:00  UTC+1
Report Stadium: Stadion Wiener Neustadt
Attendance: 0
Referee: Harald Lechner (Austria)
17 November Friendly South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg2–1Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar Maria Enzersdorf, Austria
14:00  UTC+1 Report
Stadium: BSFZ-Arena
Attendance: 0
Referee: Julian Weinberger (Austria)

2021

25 March Friendly Japan  Flag of Japan.svg3–0Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Yokohama, Japan
19:20  UTC+9
Report Stadium: Nissan Stadium
Attendance: 8,356 [69]
Referee: Rowan Arumughan (India)
13 June 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg2–1Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon Goyang, South Korea
15:00  UTC+9
Report
Stadium: Goyang Stadium
Attendance: 4,061
Referee: Khamis Al-Marri (Qatar)

2022

All-time results

As of 13 June 2021
YearGPWDLWin %Matches
1948–19494211050.00 Matches
1950–19594426810059.09 Matches
1960–196990521523057.78 Matches
1970–19791861174425062.90 Matches
1980–1989129752925058.14 Matches
1990–1999151704536046.36 Matches
2000–2009171765639044.44 Matches
2010–2019154813142052.60 Matches
2020–present6402066.67 Matches
Total935503229203053.80

Coaching staff

Paulo Bento managing South Korea at 2019 AFC Asian Cup.jpg
Paulo Bento became South Korea's 81st manager in 2018.
Guus Hiddink 2012.jpg
Guus Hiddink is widely regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time in South Korea. [70]

Current coaching staff

As of 24 March 2020 [71]
PositionName
Manager Flag of Portugal.svg Paulo Bento
Assistant coach(es)
Flag of Portugal.svg Sérgio Costa
Flag of Portugal.svg Filipe Coelho
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Flag of South Korea.svg Michael Kim
Flag of South Korea.svg Choi Tae-uk
Fitness coach Flag of Portugal.svg Pedro Pereira
Goalkeeping coach Flag of Portugal.svg Vítor Silvestre

Manager history

As of 13 June 2021 [72] [73]

A total of 54 managers managed South Korea during 81 appointments.

  1. During the 1960 AFC Asian Cup, the original manager of the squad was Wui Hye-deok, [75] but KFA recognised Kim Yong-sik, the assistant coach at that time.
  2. Does not include a match against Brazil U23 at the 1964 Summer Olympics.
  3. Participated in the 1964 AFC Asian Cup with B team, [76] but KFA recognised his results as international "A" matches.
  4. Does not include two matches against the Soviet Union Olympic and Argentina Olympic at the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Players

Current squad

The following players were called up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka and Lebanon on 5, 9 and 13 June 2021, respectively. [77] [78]

Caps and goals updated as of 13 June 2021, after the match against Lebanon.

No.Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClub
11 GK Kim Seung-gyu (1990-09-30) 30 September 1990 (age 30)510 Flag of Japan.svg Kashiwa Reysol
211 GK Jo Hyeon-woo (1991-09-25) 25 September 1991 (age 29)180 Flag of South Korea.svg Ulsan Hyundai
231 GK Kim Jin-hyeon (1987-07-06) 6 July 1987 (age 34)160 Flag of Japan.svg Cerezo Osaka
1 GK Gu Sung-yun (1994-06-27) 27 June 1994 (age 27)40 Flag of South Korea.svg Gimcheon Sangmu

22 DF Lee Yong (1986-12-24) 24 December 1986 (age 34)470 Flag of South Korea.svg Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
42 DF Kim Young-bin (1991-09-20) 20 September 1991 (age 29)10 Flag of South Korea.svg Gangwon FC
122 DF Kim Moon-hwan (1995-08-01) 1 August 1995 (age 26)130 Flag of the United States.svg Los Angeles FC
142 DF Hong Chul (1990-09-17) 17 September 1990 (age 30)330 Flag of South Korea.svg Ulsan Hyundai
152 DF Park Ji-soo (1994-06-13) 13 June 1994 (age 27)70 Flag of South Korea.svg Gimcheon Sangmu
192 DF Kim Young-gwon (1990-02-27) 27 February 1990 (age 31)814 Flag of Japan.svg Gamba Osaka
202 DF Won Du-jae (1997-11-18) 18 November 1997 (age 23)60 Flag of South Korea.svg Ulsan Hyundai
2 DF Kim Tae-hwan (1989-07-24) 24 July 1989 (age 32)120 Flag of South Korea.svg Ulsan Hyundai
2 DF Lee Ki-je (1991-07-09) 9 July 1991 (age 30)20 Flag of South Korea.svg Suwon Samsung Bluewings

