Country Report – Korea Republic

    A look at the country’s demographics, football history and its squad status prior to the Qatar World Cup 2022.

    Number of inhabitants: approx. 51 million.

    Continent: Asia

    Confederation: AFC

    National Football Association: KFA

    Number of members: approx. 31,000 (0.06% of total population)

    International trophies won: 2x Asian Cup

    Best World Cup result: 4th place in 2002

    Key Players

    In the past: Cha Bum-kun, Hong Myung-bo, Hwang Sun-hong, Park Ji-sung.

    Key current players: Son Hyung-min, Lee Kang-in, Hwang Hee-chan, Lee Jae-sung, Kim Min-jae.

    Coach, formation and possible lineup

    Coach: Paulo Bento. (since 2018)

    Typical formation: 4-5-1 or 4-3-3

    Possible lineup:

    • GK: Kim Seung-gyu (Al-Shabab)
    • LB: Kim Jin-su (Jeonbuk Hyundai)
    • RB: Kim Tae-hwan (Ulsan Hyundai)
    • LCB: Kwon Kyung-won (Gamba Osaka)
    • RCB: Kim Min-jae (Napoli)
    • CM: Son Jun-ho (Shandong Taishan)
    • CM: Hwang In-beom (Olympiakos)
    • LW: Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
    • RW: Lee Jae-sung (Mainz)
    • ACM: Lee Kang-in (Mallorca)
    • ST: Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton)

    Age Report

    Players aged 25 or under in the current lineup: 2

    Players aged 32 or over in the current lineup: 2

    There are 2 players in this lineup that will (most likely) be playing their last World Cup this year: Kim Tae-hwan and Kim Seung-gyu.

    There are 2 players in this lineup that can play at least two more: Kim Min-jae and Lee Kang-in.

    The remaining 7 players could play in one or two more World Cups.

    Youngest player: Lee Kang-in, born 19 February 2001 (21)

    Oldest player: Kim Tae-hwan, born 24 July 1989 (33)

    Average squad age: 28.4

    World Cup Qatar – Group H


    Thursday 24 November Uruguay vs Korea Rep

    Monday 28 November Korea Rep. vs Ghana

    Friday 2 December Korea Rep. vs Portugal

    Our view:

    Paulo Bento’s Republic of Korea squad has plenty of experienced players in its ranks. We have put Lee Kang-in into the possible lineup ourselves, due to his excellent performances in La Liga, but Bento might well opt for a slightly more experienced player instead. When looking at the World Cup group they are in, all I can say is that it will be a very tough group. And that Korea Rep. is not without a chance to progress to the next round. Is it a big chance? Well, not really if I’m honest. Portugal and Uruguay are this group’s favorites to progress to the next round. But with South Korea you never know. Because they have a superstar in Son Heung-min, who is at times unstoppable. Their performance and possible qualification will largely be based on how he performs.

    Prediction: Group stage exit

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