South Korea coach since 2007
Played in the 1996 World Cup and scored against Italy. Now in his third stint in charge of the national team, he was voted Asian coach of the year in 2009 after leading his side to the World Cup finals and a run of 27 games without loss.
13 caps (0 goals)
At 25 years of age, Jung Sung-ryong is seen by many as the long-term successor to veteran goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae and he has already played in a number of high-profile matches during Lee’s absence through injury in qualifying for the World Cup finals. This will be his first World Cup.
14 caps (0 goals)
Kim Young-kwang filled in between the posts – along with Jung Sung-ryong – when regular starting goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae was serving a one-year ban for breaking curfew during the 2007 Asian Cup but has since returned to his position as understudy. Was a member of the 2006 World Cup squad and also represented South Korea at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
129 caps (0 goals)
Veteran goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae will be appearing at his fourth World Cup finals after making his debut appearance at the tournament back in 1994 (he missed 1998 tournament in France). Known as ‘Spiderhands’ in Korea and a stalwart for both club and country, having twice won the Asian title with Suwon Bluewings.
44 caps (4 goals)
Although he has never fully emerged from the shadow of his legendary father – two-time UEFA Cup winner and Asian football legend Cha Bum-kun – Cha Du-ri has managed to hold down a place in the South Korean squad and will be appearing at his second World Cup finals after missing out on a place in the 2006 squad. Once a striker, he now uses his pace to great effect at right back.
29 caps (0 goals)
Cho Yong-hyung has become a regular under Huh Jung-moo since making his debut against Chile in early 2008, picking up close to 30 caps in such a relatively short period of time. Currently plays his club football for Jeju United after a one-year spell with Seongnam Ilhwa.
32 caps (0 goals)
Kang Min-soo made his debut for South Korea in mid-2007 under Pim Verbeek and was part of the Dutchman’s squad which finished third at the Asian Cup later that year. He has since gone on to establish himself as a regular at the heart of the Korean defence under Huh Jung-moo.
59 caps (2 goals)
Kim Dong-jin followed former national team boss Dick Advocaat to Russian side Zenit St Petersburg after the 2006 World Cup and spent more than three years with the club, winning the UEFA Cup in the process. As adept on the left side of defence as he is in midfield, Kim returned to the K-League in January.
2 caps (0 goals)
Centre-back whose form last season for Asian champions Pohang earned him a call-up.
Kashima Antlers (Jap)
23 caps (2 goals)
After spending the first part of his career at four different K-League clubs, Lee Jung-soo made the move to Japanese football at the start of 2009 when he signed for Kyoto Sanga. His performances in that first season – during which he scored six times from defence – saw J.League champions Kashima Antlers pick him up while he has also established himself in Huh Jung-moo’s squad.
Al Hilal (KSA)
112 caps (5 goals)
Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Lee Young-pyo may now be approaching veteran status, but he remains an important part of the Korean set up with his experience helping with the development of the younger members of the squad. Moved to play his club football in Saudi Arabia with Al Hilal after moving to Borussia Dortmund from North London.
35 caps (2 goals)
Right back Oh Beom-seok returned to league football in Korea last season after one year in the Russian Premier League, where he played for Krylya Sovetov before a dispute over unpaid wages saw him join K-League side Ulsan Hyundai. Previously on the books of Pohang Steelers and on loan at Japan’s Yokohama FC. Usually serves as Cha Du-ri’s understudy.
Bolton Wanderers (Eng)
21 caps (2 goals)
Lee Chung-yong has had a fine first season in the English Premier League after joining Bolton Wanderers from FC Seoul to become the latest South Korean to flourish in European football. His pace and crossing – as well as his ability from deadball situations – make him a potent weapon.
19 caps (4 goals)
Signed by Celtic in the winter transfer window, Ki Sung-yong has developed into one of the most talked about footballers in Asia over the last 18 months. He impressed during qualifying in the heart of the midfield and as a result he was named Asian Young Player of the Year for 2009. Studied in Australia, speaks fluent English and is also known as David Ki.
Oita Trinita (Jap)
4 caps (0 goals)
Another graduate from the Under-20 side. Currently on loan at Oita from Cerezo Osaka.
5 caps (2 goals)
Played youth football with Park Ji-sung and earned his first call-up at the start of the year.
55 (4 goals)
Although he has been courted by clubs in England and elsewhere in Europe, Kim Jung-woo has spent his career so far in Asia and is yet another of the South Korea squad to have spent time in Japan, having played for Nagoya Grampus for two seasons. A goal scoring midfielder, he captained Seongnam Ilhwa on his return to Korea before joining Army team Gwangju Sangmu for the duration of his national service.
Tom Tomsk (Rus)
91 caps (2 goals)
Another of the veterans of the run to the semifinals of the 2002 tournament when the South Koreans co-hosted the World Cup, Kim Nam-il continues his role of tidying up in front of the defence. Known as the ‘Vacuum Cleaner, Kim is now playing his club football in Russia with Tom Tomsk after spells at Dutch club Excelsior, Suwon Bluewings and Japan’s Vissel Kobe.
Manchester United (Eng)
86 caps (11 goals)
Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung became the first Asian to play in the European Cup final when he was in his club’s starting line-up that lost to Barcelona in Rome in 2009. Criminally overlooked throughout the last four years in the Asian Player of the Year stakes, Park captains the Korean team and will be appearing at his third World Cup finals.
Dalian Shide (Chn)
69 caps (17 goals)
Scored the goal that beat Italy in the 2002 World Cup, with Sami Al Jaber of Saudi Arabia he is Asia’s leading scorer at the finals with three goals. Sometimes called “the Lord of the Ring” by Korean fans. He married former Miss Korea Lee Hye-won and got this nickname by kissing his wedding ring after every goal he scores.
83 caps (26 goals)
English football fans will remember Lee Dong-gook for his poor spell at Middlesbrough, but, since his return to Korea from Teeside, the striker known as the ‘Lion King’ has been finding the back of the net regularly. He was top scorer in the K-League in 2009 as Jeonbuk Motors won the title and that form earned him a recall to the national team for February’s East Asian Championship.
5 caps (2 goals)
At 21 years of age, Lee Seung-yeoul is seen as one for the future and if he is included in the World Cup squad he will be taken along as much to gain experience as for his sharpness in front of goal. He was named the K-League’s Rookie of the Year in 2008 and scored twice in February’s East Asian Championship.
39 caps (13 goals)
The poster boy of South Korean football – he has been the face of numerous advertising campaigns at home – has been making his mark in Europe since joining AS Monaco from FC Seoul in the summer of 2008. He picked up an ankle injury in the build up to the tournament but will be fit to lead the forward line.
30 caps (3 goals)
Winger who was key to Jeonbuk Motor’s Asian Champions League win in 2006. Had a trial with West Bromwich Albion in December 2008.