Saturday, December 27, 2014

South Korea Greatest All-time team

World Cup 2002
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

South Korea is a power in Asia since the 1950's.  They won two Asian Cup in 1956 and 1960.  They were  the second Asian country to participate in a World Cup Finals when they went to Switzerland in 1954.  However, they would not go to another WC Finals until 1986.  Led by Asia's greatest modern player Cha Bum Ku, South Korea only managed a draw with Bulgaria in 1986. However, they would go on to qualify for the 8 straight WC Finals.  In 2002, they beat Poland, Portugal, Italy and Spain en route to the semifinal of the WC Finals held at home.  This remained the best ever result by a country outside South America and Europe since the United States in the 1930.

GK:  Lee Woon-Jae 이운재
He was a part of four World Cup Finals.  His best tournament was in 2002 where South Korea reached the semifinal and he was inspirational as he saved a penalty in the penalty shootout of the quarterfinal win vs Spain.  He is one of seven players from Asia to play in four different World Cups.  

GK: Choi In-young  최인영
Choi was the starting goalkeeper at WC Finals in 1990 and 1994. He was unfortunately remembered for giving up three goals to Germany at the WC in 1994. He played mostly for Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i. 

GK: Kim Byung-ji 김병지
He was locked up with the better for number 1 with Lee Woon-Jaae. He went to the France1998 and Korea/Japan 2002 as a backup.  He was selected as the best keepers in the K-League for a record 4 times.  He played over 700 games in the league.

RB: Kim Ho-kon 김호곤
He played most of his entire career with Seoul Trust Bank. He represented South Korea from 1971 to 1978. He was voted as the greatest rightback in Asian history by AFC. 

CB:  Hong Myung-bo 홍명보
He is the all-time cap record holder for South Korea.  He played in 4 WC Finals.  In 2002, he captained South Korea to reach the WC semifinal.  He won the Bronze Ball at the WC Finals.  Hong was a member of the South Korean national team in four World Cups, and was the first Asian player to play in four consecutive World Cup final tournaments.  He is probably the greatest defender in Asian history.  He played mainly for Pohang Steelers in the K League, Bellmare Hiratsuka and Kashiwa Reysol in Japan and, LA Galaxy in USA's Major League Soccer.
Hong Myung-bo
CB: Kim Ho 김호
Kim Ho was Korean Player of the Year in 1969.  He represented South Korea from 1965 to 1973. He played in the Asian Cup in 1972.  He was an amateur player with Cheil Industries FC and a founding member of Commercial Back of Korea FC. 

CB: Kim Jung-nam 김정남
He played for South Korea from 1962 to 1971.  He was named Korean Player of the Year in 1971. His two brothers Kim Sung-nam and Kim Kang-nam also represented Korea.
CB: Chung Yong-hwan 정용환
He played his entire career with Daewoo Royals, where He won the AFC Champions' League in 1986.  He represented Korea at the 1986  World Cup, 1990 World Cup, 1984 Asian Cup and 1988 Asian Cup. He had 85 cals.
Chung Yong-hwan
LB/CB: Kim Tae-young 김태영
He played for Korea at the WC Finals in 1998 and 2002. In 2002, he was a member of the defensive unit that came third in Korea/Japan 2002. He had 105 caps.  For club football, he played for Chunnam Dragons.  

LB:  Lee Young-Pyo 이영표
He enjoyed one of the most successful career for an Asian playing in Europe.  He started with Anyang LG at home before moving to Europe.  He was a starter with PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham Hotspurs.  He later played with Al-Hilal and Vancouver Whitecaps. He played 127 caps for South Korea. He went to three World Cup Finals.
Lee Young-Pyo
CM: Yoo Sang-Chul 유상철
He was capped 124 times between 1994 and 2005.  He went to the WC Finals in 1998 and 2002.  He played for Ulan Hyundai FC in Korea.  Before the WC Finals in 1998, he was sold Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan. He also played  briefly for Kashiwa Reysol.

DM: Kim Nam-Il  김남일
He was a relatively unknown player before the WC in 2002.  He made a name for himself at the Korea/Japan 2002 after Guus Hiddink transformed him into a defensive midfielder.  He also went to the WC Finals in 2006 and 2010.  For his club career, he had played in Holland, Russia and Japan. In Korea, he played for Chunnam Dragons and Suwon Bluewings. 

CM: Kim Joo Sung 김주성
From 1988 to 1990, he won three straight Asian Player of the Year.  He was an icon in the 1990's. He was known for his long hair during his career.  He played in three WC Finals: 1986, 1990 and 1994.  He played for the clubs Chosun University and Busan Daewoo Royals, both in South Korea, and later in the German Bundesliga for VfL Bochum.
Kim Joo Sung
CM: Noh Jung Yoon 노정윤
He was the first Korean player to play in the J. League when he moved to Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 1992.  He almost spent his entire career playing in Japan, with a brief career in Holland.  He played for Sanfrecce Hiroshima, NAC Breda, Cerezo Osaka, and Avispa Fukuoka. At home, he played for Busan Icons and Ulsan Hyundai. He represented Korea at the USA 1994 and France 1998.

