Seoul of Calcio
The Korean Problem

In the 109th minute of the 2011 Asian Cup final against Australia, Japan finally broke the deadlock with a beautifully timed volley. But the name on the back of the scorer’s shirt could not be less Japanese. It was Lee Tadanari’s first international goal, but until 2004, he had hoped to score it for another nation.

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Arsenal’s Park Chu-Young

 

As Park Chu-Young, captain of the South Korean national team, becomes the 9th player from the country to play in the English Premier League after a move to Arsenal, it’s time to have a closer look at his career.

Read more at In Bed With Maradona

South Korea’s U-20s Prove Themselves

Whenever a South Korean national side participates in a major tournament, at both senior and youth levels, the normal ‘best of all time’ tag is almost always immediately attached to the team by country’s media and fans. This has been the way for every tournament since Italia’90 and it was no different in the recent World Cup in South Africa as the Taeguk Warriors, led by an inspired Park Ji-Sung, reached the knock-out stages for the first time on foreign soil.

Read more at In Bed With Maradona

South Korea Squad v Japan

South Korea Coach Cho Gwang-rae has announced his 24-man squad who will face Alberto Zaccheroni’s Japan in a friendly match on 10 August at the Sapporo Dome.

The Coach also said that if Sunderland intend to start Ji Dong-won against the club’s opening match against Liverpool he is willing to send him back.

GK: Jung Sung-ryong (Suwon Bluewings), Kim Jin-hyun (Cerezo Osaka), Kim Young-kwang (Ulsan Horang-i)

DF: Park Ju-ho (Basel), Kwak Tae-hwi (Ulsan Horang-i), Lee Jae-sung (Ulsan Horang-i), Kim Young-gwon (Omiya Ardija), Park Won-jae (Jeonbuk Motors), Lee Jung-soo (Al-Saad), Cho Young-cheol (Albirex Nigata), Cha Du-ri (Celtic)

MF: Lee Yong-rae (Suwon Bluewings), Kim Bo-kyung (Cerezo Osaka), Kim Jung-woo (Sangju Sangmu), Koo Ja-cheol (Wolfsburg), Ki Sung-yueng (Celtic), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton), Yoon Bit-garam (Gyeongnam), Nam Tae-hee (Valenciennes)

FW: Lee Keun-ho (Gamba Osaka), Park Chu-young (Monaco), Son Heung-min (Hamburg SV), Kim Shin-wook (Ulsan Horang-i), Ji Dong-won (Sunderland)

A Sad Debut

There have been a few outfield players who had to play in goal for their teams. In a Coppa Italia match in 2004 against Lecce, David Di Michele, who had bagged a brace, was forced to play as a goalkeeper after Samir Handanovič was sent off and eventually saved a Mirko Vucinic spot kick to ensure his team’s victory. Chelsea and Manchester United have had similar experiences in recent years with John Terry, John O’Shea and Rio Ferdinand filling in as part-time goalkeepers. In Korea, the likes of Kim Eun-jung and Shin Tae-yong, the current Seongnam coach, have had to do the same.

Read more at In Bed With Maradona

South Korea Announce U-20 Squad

South Korea have announced their 21-man squad for the U-20 World Cup in Columbia. 

Ji Dong-won (Sunderland), Nam Tae-hee (Valenciennes), and Son Heung-min (Hamburg) were not called up after the respective clubs refused to release the players.

Lee Jong-ho of Chunnam and Gyeongnam’s Yoon Il-rok are definitely ones to keep an eye on.

The squad have been training at the National Football Centre in Paju since 4 July.

GK: No Dong-geon (Korea University), Yang Han-bin (Gangwon FC), Kim Jin-young (Geonguk University)

DF: Lim Chang-woo (Ulsan Horang-i), Kim Jin-soo (Kyunghee University), Lee Joo-young (Sungkyunkwan University), Hwang Do-yeon (Chunnam Dragons), Min Sang-ki (Suwon Bluewings), Jang Hyun-soo (Yonsei University)

MF: Choi Sung-keun (Korea University), Lee Min-soo (Hannam University), Baek Sung-dong (Yonsei University), Kim Kyung-jung (Korea University), Lee Ki-je (Dongguk University), Kim Young-wook (Chunnam Dragons), Nam Seung-woo (Yonsei University), Yoon Il-rok (Gyeongnam FC), Moon Sang-hyun (Ajou University)

FW: Lee Yong-jae (FC Nantes), Jung Seung-yong (Gyeongnam FC), Lee Jong-ho (Chunnam Dragons)

Welcome to the Korea Football Association

After visiting only the National Football Centre in Paju in the last few years, I went to the headquarters of the KFA for the first time since 2008.

East Asian Football Federation office

The first and only FIFA competition trophy won by South Korea.

The K-League trophy

Di-egocentric

Wolfsburg’s Koo Ja-cheol had a rather frank interview with Naver’s Magazine S (Korean).

He talked about the national team, Coach Felix Magath, how Farfan was the toughest opponent he ever played against, how lonely he felt in Germany, and most interestingly about former Juventus midfielder Diego.

Q: Let’s talk about your teammate. Is Diego really that selfish? Many Korean fans are interested as he plays in a similar position as you. Is he really leaving the club?

KOO: I think so. He’s the kind of guy who does everything the way he wants to. He’s a little selfish in training, too. But he works really hard. At first I thought he was a slacker, but he’s always the first one to come to the training having already worked out in the gym. I wouldn’t play him if I were the Coach, though. But as a teammate there’s a lot to learn from him.

Q: Is it true he stormed out on the team during the latter stages of the season?

KOO: Yes, it’s true. The player was too selfish. I had never seen anything like that in my career. The Coach said so too. It was an interesting incident, personally.

Shin Young-rok Wins the Battle of His Life..

Today, Jeju United striker Shin Young-rok, who suffered a heart failure during his team’s league match against Daegu in early May, has finally woken up after 50 days in a coma.

Jeju Coach Park Kyung-hoon (the grey haired man pictured above)

"[Shin] Young-rok couldn’t have done without the support of the citizens of Jeju and football fans. I really appreciated all the 16 K-League clubs who have wished him well. I want to thank every football-related personnel and football fan. My only last wish is to see Young-rok play on the pitch. Please cheer him on for him to be able to play football again."

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