Sunday, December 28, 2014

Costa Rica Greatest All-time 23 member team

 This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Costa Rica World Cup 2014
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Costa Rica is the most successful national team in the region after USA and Mexico.   The national team made its debut in the Independence Centenary Games held in Guatemala City in September 1921, winning their first game 7–0 against El Salvador. In the final, Costa Rica defeated 6–0 Guatemala to claim the trophy.

Costa Rica's team in the late 1940s acquired the nickname "The Gold Shorties".Throughout the '50s and '60s, they were the second strongest team in the CONCACAF zone behind Mexico, finishing runners-up in World Cup qualifying in the 1958, 1962 and 1966 qualifiers. Stars of the side during this period included Ruben Jimenez, Errol Daniels, Leonel Hernandez and Edgar Marin. However, Costa Rica was not able to utilize this advantage, hence failed to reach any World Cup at that decade.

Before the 1990's, Los Ticos won three CONCACAFA Championships in 1963, 1969 and 1989. They also went to two Olympics in 1980 and 1984.  Then, in 1990, they shocked the world at the World Cup Finals in Italy.  They advanced to the 2nd round by beating Sweden and Scotland.  

In 2014, Costa Rica made another strong run at the World Cup Finals.  They were grouped in the Group of Death with England, Uruguay and Italy.  They responded by beating both Italy and Uruguay before drawing England in the final and meaningless game.  They beat Greece in the round of 16 before losing to Holland in a penalty shootout during the quarterfinal.  The result was one of the best ever CONCACAFA finish at the WC Finals.

I also created an all-time CONCACAFA team that excluded players from the big three. 
World Cup 1990
After starting out at Saprissa Keylor Navas moved to Albacete in 2010, and then to Levante in La Liga.  After a great performance with Levante, he won the La Liga Keeper of the Year award for 2014 with Levante.  Then, he led Costa Rica to the quarter-final of the World Cup in Brazil.  After the World Cup Finals, he earned a transfer to Real Madrid.  With Real Madrid, he won three Champions League title as their starting keeper. He also played in the 2018 World Cup Finals.
Keylor Naves
GK: Luis Gabelo Conejo
Luis Gabelo Conejo was the hero of Los Ticos' World Cup run in 1990, where they reached the 2nd round.  He made the Team of the Tournament.  He had 29 caps for Costa Rica. For his club career, he played mainly for Ramonense and Albacete, during a 17-year professional career. He was a n idol with Albacete as the club reached La Liga for the first time ever in 1991.

GK: Erick Lonnis 
Erick Lonnis was the all-time leading cap leader for a keeper in Costa Rica.  He captained the national team at the Korea/Japan 2002.  He played moots his career with Deportivo Saprissa.  He was the captain for Saprissa during several seasons, where he won four national championships, as well as two CONCACAF Champions Cup in 1993 and 1995. He is an all-time great at there.

RB: Christian Gamboa 
Christian Gamboa spent his club career playing around the world after starting in A.D. Municipal Liberia in 2006.  He played in Norway and Denmark for several clubs before joining West Bromwich Albion in 2014.  He later played for Celtic and Vfl Bochum.  Since 2010, he has been capped over 80 times for Costa Rica.  He went to 2014 and 2018 World Cup Finals.   He made the CONCACAF Best XI in 2017.

RB: Harold Wallace
Wallace started his career with Deportivo Saprissa in 1993, He then played for Belén and Zacatepec before he signed with Saprissa's arch-rivals Alajuelense, where he had a long career.  With 101 caps, he played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. He also played at two Copa América tournaments, four CONCACAF Gold Cups and three UNCAF Nations Cups.

Gilberto Martinez was capped 61 times for Costa Rica.  He played for Costa Rica at the World Cup Finals in 2002 and 2006.  He also payed the 2001 Copa America. After the World Cup Finals in 2002, he left Deportivo Saprissa to play in Europe,  He joined Brescia in Italy, where he played over 200 games.  He had brief loan spells with Roma and Lecce. He also played for Monza and ACD Nardo. He spent over 10 seasons playing in Italy in both Serie A and Serie B.  
Gilberto Martinez
Mario Cordero played for Costa Rica between 1950 and 1963.  He was considered a legend with Saprissa and one of Costa Rica's greatest defenders.  He was better known as Catato or Piernas de Oro.  Catato was the leader and captain of Deportivo Saprissa during the 50's and early 60's. He had one season in the Mexican league, with Atletico Marte.

CB: Giancarlo González
Giancarlo González had been capped over 87 times at the time of writing.  He was included in the BBC's team of the tournament for World Cup Finals in 2014. He went to Russia for the World Cup Finals four years later. He earned a big move to Palermo in Italy after the 2014 World Cup Finals.  In 2017, he joined Bologna. He previously played domestic football in Norway and the USA.  

Roger Flores was the captain of the national team that advanced to the 2nd round of the Italia 1990.  He played for the two most popular teams, Alajuelense and Saprissa.  He started out in Alajuela in the mid 80's, and was part of the team that won the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 1986. With Saprissa, he won another two more CONCACAF Champions Cup.

Castro began with Alajuelense. In 2003, he moved abroad to play for Rubin Kazan in Russia.  He also played in Norway before going home in 20008 with Alajuelense again.  He played for several clubs in his home country before his retirement.  He made his senior debut for the Ticos in a June 2000.  He would have 48 caps between 2000 and 2007 playing in the 2002 World Cup Finals.  He was voted into 2003 Gold Cup Best XI.  

Grant played for Saprissa and Guadalupe at youth and junior level but made his senior debut for Herediano in 1956 and remained with the club until his retirement in July 1973. He totalled 298 league games for the Rojiamarillos and 49 cup games. Grant was named by both Radio Monumental and Al Dia newspaper in their squad of the best players of Costa Rica in the 20th century.  He had 46 caps between 1959 and 1969.

DM:  Mauricio Solis
Mauricio Solis was an important player during the late 1990's and 2000's.  He was capped 110 times between 1993 and 2006.  Solís was the second Costa Rican behind Luis Marín to reach 100 caps. He went to both World Cup Finals in 2002 and 2006.  He also played at the 1997 and 2001 Copa América.  For his club career, he played in England, the MLS and Mexico.  He played mainly for C.S. Herediano in Costa Rica.