CM: Huh Jung-Moo 허정무
He was one of the first South Korean players to play in Europe.  He joined PSV Eindhoven in 1980 and stayed there until 1983.  At home, he played for Hyundai Horangi.  He was capped 84 times and played in the 1986 WC Finals.  
Huh Jung-Moo 

RW: Seo Jung-Won 서정원
Seo Jung-Won had 87 caps. He was a member of the South Korea at the 1994 World Cup, the 1990, 1994, 1998 Asian Games, and the 1998 FIFA World Cup.  He debuted in FC Seoul, then known as LG Cheethas in 1994 and also served as player at Suwon Samsung Bluewings in South Korea from 1998 to 2004.  In Austria, he played for Strasbourg, Ried and Austria Salzburg.

RW/LW: Park Ji-Sung 박지성
He is the most decorated Asian footballer in history, as the first Asian footballer to have won the UEFA Champions League trophy, the first Asian footballer to play in a UEFA Champions League Final, as well as the first Asian footballer to have won the FIFA Club World Cup.   He spent 7 seasons with Manchester United. he also played Kyoto Purple Sanga, PSV and QPR.  For the national team, he earned 100 caps and went to 4 World Cup Finals: 2002, 2006, and 2010.
Park Ji-Sung
RW/FW: Ko Jeong-woon 고정운
Capped 77 times, He played for Korea at the 1994 WC Finals and the 1996 Asian Cup.  He was capped 77 times and was one of the best Korean players in the mid-1990's.  For club football, he played for Ilhwa Chunma/ Cheonan Ilhwa Chunma, Cerezo Osaka and Pohang Steelers.

LW: Son Heung-min 손흥민
Son finished his development at Hamburger SV, where he made his debut in the German Bundesliga in 2010. In 2013, he moved to Bayer Leverkusen for a club record €10 million, and played for the club in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League. Two years later, he signed for Tottenham for £22 million, becoming the most expensive Asian player in history. While at Tottenham, he became the top Asian goalscorer in Premier League history.
Son Heung-min 
FW: Park Lee-chun 박이천
He helped Korea to finish second at the 1972 Asian Cup and then, won the Korean Player of the Year in the same year.  He played for Kookmin Bank FC.  He turned professional in 1974 when he joined the Hong Kong league between 1976 and 1980, playing for Sea Bee and South China.

FW: Hwang Sun-Hong 황선홍
He was one of the most important Korean player between 1988 and 2002.  He played in 4 WC Finals.  For club football, he started with 2. Bundesliga outfit Wuppertaler SV during the season of 1992–93. He played in Pohang Steelers for six seasons and became a club legend. In 1998, he won Asian Club Championship with the Steelers. He also played in J League with Cerezo Osaka in 1999 with 24 goals in 25 matches, making him the top scorer in the J1 League charts.

FW: Choi Soon-ho 최순호 
He was a star in the 1980's.  He was capped 97 times.  He played in the 1986 and 1990 WC Finals.  He was the Asian Cup top-scorer in 1980, the youngest ever top-scorer.  He played mainly in Korea, but spent a season in France , playing for Rodez AF.
ST:  Cha Bum Kun 차범근
Cha Bum Kun is probably the greatest Asian player in the modern era.  He won two UEFA Cups, one each for Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen. he also played for Air Force in South Korea and SV Darmstadt 98. He was widely considered one of the best forwards in the Bundesliga throughout his career. He became the third-highest-paid footballer in Germany while playing there. For the national team, he had 135 caps and went to Mexico 1986.
Cha Bum Kun 
ST: Choi Yong-Soo 최용수
Choi Yong-Soo earned over 60 caps. He represented South Korea at the 1996 Summer Olympics, 1998 World Cup, and 2002 World Cup.  For his club career, he played in both Japan and Korea. He is considered a club legend at LG Cheetahs / Anyang LG Cheetahs(now called Seoul FC). From 2001 to 2005, he played in Japan for JEF United Ichihara, Kyoto Sanga FC and Júbilo Iwata.
Choi Yong-Soo
Honorable Mention
Park Kyung-hoon, Cha Du-ri, Kim Nam-il, Chung Hae-won and Ahn Jung-Hwan, Seol Ki-hyeon, Ki Sung-yueng, Cho Young-jeung, Kim Jae-han, Byun Ho-young.

Squad Explanation
-- I could not find much information on Korean players in the 1960's, where they dominated Asian football. So I do not think my team is not the best of South Korean football.  
-- Park Lee-chun's move to the professional league in Hong Kong was considered a big move in that era. Kim Jae-han and Byun Ho-young also went there.  All three players were South Korean Player of the Year.
-- Cho Young-jeung played in the NASL during the 1980's.
-- I also considered Chung Hae-won and Ahn Jung-Hwan. 
-- Ahn Jung Hwan was an icon of his time, but I went for the older players.  Choi Yong-Soo had contributed more over the years.  Of course, Cha Bum-Kun is the greatest Korea player of all-time.
-- Son Heung-min is still young, but he has done very well in Europe. Only Cha Bum Kun and Park Ji Sung have done better in Europe than him. 
-- Seol Ki-hyeon deserved a spot. He lost his space to Son Heung-min.
-- Ki Sung-yueng might a chance to be on this team. 

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-3-3

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