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North Korea’s Soccer Style Resembles England’s

Posted December. 10, 2004 22:30,   


Japan is clearly nervous as it was drawn into the same group with North Korea in the lottery draft for the final preliminary tournament groups in Asia for the 2006 World Cup. Japan ranked 17th in the FIFA ranking chart, and North Korea ranked 96th. However, both teams’ A-match records run neck-and-neck in their wins-losses-ties count, 3-3-2.

Moon Ki-nam (56 years old), a former director of the North Korean soccer team, evaluated North Korea’s soccer, saying, “Recently, North Korea’s soccer record has become very stable.” Mr. Moon, who directed North Korea’s soccer team in the mid 1990s, escaped from North Korea in August of last year and entered Korea via China this past January.

An Evaluation of North Korea’s Soccer by Mr. Moon-

North Korea employs a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2. It uses a counterattack style after focusing on defense. Its soccer style is power soccer through mid and long distance passes and resembles England’s style. In particular, Director Yoon Jeong-soo is from a 4.25 military team and is poor with technical soccer, but uses a radical and aggressive style of soccer thanks to his strong leadership. He puts emphasis on spirited strength rather than technology.

North Korea did not select military soccer players for the national soccer team until three or four years ago. However, the state representative soccer team has been completed, with a reputable state representative team, consisting of players of the Apnok River team, a military soccer team including Hong Young-jo and Park Seong-gwan, joining the team. In addition to this, the team’s record has been much more stable, passing the second preliminary tournament in Asia.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com