CM: Celso Borges
His father Alexandre Guimarães who was born in Brazil represented Los Ticos at the World Cup in 1990, where Costa Rica reached the second round.  Celso Borges himself helped Costa Rica to reach the quarter-final at World Cup Finals in 2014.  He was one of the best players at the World Cup U-16 in 2005. He played professionally with Deportivo Sarprissa and AIK in Sweden. At the time of writing, he plays for Göztepe S.K. in Turkey.
Celso Borges
AM:  Walter Centeno
Walter Centeno is the cap record holder for Costa Rica, having gained 137 cap.  He is considered one of the best players of his generation.  He played in the World Cup Finals of 2002 and 2006.  He went to three Copa America tournaments. For his club career, he played mainly for Saprissa, winning a CONCACAF Champions League. He also had a brief spell in Greece.

Lopez started with Carmelita in 1993.  The following next season, he was bought by Alajuelense, becoming one of the most beloved players, playing 13 seasons for them. He played 76 times for Costa Rica between 1995 and 2003.  He played in all 3 games during the 2002 World Cup. He also played at the 1995 and 1997 UNCAF Nations Cups as well as 4 Gold Cups and the 1997 Copa América. He also was a non-playing squad member at the 2001 Copa América.

RW/FW: Joel Campbell
Campbell's career began with Saprissa in 2009,  and joined Arsenal in 2010 where he was under contract until 2018.  He spent most of his career there on loan including stints with Real Betis, Sporting CD, Villarreal, etc.  Since 2011, he had 126 caps for Costa Rica.  He starred at the 2014 World Cup Finals, and played in 2018 and 2022 editions.  He was voted the Super League Greece Team of the Year for 2013–14 season while he was on loan there.

FW/RW: Hernán Medford
After three years at Deportivo Saprissa, Hernán Medford headed to Europe in 1990. He played in several different leagues worldwide, including Foggia Calcio, Dinamo Zagreb, Rapid Wien, Rayo Vallecano, and in the Mexican Primera Division, with Pachuca, León and Necaxa.  Pachuca decided to retire Medford's number 17 after he scored his 100th goal in his career. Medford  gained international flame at the World Cup in 1990 when Los Ticos reached the 2nd round.  
Hernán Medford
FW/LW: Bryan Ruiz
Bryan Ruiz was the captain of the national team that reached the quarter-final of the 2014 World Cup Finals.  At the time of writing, he has over 100 caps. He played with Alajuelense at home before moving abroad in 2006.  He played for Genk, Twente, Fulham, PSV and now, Sporting CP.  He is the CONCACAF Player of the Year in 2016.  He is the only Central American footballer to have played in the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, and the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores.

SS: Rolando Fonseca
Nicknamed El Principito, Rolando Fonseca earned 113 caps for his country. He is also the all-time leading scorer for Costa Rica.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2002, but was not selected for 2006.  For club football, Fonseca played for Comunicaciones in Guatemala, Independiente Medellín and América de Cali in Colombia, Pachuca and Pachuca in Mexico, as well as having home spells with Deportivo Saprissa, Alajuelense and Municipal Liberia.
Rolando Fonseca
FW: Ronald Gomez  
He was one of the greatest Costa Rican players.  He was capped 93 times.  He went to the WC in 2002 and 2006.  He played in 6 countries.  He started with Alajuelense before heading to play in Europe. He has played in 6 different countries: in Spain with Sporting Gijón and Hercules of Alicante, in Guatemala with Municipal,  in Greece with OFI Crete, in Kuwait with Al Qadsia, in Mexico with Irapuato and in Cyprus with APOEL.  He also played for Saprissa at home.

FW: Alejandro Morera Soto
Alejandro Morera Soto started his career with Alajuelense in 1925. He first joined Espanyol before joining Barcelona FC in 1933. He was a part of the legendary Barcelona of the 1930's, where he was their top scorer for the 1933-1934 season.  He earned the nickname "El fenomeno costarricense" ("The Costa Rican phenomenon") in Barcelona. He scored over 60 goals for them.  He also played for Hercules and La Havre.  He played 7 times and scored 6 goals for Costa Rica.
Alejandro Morera Soto

FW: José Rafael Meza
He was one of the greatest players in Costa Rica during the 1940's.  He started his career with Club Sport Cartaginés.  He went to play for Moctezuma in Mexico, where he was the top league scorer in his first season.  He later joined Estudiantes de La Plata in Argentina and Atlante in Mexico, where he was a top player in the Mexican league. He also played in Colombia and Honduras. The Club Sport Cartaginés' stadium was named after him.

FW: Paulo Wanchope
Paulo Wanchope was probably the most successful Costa Rican player playing in Europe in the modern era. He played for Derby, West Ham. Manchester City, Malaga, FC Tokyo, Chicago Fire, etc. Internationally, he had 73 caps for Los Ticos between 1996 and 2008.  He also played in the 2002 World Cup Finals in Korea/Japan 2002 and then, the World Cup Finals four years later in Germany. He is Costa Rica's second all-time leading scorer at the World Cup Finals.
Paulo Wanchope

Honorable Mention
Mario "Flaco" Pérez , Hermidio Barrantes, José Francisco Porras, Ronald González, Óscar Duarte, Luis Marín, Mauricio Wright, Michael Umaña, Vladimir Quesada, Bryan Oviedo, Harold Wilson, Javier Jiménez, Álvaro Saborío, Christian Bolaños, Francisco “Chico” Hernández Ramírez, Marco Ureña, Errol Daniels, Juan Cayasso, Óscar Ramírez, Alonso Solis, Juan Ulloa, Evaristo Coronado, Jorge Monge, Mauricio Montero, Errol Daniels.

