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Ultimate South Korea dream team - Son & Park in, Lee Chun-soo out

3:15 AM EST 12/5/22
Ultimate South Korea Dream Team
Some immensely talented players have represented South Korea on the global stage and this is their greatest-ever XI!

South Korea are arguably the most successful Asian team at the global stage.

The 'Taegeuk Warriors' have participated in nine consecutive World Cup tournaments - and 10 in total in history, more than any other Asian country.

They became the first and only Asian team to date to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup when they achieved that feat on home soil in 2002, eventually losing to Germany.

The two-time AFC Asian Cup winners have fielded some of the best players on the continent over the years, with the likes of Park Ji-sung and Son Heung-min absolute global superstars in their prime

But who make it into their best-ever XI?

  • Lee Woon-Jae South Korea

    GK: Lee Woon-jae

    With 133 appearances for South Korea between 1994 and 2010, Lee Woon-jae featured at four different World Cups, in 1994, 2002, 2006 and 2010.

    He is one of only seven players from Asia to play in four different editions of the tournament.

    His national team stint was marred with controversy, however, as he was suspended from the national team for a year after sneaking out of his hotel room to go out together with three of his team-mates before a game against Bahrain, which South Korea ended up losing.

  • Song Chong-gug vs Portugal

    RB: Song Chong-gug

    Song Chong-gug made his international debut against Macedonia in 2000 and quickly went on to become a key figure, being part of South Korea's World Cup campaigns in 2002 and 2006.

    Guus Hiddink picked him for the 2002 World Cup and after testing him in multiple positions, decided to slot him in at right-back.

    When South Korea finished the 2002 World Cup in fourth place, Song was the only outfield player to play every minute in the seven games his team played.

  • Hong Myung-Bo South Korea

    CB: Hong Myung-bo

    Often considered one of the greatest Asian footballers of all time, Hong Myung-bo was an incredible sweeper for the national team

    He participated in four World Cups, becoming the first Asian player to achieve this feat.

    Myung-bo was also the first Asian star ever to receive the Bronze Ball at the World Cup in 2002.

    He made 136 appearances for South Korea between 1990 and 2002 and ended his international career after a friendly game against Brazil in 2002 as his country's all-time leader in international appearances.

  • Kim Min-jae South Korea 2019

    CB: Kim Min-jae

    Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae made his debut for South Korea in their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Iran and was sent off after 84 minutes.

    He then suffered an injury and was unfortunate enough to miss the 2018 World Cup as a result in what was a bit of a nightmare start to his international career.

    However, he recovered after the tournament and helped South Korea beat Japan 2-1 in the gold-medal match at the 2018 Asian Games.

    Since his debut, Kim Min-jae has made 44 appearances as South Korea's first choice centre-back and has already done enough to earn himself a spot in their ultimate dream team!

  • Lee Young-pyo

    LB: Lee Young-pyo

    A right-footed left back, Lee Young-pyo was recognised for his speed and dribbling skills in the early 2000s.

    The former PSV and Tottenham Hotspur defender became the seventh South Korean player to earn 100 caps for his country in November 2008.

    Between 1999 to 2011, Lee made 127 appearances for the national team, scoring five goals in the process.

    He was also part of the South Korean squad that reached the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup.

  • Park Ji-sung

    LM: Park Ji-Sung

    The most successful Asian player of all time, Manchester United cult hero Park Ji-Sung won 19 trophies in his career.

    He was also the first Asian star to have played and won the Champions League final, as well as the first Asian to win the Club World Cup.

    Known for his versatility, fitness, discipline and off-the-ball movement, Park was a key component of the team that finished fourth at the 2002 World Cup. He also featured in the 2006 and 2010 editions of the tournament.

    Between 2000 and 2011, Park made 100 appearances for South Korea, scoring 13 goals.

  • Yoo Sang-Chul Korea Sud

    CM: Yoo Sang-chul

    Regarded as one of the greatest South Korean midfielders of all time, Yoo Sang-chul was part of the iconic team that reached the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup on home soil and managed to earn a place in that tournament's all-star team alongside legends like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Klose, Hierro and others.

    Yoo was known for his versatility as even though he was originally a central midfielder, he could also play as a stopper or right-back when he was asked to.

    He once even played as a striker for his club Yokohama Marinos, scoring 24 goals in 44 appearances in the 1999-2000 season.

  • Ki Sung-Yueng South Korea

    RM: Ki Sung-yueng

    With over 100 appearances for the South Korean national team, Ki Sung-yeung featured in three World Cups in his career and captained his team at the 2018 edition in Russia.

    Sung-yeung also featured in two editions of the Olympic games, winning the bronze medal in 2012.

    The former Newcastle United star made 110 appearances and scored 10 goals between 2008 and 2019, before he retired from international duty at the 2019 Asian Cup after suffering a hamstring injury.

  • Heung-min Son South Korea

    FW: Son Heung-min

    Considered one of the greatest Asian footballers of all time, Son Heung-min has made a name for himself at Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur after previously impressing in the Bundesliga.

    At international level, he represented South Korea at three World Cups in 2014, 2018 and 2022. Son is South Korea's joint top scorer at World Cups.

    He also represented his country at the 2018 Asian Games, winning the gold medal and the pacy forward also featured in three editions of the Asian Cup, finishing runner-up in 2015.

    He is currently fourth in South Korea's all-time top goalscorers list, behind Park Lee-chun, Hwang Sun-hong and Cha Bum-kun.

  • Cha Bum-Kun Bayer Leverkusen

    FW: Cha Bum-kun

    Known in Germany as "Tscha Bum" or "Cha Boom" because of his thunderous ball striking ability, Cha Bum-kun is regarded as one of the greatest Asian strikers of all time.

    In 1972, Cha made his debut for the national team at the age of 18, becoming the youngest player in the country's history to do so.

    He is currently the leading top goalscorer in South Korean history with 58 goals in 136 games between 1972 and 1986.

  • Hwang Sun-Hong.jpg

    FW: Hwang Sun-hong

    One of the most notable strikers in the 1990s and early 2000s, Hwang Sun-hong featured at three World Cups for South Korea, in 1990, 1994 and 2002.

    In his international career, Hwang made 103 appearances, scoring 50 goals between 1988 and 2002.

    At the 1994 World Cup, Hwang was unlucky to miss some big chances in the games for against Spain and Bolivia and was scapegoated by some for his misses after his team were eliminated in the group stages.

    He nonetheless gets the nod for the final spot in this team ahead of the likes of Lee Chun-soo and Ahn Jung-hwan.