33 MF Kang Sang-woo (1993-10-07) 7 October 1993 (age 27)10 Flag of South Korea.svg Pohang Steelers
53 MF Jung Woo-young (1989-12-14) 14 December 1989 (age 31)543 Flag of Qatar.svg Al-Sadd
63 MF Son Jun-ho (1992-05-12) 12 May 1992 (age 29)100 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Shandong Taishan
73 MF Son Heung-min (captain) (1992-07-08) 8 July 1992 (age 29)9127 Flag of England.svg Tottenham Hotspur
83 MF Nam Tae-hee (1991-07-03) 3 July 1991 (age 30)527 Flag of Qatar.svg Al-Duhail
103 MF Lee Jae-sung (1992-08-10) 10 August 1992 (age 28)538 Flag of Germany.svg Mainz 05
113 MF Hwang Hee-chan (1996-01-26) 26 January 1996 (age 25)376 Flag of Germany.svg RB Leipzig
173 MF Song Min-kyu (1999-09-12) 12 September 1999 (age 21)20 Flag of South Korea.svg Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
183 MF Lee Dong-gyeong (1997-09-20) 20 September 1997 (age 23)41 Flag of South Korea.svg Ulsan Hyundai
223 MF Kwon Chang-hoon (1994-06-30) 30 June 1994 (age 27)266 Flag of South Korea.svg Suwon Samsung Bluewings

94 FW Kim Shin-wook (1988-04-14) 14 April 1988 (age 33)5616 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Shanghai Shenhua
134 FW Jung Sang-bin (2002-04-01) 1 April 2002 (age 19)11 Flag of South Korea.svg Suwon Samsung Bluewings
164 FW Hwang Ui-jo (1992-08-28) 28 August 1992 (age 28)3614 Flag of France.svg Bordeaux

Recent call-ups

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

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClubLatest call-up
GK Lee Chang-geun (1993-08-30) 30 August 1993 (age 27)10 Flag of South Korea.svg Jeju United v. Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar , 17 November 2020

DF Kim Min-jae (1996-11-15) 15 November 1996 (age 24)323 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Beijing Guoan v. Flag of Sri Lanka.svg  Sri Lanka , 9 June 2021 SUS
DF Park Joo-ho (1987-01-16) 16 January 1987 (age 34)401 Flag of South Korea.svg Suwon FC v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021
DF Yoon Jong-gyu (1998-03-20) 20 March 1998 (age 23)10 Flag of South Korea.svg FC Seoul v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021
DF Kwon Kyung-won (1992-01-31) 31 January 1992 (age 29)162 Flag of South Korea.svg Seongnam FC v. Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar , 17 November 2020
DF Jung Seung-hyun (1994-04-03) 3 April 1994 (age 27)80 Flag of South Korea.svg Gimcheon Sangmu v. Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar , 17 November 2020
DF Lee Ju-yong (1992-09-26) 26 September 1992 (age 28)50 Flag of South Korea.svg Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v. Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar , 17 November 2020
DF Jeong Tae-wook (1997-05-16) 16 May 1997 (age 24)00 Flag of South Korea.svg Daegu FC v. Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar , 17 November 2020
DF Kim Jin-su (1992-06-13) 13 June 1992 (age 29)461 Flag of South Korea.svg Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v. Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico , 14 November 2020 WD
DF Sim Sang-min (1993-05-21) 21 May 1993 (age 28)00 Flag of South Korea.svg Gimcheon Sangmu v. Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea U23, 12 October 2020