Squad Explanation
-- The original team was created in December, 2014.  At that time,  I was influenced by Costa Rica's World Cup run about 6 months earlier.  It was one of the teams that badly needed a review. This version was created in June, 2023.  "Nearly 9 years later, it would be interesting how time has changed my perspective," I told myself right before I reviewed this team.  This team had the most changes from the original team.
-- Many people considered Alejandro Morera Soto as Costa Rica's greatest player.  He was a part of the legendary Barcelona of the 1930's, where he was their top scorer for the 1933-1934 season. Keylor Navas was probably their second greatest player, largely for the 2014 World Cup as well as playing for Real Madrid.  Then, perhaps, Paulo Wanchope and Bryan Ruiz were among the country's greatest.  Walter Centeno and Rolando Fonseca sometimes listed alongside those names. 
-- I selected 6 players from the World Cup 2014 team because no Costa Rican team have done more than that team.  They did not just only advanced to the quarterfinal.  They actually emerged from the Group of Death that included Italy, Uruguay and England.  They did it with ease too.  They only failed at the quarterfinal by penalty kicks against the Netherlands, the finalist in 2010 and the semifinalist in 2014.  The 6 players were Giancarlo Gonzalez, Cristian Gamboa, Celso Borges, Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz and Keylor Navas.
-- Costa Rica under manager Bora Milutinović beat Sweden and Scotland to qualify for the second round of the 1990 World Cup Finals. From the 1990 World Cup team, I selected 6 players: Hernan Medford, Roger Flores, Luis Gabelo Conejo and Celso Borges.
-- But surprisingly, the 2002 World Cup team had more players than the World Cup team in 1990 and 2014.  I had 10 players: Erik Lonnis, Ronald Gomez, Wilmer Lopez, Gilberto Martinez, Paulo Wanchope, Harold Wallace, Hernan Medford, Walter Centeno, Carlos Castro and Mauricio Solís.
-- I only have three players who played before the 1990's.  Alejandro Morera Soto had a fantastic career with Barcelona FC.  José Rafael Meza Ivancovich was a pioneer in Costa Rica.  Then, I had Mario Cordero and Alvaro Grant.  
Fello Meza
-- IFFHS selected the following players as their All-Time Best XI for Costa Rica.  They were Keylor Navas, Gilberto Martínez, Mario Cordero, Giancarlo González, Álvaro Grant MacDonald, Wálter Centeno, Juan Cayasso, Bryan Ruíz, Paulo Wanchope, Alejandro Morera and Hernán Medford.
-- In 2020, ESPN Costa Rica came up with their All-Time Best XI: Keylor Navas, Cristian Gamboa, Gilberto Martínez, Giancarlo González, Carlos Castro, Mauricio Solís, Walter Centeno, Wilmer López, Bryan Ruiz, Ronald Gómez and Paulo César Wanchope.  On the same year, Futbol Centro America also came up with two teams.  The first team consisted of Kaylor Navas, Christian Gamboa, Gilberto Martinez, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Carlos Castro, Mauricio Solis, Walter Centeno, Wilmer Lopez, Bryan Ruiz, Rolando Fonseca, and Paulo Wanchope.  The second team were Gabelo Conejo, Hernan Medford, Christian Bolaños, Ronald González, Roger Flores, Luis Marín, Harold Wallace, Celso Borges, Oscar Duarte, and "Bala" Gómez.
-- Keylor Navas helped Costa Rica to reach the quarterfinal of the 2014 World Cup Finals.  He also won two Champions League titles as the starting keeper for Real Madrid.  He has achieved more than any other players from Costa Rica.  He was my number one keeper even through Luis Gabelo Conejo was a strong candidate.  
-- Gabelo Conejo was actually rated as the best goalkeeper in Central America until Navas came along.  He was awarded a place on the Team of the Tournament. at the 1990 World Cup Finals.  He helped Costa Rica to reach the second round of the 1990 World Cup Finals conceding only twice.  In the knockout stage, he was out injured and Costa Rica collapsed against Czechoslovakia with Hermidio Barrantes in goal.
Luis Gabelo Conejo
-- In 2023, I narrowed down to three goalkeepers: Hermidio Barrantes, José Francisco Porras and Erick Lonnis. I took Lonnis as the third goalkeeper in 2014 because he was the all-time leading cap leader for a keeper in Costa Rica.  Since then, Navas has overtook him.  In the 2002 World Cup Finals, Erick Lonnis's Costa Rica was eliminated in the group stage through a goal difference of one.  He was criticised by the goal against Turkey which gave Turkey the edge in the goal difference. He also gave up 5 goals against Brazil in the 2002 World Cup in a free scoring game in the first round.  It was my understanding his reputation was tarnished.  However, he played so many times for Costa Rica.  That should count for something.
-- Gabelo Conejo's injury allowed Barrantes to step in against Czechoslovakia in the second round of the 1990 World Cup Finals. He was blamed by some fans for Costa Rica's heavy defeat and received death threats on his return home
--I also looked into  Mario "Flaco" Pérez from the 1960's.  He was a legend with Saprissa.  He won two CONCACAF Championship  in 1963 and 1969.  But I did not know how to rate him against the more modern goalkeepers.
-- Ricardo Saprissa was the founder of Deportivo Saprissa, but he was born in El Salvador.  I do not know of his citizenship.  He did not move to Costa Rica until 1932 after he finished his playing career. I listed him as a El Salvadoran for my greatest Central America team.  He was definitely a great contributor to Costa Rican football, but this blog is about playing the game as a Costa Rican player.  He did not qualify.
-- In 2014, my defensive unit was geared toward the 2014 World Cup team.  Costa Rica only gave up two goals one of which was a penalty in the entire tournament.  Under the 2023 review, I changed the team around.  
-- In the center, Gilberto Martinez was an undisputed selection. I did not recall where and how I discovered Mario Cordero in 2014.  In 2023, many press clippings I found considered him to be Costa Rica's greatest defender.  He led Saprissa to four national titles as well as captaining them on a world tour in 1959.  It was the first Latin American team to do so. IFFHS honored him with a spot (my old team predated them by 7 years so I did not find him there), but neither ESPN Costa Rica nor Futbol Centro America acknowledged him. Giancarlo González was voted into the BBC Team of the Tournament for the 2014 World Cup.  He was rock solid in Brazil as Costa Rica only gave up two goals in the entire tournament.  The three seemed untouchable. 
-- I had a few choices for the 4th central defender. Ronald González's name was brought by ESPN Costa Rica. In 2014, I also selected Óscar Duarte and Luis Marin.  Luis Marín is now the most capped central defender.  He was listed as #10 greatest Costa Rican footballer by a list. Mauricio Montero's jersey number was retired by Alajuelense.  In the end, I kept Roger Flore who was the captain of the 1990 World Cup team.  
Roger Flore 
