World Cup Class of 2018: South Korea


Kim Jin-Su (right) will feature prominently in South Korea’s defense at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Population:  51.4 million
Capital:  Seoul
Team Colors:  Red and Blue
How Qualified:  AFC Third Round Group B Runners-Up
Nickname:  Taegeuk Warriors
10th World Cup
Head Coach:  Shin Tae-youg (KOR)
Key Players:  Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City), Koo Ja-cheol (Augsburg)
Best Performance:  Fourth Place (2002)
Can Son Heung-min carry the hopes of his nation? It looks like he will after Kwon Chang-hoon will miss the World Cup after an Achilles tendon injury in his club’s final match of the season. Kwon was perceived to be more in-form than Son. 
Given the group that South Korea are in (Sweden, Germany, and Mexico), they need everyone in their best form. None of their Group F opponents will go lightly on them if they commit mistakes. South Korea has progressed out of the group stage of a World Cup outside their home country just once (2010). 
This will be their eighth straight World Cup. They had to sweat it a bit after automatic promotion was only clinched after Syria were unable to defeat Iran in the final match of group play following their 0-0 draw with Uzbekistan.
Besides Son, there’s promising youngster Lee Seung-woo who was at Barcelona, but now at Hellas Verona in Serie A. Kim Shin-wook is another forward who could play alongside Son. Another notable is Crystal Palace midfielder Lee Chung-yong. 
It would be quite the story if South Korea can get to the Round of 16. With Kwon out, it would be even more of an extraordinary story. To write that extraordinary story, everyone needs to be on their best form.
June 18:  vs. Sweden in Nizhny-Novgorod (7am CT on FS1/Telemundo)
June 23:  vs. Mexico in Rostov-on-Don (10am CT on FOX/Telemundo)
June 27:  vs. Germany in Kazan (9am CT on FS1/NBC Universo)

South Korea

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