MF Na Sang-ho (1996-08-12) 12 August 1996 (age 24)142 Flag of South Korea.svg FC Seoul v. Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan , 5 June 2021 INJ
MF Ju Se-jong (1990-10-30) 30 October 1990 (age 30)281 Flag of Japan.svg Gamba Osaka v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021 WD
MF Yoon Bit-garam (1990-05-07) 7 May 1990 (age 31)153 Flag of South Korea.svg Ulsan Hyundai v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021 INJ
MF Lee Kang-in (2001-02-19) 19 February 2001 (age 20)60 Flag of Spain.svg Valencia v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021
MF Lee Jin-hyun (1997-08-26) 26 August 1997 (age 23)40 Flag of South Korea.svg Daejeon Hana Citizen v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021
MF Kim In-sung (1989-09-09) 9 September 1989 (age 31)30 Flag of South Korea.svg Seoul E-Land v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021
MF Jeong Woo-yeong (1999-09-20) 20 September 1999 (age 21)10 Flag of Germany.svg SC Freiburg v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021
MF Lee Dong-jun (1997-02-01) 1 February 1997 (age 24)10 Flag of South Korea.svg Ulsan Hyundai v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021
MF Um Won-sang (1999-01-06) 6 January 1999 (age 22)10 Flag of South Korea.svg Gwangju FC v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021 INJ
MF Cho Jae-wan (1995-08-29) 29 August 1995 (age 25)00 Flag of South Korea.svg Gangwon FC v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021
MF Hwang In-beom (1996-09-20) 20 September 1996 (age 24)233 Flag of Russia.svg Rubin Kazan v. Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico , 14 November 2020 WD
MF Lee Yeong-jae (1994-09-13) 13 September 1994 (age 26)20 Flag of South Korea.svg Suwon FC v. Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea U23, 12 October 2020
MF Han Seung-gyu (1996-09-28) 28 September 1996 (age 24)00 Flag of South Korea.svg Suwon FC v. Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea U23, 12 October 2020
MF Lee Hyeon-sik (1996-03-21) 21 March 1996 (age 25)00 Flag of South Korea.svg Daejeon Hana Citizen v. Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea U23, 12 October 2020
MF Lee Chung-yong (1988-07-02) 2 July 1988 (age 33)899 Flag of South Korea.svg Ulsan Hyundai v. Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea U23, 9 October 2020 INJ

FW Lee Jeong-hyeop (1991-06-24) 24 June 1991 (age 30)255 Flag of South Korea.svg Gangwon FC v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021
FW Cho Young-wook (1999-02-05) 5 February 1999 (age 22)00 Flag of South Korea.svg FC Seoul v. Flag of Japan.svg  Japan , 25 March 2021
FW Kim Ji-hyeon (1996-07-22) 22 July 1996 (age 25)00 Flag of South Korea.svg Ulsan Hyundai v. Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea U23, 12 October 2020

INJ Withdrew due to injury
SUS Serving suspension
WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.

Notable former players

The following players were inducted into the Korean Football Hall of Fame, [79] or were selected for the Korean Football All-time Best XI in one or more surveys. [80] [81]

Player records

Most capped players

Cha Bum-kun is South Korea's most capped player and top goalscorer. Cha Bum Kun.jpg
Cha Bum-kun is South Korea's most capped player and top goalscorer.
As of 18 December 2019 [82]
RankPlayerCapsGoalsCareer
1 Cha Bum-kun 136581972–1986
Hong Myung-bo 101990–2002
3 Lee Woon-jae 13301994–2010
4 Lee Young-pyo 12751999–2011
5 Kim Ho-kon 12451971–1979
6 Yoo Sang-chul 120181994–2005
7 Cho Young-jeung 11311975–1986
8 Ki Sung-yueng 110102008–2019
9 Park Sung-hwa 107261975–1984
10 Kim Tae-young 10431992–2004
Lee Dong-gook 331998–2017

Top goalscorers

As of 13 June 2021 [82]

Players in bold are still active, at least at club level.

RankPlayerGoalsCapsRatioCareer
1 Cha Bum-kun 581360.431972–1986
2 Hwang Sun-hong 501030.491988–2002
3 Park Lee-chun 36890.41969–1974
4 Kim Jae-han 33570.581972–1979
Lee Dong-gook 1040.321998–2017
6 Choi Soon-ho 301030.291980–1991
7 Kim Do-hoon 29720.41994–2003
Huh Jung-moo 840.351974–1986
9 Choi Yong-soo 27670.41995–2003
Lee Tae-ho 720.381980–1991
Son Heung-min 910.32010–present
Kim Jin-kook 940.291972–1978