-- Michael Umaña who was more of a central defender was chosen in 2014 as my only rightback.  The backup was Gilberto Martínez who could also play in this position.  So that team did not have a real rightback.  In 2023, I took Christian Gamboa from the 2014 World Cup team.  One website listed him 5 of the greatest footballers from this country.  With 101 caps, Harold Wallace deserved a spot.  He could also play as a defensive midfielder, a position I badly needed a backup.
-- Both ESPN Costa Rica picked Carlos Castro as its leftback while IFFHS took Álvaro Grant.  In 2014, I only selected Bryan Oviedo, but his name was not to be found in my research in 2023.  I probably took him because he played for Everton at the time.  He did not attend the 2014 World Cup Finals because of an injury.  Since then, his career was slowed down by injuries, etc.  So I dropped him and took Castro who was probably undisputed. I also took Alvaro Grant who was chosen by IFHHS as their greatest leftback.
-- Óscar Duarte was born in Nicaragua, but played for Costa Rica.  He was a part of the great defensive unit at the 2014 World Cup Finals, where Costa Rica only gave up a single goal in group stage and reached the quarterfinal.  He also played in the World Cup Finals in 2018.  He played for Deportivo Sarprissa at home.  In 2013, he moved to Club Brugge in Belgium and then, to Espanyol in 2016.
-- Luis Marín earned 128 caps with Costa Rica.  He spent most of his career with Alajuelense, but he also had stints in Uruguay and Israel.  He was Israel Foreign Player of the Year in 2006-2007 while playing with Maccabi Netanya.  He played in all 3 games during both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups Finals.
-- Michael Umaña has played for Los Ticos since 2004.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2006 and 2014.  He was a part of the great defensive units at Brazil 2014 in which Los Ticos reached the quarter-final.  At the time of writing, he had over 100 caps. He played for many clubs all over the world, including stints in the USA, Iran, etc.
-- Bryan Oviedo played for Everton and Sunderland in England.  He previously played in Norway and Denmark.  He missed the 2014 World Cup Finals through an injury, but went to Russia four years later in 2018. He was selected for his national squad at the Copa América Centenario in 2016. 
-- During my research, I could not come up with great defensive midfielder, except Mauricio Solís.  He was a journeyman in club football, but he spent 13 years with Los Ticos. With 158 international appearances, Celso Borges is the most capped player in Costa Rica's history.  His father Alexandre Guimarães was on the 1990 World Cup team.  His assisted on Hernán Medford's goal against Sweden that sent Costa Rica to the second round of that World Cup.  Borges himself was a key figure in the 2014 World Cup finals.  He was a two-way midfielder.  RB Harold Wallace would be the third defensive midfielder.
Mauricio Solís
-- Walter Centeno was at point the cap record holder for Costa Rica, having gained 137 cap.   With AEK Athens, he managed to score at against both Real Madrid and Roma as they were held to home draws in the Champions' League.  He was sometimes listed among the top 10 ever greatest player in this country.
-- AM Wilmer Lopez was selected by ESPN Costa Rica and Futbol Centro America on their Best XI.  I did not select him in 2014, but I added him because of the lack of midfielder.s I dropped Óscar Ramírez in 2023.  I also did not have space for Juan Cayasso because of Bryan Ruiz, Wilmer Lopez and Walter Centeno.  
-- Joel Campbell was originally selected for his performance at the World Cup Finals as well as his career with Arsenal.  He was named the Man of the match award in the 2014 World Cup Finals against Uruguay.  He was mainly used as a striker in Brazil.  Unfortunately, his career was not well as what I envisioned after the World Cup Finals in 2014.  However, by 2024,  he has earned 125 caps, and played in three World Cup Finals.  He scored some important goals for the Costa Rica. He again earned his merits.  Besides, this team lacked wide players and Campbell could operate on the wide right.  
-- I seriously looked into right wing Christian Bolaños who also played on the left. He played in 2006, 2014 and 2018 World Cup Finals, and at one point Costa Rica's record player in the World Cup Finals.  Since then, he was replaced by several players including Joe Campbell.  Campbell went to three World Cup Finals.  He started or played in most matches, except one.  I also added Hernán Medford who was the hero of the 1990 World Cup Finals.  He was one of the more famous footballers from Costa Rica before the 2014 generation.  So I did not have a spot for Christian Bolaños.
-- On the left, I did not have anyone.  I relied on Bryan Ruiz who had played as a left winger (as well as some matches on the right), and leftback Carlos Castro.  
-- Nicknamed El Machillo (The Blonde), Oscar Ramírez earned 75 caps for Costa Rica and went to the World Cup Finals in 1990.  For his club career, he played for both Alajuelense and Saprissa.  With Alajuelense he won four national championships during the 1980s and early 1990s, as well as a CONCACAF Champions Cup in 1986. 
-- Alejandro Morera Soto scored 63 goals in just 76 matches for FC Barcelona.  In Spain, he was known as the "Costa Rican phenomenon".  At the time of writing, Bryan Ruiz is the only Costa Rican player to have won the CONCACAF Player of the Year award.  He could operate as a forward.  Perhaps, he is Costa Rica's greatest outfielder since Morera.  Paulo Wanchope did not come from the two golden generations, but he was easily the most successful player from Costa Rica playing in Europe after Keylor Navas.  The three of them was considered undisputed.
Bryan Ruiz
-- Juan Ulloa was the national team's all-time goalscorer until Rolando Fonseca surpassed him in 2002.  He spent a brief time in Spain with Real Betis in the 1960's.  However, I had many \candidates ahead of him.
-- Evaristo Coronado played his entire career of 14 seasons for Deportivo Saprissa, where he holds the team record for most appearances made and goals scored ever. He was Costa Rica's top scorer in the 1990 World Cup qualifiers, but was dropped by coach Bora Milutinovic for the World Cup Finals, despite a national cry for his inclusion.  I put him on honorable mentions only.  If he went to the World Cup Finals, he might earn that extra something to put him on this team.
--  I also came across Errol Daniels. He held the scoring record in the Costa Rican league. He scored 197 goals in just 168 matches, but an injury effectively ended his career at the age of just 28.  His goal tally would have been bigger.  I nearly took him.  Instead, I picked José Rafael Meza who was a top forward in Mexico during the 1940's.  He was considered a pioneer in Costa Rican football.  Rolando Fonseca and Ronald Gomez appeared in many top player list.  Fonseca is Costa Rica's all-time leading scorer.  


