South Korea announces 23-man squad for FIFA World Cup 2014
South Korea announced its 23-man World Cup squad on Thursday.
Coach Hyung Ming-bo revealed his team of selected players who would be heading towards Brazil for the event this summer.
Park Chu-young of Arsenal has been included in the team and it looks like he will be featuring in his third World Cup. The 28-year-old hasn’t played much since he joined the Gunners, and his selection has raised many eyebrows in the nation.
However, Hong backed his decision on including Park. The manager said, “Among Korean forwards, I couldn’t find another attacker to replace Park.”
“I have thought long and hard about this selection and decided on the final list just last night,” he added.
Hong has fielded a youthful side with nine players out of the 23 from the Premier League. His only experienced player is Kwak Tae-hwi who is the 30 years old.
The Premier League players include Ki Sung-yeung, Kim Bo-kyong and Bolton Wanderer’s Lee Chung-yong. QPR’s Yun Suk-young replaces Park Joo-ho of FC Mainz who could not make it in time due to slow recovery from his injury.
Only three players have been selected from the domestic K-League which surprisingly does not include Pohang Steelers attacking midfielder Lee Myung-joo even after having a sensational season.
Hong captained the 2002 South Korean team who reached the semi-finals of the World Cup. It was their best campaign ever in the competition. Hong also served as the coach for the under-23 squad at the Olympics 2012, where they finished with a bronze medal.
“Brazil is going to be the biggest challenge,” said Hong.
“But we go as one team to give the best performance that we can. We have a team with a lot of international experience and we have the players who can show what they can do at the highest level,” added Hong.
South Korea will be fancying their chances to progress to the knockout stages this year as they have been seeded alongside Russia, Belgium and Algeria. They take on Russia in their first match of the tournament on June 17.
SOUTH KOREA SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Jung Sung-ryeong , Kim Seung-gyu, Lee Bom-young
Defenders: Kim Jin-soo , Yun Suk-young , Kim Young-kwon , Hwang Seok-ho , Hong Jeong-ho, Kwak Tae-hwi , Lee Yong, Kim Chang-soo
Midfielders: Ki Seung-yeung , Ha Dae-sung , Han Kook-young, Park Jung-woo, Son Heung-min, Kim Bo-kyoung , Lee Chung-yong , Ji Dong-won.
Forwards: Koo Ja-cheol, Lee Keun-ho, Park Chu-young , Kim Shin-wook.