Other records

As of 17 November 2020 [83]
Youngest player
17 years and 241 days, Kim Pan-keun, vs. Thailand, 1 November 1983
Youngest goalscorer
18 years and 87 days, Ko Jong-soo, vs. New Zealand, 25 January 1997
Oldest player
39 years and 274 days, Kim Yong-sik, vs. Hong Kong, 15 April 1950
Oldest goalscorer
39 years and 274 days, Kim Yong-sik, vs. Hong Kong, 15 April 1950
Longest career
19 years and 112 days, Lee Dong-gook, from 16 May 1998 to 5 September 2017
Most goals in a calendar year
16, Park Lee-chun (1972) and Hwang Sun-hong (1994)
Most consecutive matches scored in
6, Ha Seok-ju (1993)
Fastest goal from kick-off
16 seconds, Hwang Hee-chan, vs. Qatar, 17 November 2020
Most hat-tricks
3, Cha Bum-kun and Park Sung-hwa

Manager records

As of 1 August 2018
Most matches managed
78, Huh Jung-moo
Most matches managed (unofficial) [83]
126, Kim Jung-nam
Most matches won
54, Ham Heung-chul
Most matches won in an appointment
27, Uli Stielike
Longest career in an appointment
2 years and 265 days, Uli Stielike, from 24 September 2014 to 15 June 2017
Most appointments
5, Kim Yong-sik and Park Jong-hwan

Team records

Biggest victory
16–0 vs. Nepal, 29 September 2003 (2004 AFC Asian Cup qualification)
Highest scoring draw
4–4 vs. Malaysia, 11 September 1976 (1976 President's Cup)
Heaviest defeat
0–12 vs. Sweden, 5 August 1948 (1948 Summer Olympics)
Most consecutive victories
11, from 29 July 1975 (3–1 vs. Malaysia) to 21 December 1975 (3–1 vs. Burma)
Most consecutive matches without defeat
29, from 20 September 1986 (3–0 vs. India) to 26 June 1989 (0–0 vs. Czechoslovakia)

Competitive record

 Champions   Runners-up   Third place   Fourth place  

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
YearResultPositionPldWDLGFGASquadPldWDLGFGA
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1930 Not a FIFA member
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg 1934
Flag of France.svg 1938
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg 1950 Did not enter
Flag of Switzerland.svg 1954 Group stage16th2002016 Squad 211073
Flag of Sweden.svg 1958 Preliminary competition entry denied [84]
Flag of Chile.svg 1962 Did not qualify420269
Flag of England.svg 1966 Did not enter
Flag of Mexico.svg 1970 Did not qualify412165
Flag of Germany.svg 1974 8341104
Flag of Argentina.svg 1978 12561169
Flag of Spain.svg 1982 320174
Flag of Mexico.svg 1986 Group stage20th301247 Squad 8701173
Flag of Italy.svg 1990 22nd300316 Squad 11920301
Flag of the United States.svg 1994 20th302145 Squad 13931325
Flag of France.svg 1998 30th301229 Squad 12921288
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg Flag of Japan.svg 2002 Fourth place4th732286 Squad Qualified as hosts
Flag of Germany.svg 2006 Group stage17th311134 Squad 12732187
Flag of South Africa.svg 2010 Round of 1615th411268 Squad 14770227
Flag of Brazil.svg 2014 Group stage27th301236 Squad 148332711
Flag of Russia.svg 2018 19th310233 Squad 1812333810
Flag of Qatar.svg 2022 To be determined6510221
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Flag of Mexico.svg Flag of the United States.svg 2026 To be determined
TotalFourth place10/18 [lower-alpha 1] 346919347014187371728687
  1. Statistics since 1948, when South Korea became a member of FIFA.

Olympic Games

Football at the Summer Olympics has been an under-23 tournament since 1992.
Summer Olympics recordQualification record [85]
YearResultPositionPldWDLGFGASquadPldWDLGFGA
19001936 Not an IOC member
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1948 Quarter-finals8th2101515 Squad Directly qualified
Flag of Finland.svg 1952 Did not enter
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 1956 Did not qualify210122
Flag of Italy.svg 1960 420244
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg 1964 Group stage14th3 [lower-alpha 1] 003120 Squad 421174
Flag of Mexico.svg 1968 Did not qualify5410175
Flag of Germany.svg 1972 4301162
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg 1976 6321105
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg 1980 6402166
Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg 1984 115331911
Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg 1988 Group stage11th3 [lower-alpha 2] 02112 Squad Qualified as hosts
1992–presentSee South Korea national under-23 football team
TotalQuarter-finals3/11 [lower-alpha 3] 812573742247119139
  1. Includes one unofficial match against Brazil U23.
  2. Includes two unofficial matches against the Soviet Union Olympic and Argentina Olympic.
  3. Statistics since 1947, when South Korea became a member of IOC.