Saturday, December 27, 2014

South Korea Greatest All-time team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

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

AustraliaSaudi ArabiaIran,
ChinaJapanSouth Korea.
Hong KongIndia
East AsiaWest Asia(without Iran and Saudi Arabia),
Central AsiaSouth East Asia(ASEAN).

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. 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.[6] 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. Koreans also played for the Japanese national team, most notably Kim Yong-sik who played for Japan at the 1936 Summer Olympics.

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 World Cup  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 World Cup Finals.  In 2002, they beat Poland, Portugal, Italy and Spain en route to the semifinal of the World Cup 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. 
World Cup 1986
GK:  Lee Woon-Jae 이운재
Lee Woon-Jae 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.   He mainly played for Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Gimcheon Sangmu FC and Chunnam Dragons. 

GK: Lee Se-yeon 이세연
Lee Se-yeon is regarded as one of the greatest South Korean goalkeepers of the 20th century. In 2002, he was selected as the goalkeeper of the Korean Football All-time Best XI by a survey of MBC and Gallup Korea in which 1,500 South Koreans participated.  I  club footyball, he played for Yangzee and Korea Trust Bank.  From 1966 to 1973, he played 81 times for the national team.

GK: Hong Deok-young 홍덕영
Hong Deok-young was the goalkeeper of the South Korea national team who appeared at the 1948 Summer Olympics, 1954 FIFA World Cup and 1954 Asian Games. In the Olympics, Korea beat Mexico. After retiring, he was an international football referee from 1957 to 1967.  He played 17 times for Korea between 1948 and 1954. In Korea, he started with Korea University.  Later, he played for Seoul FC and Joseon Textile.  He was elected to the Korea Football Hall of Fame in 2005.
Hong Deok-young
RB: Park Kyung-hoon 박경훈
Park spent his club career for Hanyang University and Pohang Steelworks, and won three titles in the K League. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1988 K League. He played for South Korea for 1986 and 1990 World Cup, and won the 1986 Asian Games with the national team. He also played for an English semi-professional club Yeading for a time, and became the first South Korean player who appeared in the English FA Cup.

CB/RB: Kim Ho 김호
Kim Ho was Korean Player of the Year in 1969.  He represented South Korea from 1965 to 1973. He won the Gold Medal at the 1970 Asian Games.  He also played in the Asian Cup in 1972.  He was known for his partnership with Kim Jung-nam.  He was an amateur player with Cheil Industries FC and a founding member of Commercial Back of Korea FC.  As a coach, he led the Korean national at the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA.

CB:  Hong Myung-bo 홍명보
Hong Myung-bo is the all-time cap record holder for South Korea.  He played in 4 World Cup Finals.  In 2002, he captained South Korea to reach the Worl Cup semifinal, where he won the Bronze Ball.  He is probably the greatest defender in Asian history.  At the club level, 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 Jung-nam 김정남
Kim Jung-nam played for South Korea from 1962 to 1971.  He was named Korean Player of the Year in 1971. He competed for South Korea at the 1964 Summer Olympics.  He helped Korea to win the 1970 Asian Games.  With the national team, he was known for his defensive partnership with Kim Ho.  For club football, he played for Yangzee FC and Korea Exchange Bank FC. His two brothers Kim Sung-nam and Kim Kang-nam also represented Korea.

CB: Kim Min-jae 김민재
Kim Min-jae started with Gyeongju KHNP, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Beijing Guoan before heading to play in Europe.  He played with Fenerbahçe before making a name with Napoli.  He was named Serie A Defender of the year in 2023.  In 2023, he moved to Bayern Munich.  At the time of writing, he had over 60 caps.  He went to the 2022 World Cup Finals.

CB: Chung Yong-hwan 정용환
Chung Yong-hwan played his entire career with Daewoo Royals in South Korea between 1984 and 1994, where he won the AFC Champions' League (formerly known as Asian Club Championship) in 1986 and then, Afro-Asian Club Championship.  At the international level, he represented Korea at the 1986 World Cup, 1990 World Cup, 1984 Asian Cup and 1988 Asian Cup.  He had 85 caps between 1983 and 1993.

LB/CB: Kim Tae-young 김태영
Kim Tae-young played for South Korea at the World Cup Finals in 1998 and 2002. In 2002, he was a member of the defensive unit that came fourth at the 2002 World Cup Finals, co-hosted by South Korea and Japan.  He had 105 caps between 1992 and 2004.  For club football, he played his entire career for Chunnam Dragons between 1995 and 2005.  

LB:  Lee Young-pyo 이영표
At the club level, Lee Young-Pyo enjoyed one of the most successful career for an Asian playing in Europe.  He was a starter with PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham Hotspurs.  Lee started his professional career at FC Seoul, then known as Anyang LG Cheetahs in the Korean K League 1 in 2000. He also spent time in Saudi Arabia and the MLS. He played 127 times between 1999 and 2011 for South Korea.  He went to three World Cup Finals.
Lee Young-Pyo
CM: Yoo Sang-chul 유상철
Yoo Sang-Chul capped 124 times between 1994 and 2005.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1998 and 2002.  He was selected onto the 2002 World Cup team. He played for Ulan Hyundai FC in Korea before 1994 and 1998.  Before the World Cup Finals in 1998, he was sold to Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan. He also played briefly for Kashiwa Reysol.  Later, he had second stints with both Ulan Hyundai and Yokohama F Marinos.

