Go to contents

World Cup Entry Confirms 23 Players

Posted May. 01, 2002 09:08,   


The Korean national soccer team has finalized its 23 `warriors` 30 days prior to the World Cup. Korea Football Association announced the list of the 23 players in the World Cup entry on the 30th. The decided ones are to participate in the field training in the city of Seoguipo, Jeju, from the 2nd next month, and they are expected to settle for the final entry unless unexpected injury or accident occurs.

∇The Heroes Of Glory = Hong Myung-Bo, who has the record of the most goals in the past World Cup finals (2 goals), enjoyed the honor of participating in the World Cup for 4 consecutive times along with Hwang Sun-Hong for the first time in history. Hong, especially, set the most-participation record for A-Matches (inter-national team matches) ever since his debut in February 1990, and is currently marking 17th in FIFA’s Century Club (above 100 A-Matches). The rank is expected to rise vertically, as the number of participation increases.

Cha Doo-Ri has set Korea’s first `father-son World Cup entry` record, as he succeeded his father Cha Bum-Kun, who played in the 1986 Mexico World Cup. There are 14 players, who will be on the World Cup ground for the first time in their lives.

∇Entry For The Final 16 = While the defense line consists of well-experienced veterans over their 30s, including Hong Myung-Bo, Choi Jin-Chul, and Kim Tae-Young, the midfield is set on `young power` with power and speed. The entry has reflected manager Guus Hiddink’s usual plan to open the door of the final 16 with speedy counterattack after protecting the goal gate with heavy pressure and skillful defense, since the team is inferior to other final competitors in objective capability. The fact that fast-breakers like Lee Chun-Su, Choi Tae-Wook, and Cha Doo-Ri are assigned at the forefront is on the same track. For the traditional post-play style goal-getter, Kim Do-Hun and Lee Dong-Kuk are excluded and only Choi Yong-Su has survived.

∇Stars Of Misfortune = Lee Dong Kuk and Koh Jong-Su, who gained great attention to be the Korean soccer’s new-generation stars at the time of 1998 France World Cup, Hiddink’s former star Kim Do-Hun (Jeonbuk), and Shim Jae-Won (Pusan) are excluded from the final list.

Lee and Kim competed with striker Choi Yong-Su, but failed to claim relative advantage in defense-participation and space-utilization. Koh Jong-Su, who was once spotlighted as `prince` at the time of Hiddink’s takeover, could not recover from injury, and Shim Jae-Won failed to meet the expectation in the Spanish field training last month.

Keuk-In Bae bae2150@donga.com