AFC Asian Cup

AFC Asian Cup record Qualification record
YearResultPositionPldWDLGFGASquadPldWDLGFGA
as Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea A
Flag of Hong Kong 1959.svg 1956 Champions1st321096 Squad 440091
Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg 1960 Champions1st330091 Squad Qualified as hosts
Flag of Israel.svg 1964 "B" team entered [86] [lower-alpha 1]
Flag of Iran (1964-1980).svg 1968 Did not qualify411294
Flag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svg 1972 Runners-up2nd512276 Squad Walkover
Flag of Iran (1964-1980).svg 1976 Did not qualify420233
Flag of Kuwait.svg 1980 Runners-up2nd6411126 Squad 3300101
Flag of Singapore.svg 1984 Group stage9th402213 Squad 4310130
Flag of Qatar.svg 1988 Runners-up2nd6510113 Squad "B" team entered
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg 1992 Did not qualify "B" team entered
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg 1996 Quarter-finals7th4112711 Squad 3300170
Flag of Lebanon.svg 2000 Third place3rd631296 Squad 3300190
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg 2004 Quarter-finals6th421194 Squad 6402304
Flag of Indonesia.svg Flag of Malaysia.svg Flag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svg Flag of Vietnam.svg 2007 Third place3rd614133 Squad 6321155
Flag of Qatar.svg 2011 Third place3rd6420137 Squad Directly qualified
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 2015 Runners-up 2nd650182 Squad Directly qualified
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg 2019 Quarter-finals5th540162 Squad 8800270
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg 2023 Qualified6510221
as Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea B
Flag of Israel.svg 1964 Third place3rd3 [lower-alpha 1] 10224 Squad Walkover
Flag of Qatar.svg 1988 "A" team entered3 [lower-alpha 2] 11153
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg 1992 Did not qualify2 [lower-alpha 2] 10172
Total2 titles15/18673616151066456416918624

Asian Games

Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
Asian Games record
YearResultPositionPldWDLGFGASquad
Flag of India.svg 1951 Did not enter
Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg 1954 Silver medalists2nd41211512 Squad
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg 1958 Silver medalists2nd5401156 Squad
Flag of Indonesia.svg 1962 Silver medalists2nd540195 Squad
Flag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svg 1966 First round11th200204 Squad
Flag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svg 1970 Gold medalists1st632153 Squad
State Flag of Iran (1964).svg 1974 Second round8th5113410 Squad
Flag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svg 1978 Gold medalists1st7610153 Squad
Flag of India.svg 1982 Group stage9th310243 Squad
Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg 1986 Gold medalists1st6420143 Squad
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg 1990 Bronze medalists3rd6501181 Squad
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg 1994 Fourth place4th6303177 Squad
Flag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svg 1998 Quarter-finals6th6402126 Squad
2002–presentSee South Korea national under-23 football team
Total3 titles12/13613681712863

EAFF Championship

EAFF Championship record
YearResultPositionPldWDLGFGASquad
Flag of Japan.svg 2003 Champions1st321041 Squad
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg 2005 Fourth place4th302112 Squad
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg 2008 Champions1st312054 Squad
Flag of Japan.svg 2010 Runners-up2nd320184 Squad
Flag of South Korea.svg 2013 Third place3rd302112 Squad
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg 2015 Champions1st312031 Squad
Flag of Japan.svg 2017 Champions1st321073 Squad
Flag of South Korea.svg 2019 Champions1st330040 Squad
Total5 titles8/824111033317

Other competitions

YearCompetitionResultPositionPldWDLGFGASquad
Flag of the United States.svg 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group stage9th202022 Squad
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg Flag of Japan.svg 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup Group stage5th320136 Squad
Flag of the United States.svg 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup Fourth place4th502337 Squad

Head-to-head record

The following table shows South Korea's head-to-head record, correct as of 13 June 2021. [87]

Key
Positive balance (more wins)
Neutral balance (equal W/L ratio)
Negative balance (more losses)