CH/AM: Kim Yong-sik 김용식
Known as The "Godfather" of Korean football, Kim became the only Korean, who was selected for the Japanese squad for the 1936 Summer Olympics, and contributed to defeating Sweden by assisting the winning goal in the tournament.  After the end of Japanese occupation, he represented Korea in the 1948 Summer Olympics, in which he participated as a player-coach.

LW/AM/FW/CM: Kim Joo sung 김주성
From 1988 to 1990,  Kim Joo Sung won three straight Asian Player of the Year.  He was known for his long hair during his career, and was an Asian football icon in the early 1990's.  He played in three World Cup Finals in 1986, 1990 and 1994.  For his club career, he played for Chosun University and Busan Daewoo Royals at home. Later, he spent two seasons with Vfl Bochum in Germany. He was capped 76 times for South Korea.
Kim Joo Sung
CM: Cho Kwang-rae 조광래
Cho Kwang-rae was regarded as one of the greatest South Korean central midfielders of all time. He was nicknamed the "Computer Linker". Cho spent his club career in Yonsei University, Pohang Steelworks, Army FC and Daewoo Royals.  He helped Korea to win  the1976 World University Football Championship.  From 1977 to 1986, he played 100 times for Korea.  He played in the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico.

CM: Huh Jung-moo 허정무
Huh Jung-Moo 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 between 1984 and 1986.  He was capped 101 times from 1974 to 1986. He played in the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico.  He was ever immortalised by a picture of him playing against Diego Maradona in the first round of that Finals.  He won two Gold medals at the Asian Games in 1978 and 1986.
Huh Jung-Moo 
CM: Ki Sung-yueng 기성용
Ki started with FC Seoul.  In Europe, he played with Celtic, Swansea, Newcastle United and Mallorca. From 2008 to 2019, Ki was a full international for South Korea, gaining over 100 caps. He was selected in their squads for three World Cups, leading them as captain in the 2018 edition in Russia, and participated in three Asian Cups, finishing as runner-up in the 2015 edition. He has also played at two Olympic Games with his country, winning bronze in 2012.

RW/LW: Park Ji-sung 박지성
Park Ji-Sung is the most decorated Asian footballer in history, as the first Asian footballer to have won the Champions League trophy, the first Asian footballer to play in a Champions League Final, as well as the first Asian footballer to have won the 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.  He was voted AFC Best ever player at the World Cup.
Park Ji-Sung
FW: Choi Chung-min 최정민 
Choi rew up in Pyongyangm, but moved south during the Korean War. He enlisted in the Korea Army Counter Intelligence Corps (KACIC). He played for the football club of the KACIC.  For the national team, Choi scored 22 goals in the national team with 47 caps. He won two AFC Asian Cups and two Asian Games silver medals with his team.  He was the hero of the famous World Cup Qualifiers in 1954.  He scored 3 goals as Korea qualified for the World Cup Finals.

LWF/FW: 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 Europa League and 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: Lee Hoe-taik 이회택
Lee scored 21 goals with 81 caps for South Korea between 1966 and 1977 and won eight Asian titles, including the 1970 Asian Games. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest forwards in South Korean football.  For club football, he started with Yangzee.  He later joined Pohang Steelworks.  In 1977, he spent time with Sea Bee in Hong Kong before returning to Pohang Steelworks.

FW: Hwang Sun-hong 황선홍 
Hwang Sun-Hong was one of the most important Korean players 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.

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 

Honorable Mention
Cho Byung-deuk (조병득) , Choi In-young  (최인영),  Kim Byung-ji (김병지), Jo Hyeon-woo (조현우), Ham Heung-chul (함흥철), Kim Tae-Young (김태영) , Kim Young-gwon (김영권), Choi Jin-cheul (최진철), Cha Du-ri (차두리), Song Chong-gug (송종국), Ha Seok-ju (하석주), Choi Kang-hee (최강희), Ha Seok-ju (하석주),  Kim Pan-keun ( 김판근), Cho Young-Jeung (조영증), Cho Byung-deuk (조병득), Kim Byung-ji (김병지),  Cho Byeong-deuk (조병득), Noh Jung Yoon (노정윤), , Koo Ja-cheol (구자철) , Lee Jae-sung (이재성), Song Chong-gug (송종국),  Park Lee-chun (박이천), Kim Jae-han (김재한), Byun Ho-young (변호영),  Kim Nam-Il  (김남일), Choi Yong-Soo (최용수), Ahn Jung-Hwan (안정환), Seol Ki-hyeon (설기현),  Seo Jeong-won (서정원), Ko Jeong-woon (고정운), Lee Chung-yong (이청용),  Lee Jeong-soo (이정수), Kim Jung-woo (김정우), Park Seonghwa (박성화), Woo Sang-kwon (우상권), Chung Nam-sik (정남식), Min Byung-dae (민병대), Lee Young-moo (이영무), Park Chang-sun (박창선), Chu Yung-kwang (주영광), Kim Min-je (김민재), Lee Dong-gook (이동국), Hong Deok-young (홍덕영).  Woo Sang-kwon (우상권), Chung Nam-sik (정남식), Chu Yung Kwang (주영광), Min Byung-dae (민병대), Lee Tae-Ho (이태호), Choi Soon-ho (최순호).

Squad Explanation
-- The original team was created in December, 2014.  I redid the entire team on June, 2021.  It was a big overhaul. The team was changed to add more older footballers as I have better resource to work with.  In January 2024, I did yet a big overhaul. I edited to a better format.
-- Cha Bum Kun is the greatest Korean player ever and perhaps, the greatest Asian player.  He won two UEFA Cups.  He is an automatic selection.  His son Cha Du-ri is on my honorable mention.  Hong Myung-bo, Park Ji-Sung, Lee Woon-Jae and Son Heung-min were automatic selections.  Kim Yong-sik was a pioneer in the game of football in Korea. 
-- Taegeuk Warriors reached the semifinal of the 2002 World Cup Finals.  Lee Woon-Jae, Park Ji-Sung, Kim Tae-young, Yoo Sang-Chul, Hwang Sun-hong, Lee Young-pyo and Hong Myung-bo were selected into my team.  On the original 2014 selection, I also included Choi Yong-Soo,  Kim Nam-Il and Kim Byung-ji. 
-- South Korea reached the 1986 World Cup Finals after over 30 years.  Park Kyung-hoon, Cha Bum-Kun, Chung Yong-hwan, Cho Kwang-rae and Huh Jung-moo made this team.  Forward Choi Soon-ho and Midfielder Park Chang-sun are the last two players cut.
-- South Korea's first World Cup Finals were in 1954. In 1954, Japan and Korea Republic met in a critical World Cup Qualifiers for the 1954 World Cup Finals. It was the first meeting between the two countries since Japan ended its occupation of Korea.  The match was a historical important match.  Then South Korean president Syngman Rhee would not allow the former invaders to play in Korea's soil. So both legs were played in Japan. He also advised the Korean team not to return home if they lost.  The team defeated Japan and qualified for the 1954 World Cup Finals. Choi Chung-min (최정민 ) was the best player in Korea and the hero of the World Cup Qualifiers.  I selected him as one of my forwards. Then, I took goalkeeper Hong Deok-young (홍덕영).  Woo Sang-kwon (우상권) and Chung Nam-sik (정남식) were important players from 1954 World Cup team I have discovered.  Both Chu Yung Kwang (주영광) and Min Byung-dae (민병대) were listed as their captains.  They all made honorable mentions.
South Korea 1954
-- The IFFHS created their South Korea's All-Time Best XI in 2022.  The players were as followed Lee Woon-jae, Song Chong-gug, Hong Myung-bo, Kim Tae-yoon, Lee Young-pyo, Yoo Sang-chul, Park Ji-sung, Kim Joo-sung, Cha Bum-kun and Hwang Sun-hong.
-- Korea's leading soccer monthly magazine, "Best Eleven" conducted a survey and came out with their All-Time Best XI for South Korea.  The lineup was as followed: Lee Woon-jae, Hong Myung-bo, Kim Ho, Kim Jong-nam, Park Ji-sung, Kim Joo-sung, Huh Jung-moo, Cho Kwang-rae, Lee Young-pyo, Cha Bum-kun and Lee Hoe-taik.
-- "Sport Brief" created their Top 10 list of greatest South Korean players.  The ranking:  1) Cha Bum-kun, 2, Park Ji-sung 3) Hong Myung-bo 4) Son Heung-min 5) Hwang Sun-hong, 6) Ahn Jung-hwan, 7) Kim Joo-sung, 8) Lee Tae-ho, 9) Huh Jung-moo, and 10) Cho Kwang-rae.  The source over here.
-- I found this Top 50 Greatest ever Korean players.
-- Football fans around the world would remember goalkeeper Lee Woon-Jae (이운재)'s performance at the 2002 World Cup Finals.  He stood out during the penalty shootout win against Spain in the quarterfinal.  Lee Se-yeon (이세연) was voted as South Korea's greatest goalkeeper in 2002. 
-- Originally, I have goalkeeper Choi In-young (최인영).  He was voted as one of Asia's greatest goalkeeper by 'IFFHS', but his performance at the 1994 World Cup Finals was poor.  So I put him on honorable mention. 
-- Cho Byung-deuk (조병득) and Kim Byung-ji (김병지) made many all-time lists.  Cho Byung-deuk did many things for Korea but was pushed to the bench by his rival Oh Yun-kyo (오연교). Meanwhile, Kim Byung-ji was comparable to Lee Woon-Jae in their prime.  But he lost out to Lee Woon-Jae in the 2002 World Cup Finals, and then, Lee became world-famous for being a World Cup hero.  Instead, I went with Ham Heung-chul (함흥철)for the third keeper.  He helped South Korea to win two Asian Cups, and they remained South Korea's only victories in the tournament.  He was also the goalkeeper of the South Korean national team for the 1948 Summer Olympics, 1954 FIFA World Cup and 1954 Asian Games.  
-- Kim Seung-gyu (김승규) performed well in the 2022 World Cup Finals. Jo Hyeon-woo (조현우) earned Men of the Match award against Germany in the 2018 World Cup Finals.  The victory was Korea's greatest performance outside the 2002 World Cup Finals.
-- Hong Myung-bo (홍명보) is the all-time cap record holder for South Korea. He is probably the greatest centerback from Asia. Before the emerge of Hong Myung-bo, Chung Yong-hwan (정용환) was considered the greatest ever central defender from Korea.  He was named Korean Player of the Year twice.  Kim Jung-nam (김정남) and Kim Ho (김호) were known for their centerback partnership.  Kim Jung-nam was a libero.  I reunited them on my all-time team.  Both were voted into Korea's All-Time team by "Best 11".
Chung Yong-hwan
-- In 2024, I added Kim Min-jae (김민재)to the team. He was voted as the AFC International Player of Year, the IFFHS Team of the Year and Italy's Serie A Defender of the Year for the 2022-2023 season.  No Korean defender had ever achieved that. 
-- CB Cho Young-Jeung (조영증) played in the NASL with Portland Timbers during the 1980's. He was NASL Team of the Year in 1982 and Korean Player of the Year in 1977.  Certainly, he had a career in the highest level at the time, but I did not know how to rank him among the other Korean centerbacks.  So I only put him as honourable mention alongside Kim Young-gwon (김영권) and Choi Jin-cheul (최진철).  Choi Jin-Cheul (최진철) was ranked 35th greatest Korean player by a website ahead of Kim Tae-young (김태영), Kim Jung-nam and Kim Ho.
-- Park Kyung-hoon (박경훈) was voted as K-League greatest ever rightback.  He was also considered South Korea's greatest rightback by many.  I also looked into Cha Du-ri (차두리), Kim Pan-keun ( 김판근), Song Chong-gug (송종국) and Choi Kang-hee (최강희).  Kim Ho-kon (김호곤) was voted AFC's rightback of the Century in 1998, but he was mainly a sweeper.  Overall, he was a better known central defender than the rightback.  However, according to various Korean sources, he was ranked below all of the central defenders I had mentioned.  So I decided to use Kim Ho as my emergency backup rightback.  He started out as a rightback, but was a much better central defender.
-- On the left, Lee Young-Pyo (이영표) had a stunning career with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was Korea's greatest fullback.  I did not have a good candidate for the backup position.  I understood that Ha Seok-ju (하석주) was unfairly blamed for Korea's exit in the 1998 World Cup Finals, but a better World Cup would have helped his standings on this team.  So I decided to take centerback Kim Tae-young (김태영) who had also played as a leftback.  Overall, he was a better and more famous defender than Ha Seok-ju (하석주).
-- For midfielders, Kim Yong-sik (김용식) was a center-half who was also used as a playmaker.  He played on the left side for Japan during the Occupation in the 1936 Olympics. He was known as the Godfather of Korean football.  I selected him for his historical role. Cho Kwang-rae (조광래) was considered to one of Korea's greatest midfielders.  He was listed in two important lists. Huh Jung-Moo (허정무)played in the Netherlands during the 1980's, which made him a pioneer of the game.  I quickly selected them.  
-- Then, I added two younger midfielders Yoo Sang-Chul (유상철) and Ki Sung-yueng (기성용).  Yoo Sang-chul earned over 120 caps.  He was selected to be on the 2002 World Cup All-Star team. How many Korean players had achieved that? Deep-lying playmaker Ki Sung-yueng has over 100 caps and participated in 3 World Cup Finals. He is getting to be among the greatest ever for Korea.  Kim Joo Sung (김주성)can also play as a midfielder. The team has 6 players who can operate in the midfield.  
Ki Sung-yueng
-- So I have no room for Lee Young-moo (이영무), Koo Ja-cheol (구자철) , Lee Jae-sung (이재성) and Park Chang-sun (박창선).  Lee Young-moo (이영무) was known for his tireless stamina.  Koo Ja-cheol (구자철) had a good career in Bundesliga.  Park Chang-sun was the captain of the 1986 World Cup team.  He also scored Korea's first ever goal at the World Cup Finals.  I toyed with the idea of dropping SW/RB Kim Ho-kon (김호곤) for Park Chang-sun, but the team would be unbalanced without a backup rightback.  
-- From 1988 to 1990, Kim Joo Sung (김주성) won three straight Asian Player of the Year. In 1990, he was billed a potential star at the World Cup Finals, but he did not do well in the Finals.  Nevertheless, he made this team.  He was a very versatile footballer.  He mainly played as a left wing, but could play in multi-positions, including central midfield, libero, wing, etc. Noh Jung Yoon (노정윤) played around the same time.  He was very underrated as compared to Kim Joo Sung.  He played in the J-League.  I had no room for him.
-- South Korea has strong wingers. On the right, Park Ji-Sung (박지성) was the greatest Asian player ever played in the English Premiership.  He spent 7 seasons with Manchester United, often as a player off the bench.  But Son Heung-min might have became the greatest Korean player ever in the Premiership over Park Ji-Sung.
-- The left side was overloaded with talents.  I already mentioned Kim Joo Sung (김주성) and Son Heung-min (손흥민) .  Cha Bum-kun played as a striker in the Bundesliga, but he originally played as a winger in South Korea. His best side was probably left.   Kim Yong-sik also played left midfielder. So I do not have a space for LW/CM Ko Jeong-woon (고정운). He had one of the most powerful free-kick in the world.  He only made honorable mention.  I also excluded his 1990 World Cup teammate Seo Jung-won (서정원).
-- Winger Lee Chung-yong (이청용) made a name with Bolton Wanderers.  He was their Player of the Year for the 2009–10 season.  He made honorable mention.
-- Cha Bum kun (차범근) is considered the greatest ever players from South Korea.  He was top star in the Bundesliga when not many Asian players successfully made a career in Europe.  Then, I took Lee Toe-Taek (이회택).  He was known as the greatest Korean player before Cha Bum Kun. 
Lee Toe-Taek 
-- Hwang Sun-Hong (황선홍 ) and Choi Soon-Ho ( 최순호) were considered for the last spot. I went with Hwang Sun-Hong because he went to 4 World Cup Finals and he is also the second all-time leading scorer for the Taegeuk Warriors behind Cha Bum Kun.  Choi Soon-ho (최순호) might be the best player who did not make the team.  He was the hero of Korea's qualification for the World Cup Finals in 1986.  I gave his spot to Choi Chung-min (최정민) who helped South Korea to qualify for the 1954 World Cup Finals.  He also found successes in the Asian Cup by winning it twice.  I don't find him being rated as high during my research, but his historical role was very important to South Korean football.
-- Ahn Jung Hwan (안정환) was an icon of his time after he played in Italy's Serie A as well as scoring the winning goal against Italy in the 2002 World Cup Finals, but I went for the older players.  I also have Cha Bum Kun, Choi Yong-Soo and Hwang Sun-Hong ahead of him. He was the best known player not selected for this all-time team, but not necessary the best player not selected.  I also could not find spaces for his 2002 World Cup teammates Choi Yong-Soo (최용수) and Seol Ki-hyeon (설기현).  I actually rated those two ahead of him.
-- Lee Hoe-taik (이회택), Park Lee-chun (박이천), Kim Jae-han (김재한) and Byun Ho-young (변호영) played the professional league in Hong Kong, which was considered a big move in that era. All four players won South Korean Player of the Year.  Park Lee-Chun is still third leading goal scorer for the national team.  Lee Dong-gook was ranked very high in many lists, but him missing both 2002 and 2006 World Cup pushed him down the order.  His European club career was also weak.
-- Lee Jeong-soo (이정수), Kim Jung-woo (김정우) and Park Seonghwa (박성화) have emerged since I wrote my blog in 2014.  They made honorable mentions.

Kim Joo Sung was very versatile footballer.  So I am using him as a central midfielder.