South Korea World Cup squad guide: Full fixtures, group, ones to watch, odds and more

PROFILE: With the tournament only days away we take an in-depth look at all 32 teams in Russia

Jack Watson
Monday 11 June 2018 15:47 BST
2018 Russia World Cup in numbers

A lot of South Korea’s hopes for the World Cup were already riding on Son Heung-min’s shoulders, and now even more so with Lee Keun-ho and Kwon Chang-hoon ruled out with injuries just before the tournament. The Tottenham forward has had another great season in the Premier League and his country will be willing for him to continue that form in Russia.

South Korea have qualified for their ninth consecutive World Cup and their manager, Shin Tae-yong, is calling for the team as a whole to perform, taking away some of the pressure on Son. “Rather than having one player stand out, everyone needs to play together,” said Shin who became manager in 2017. “We’re trying to implement the formation that Tottenham use.”

A fourth-place finish at their shared home World Cup in 2002 is the best South Korea have managed. They later managed to reach the round of 16 in 2010 where they were beaten by Uruguay.


Sweden vs South Korea – 13:00, Monday 18 June
South Korea vs Mexico – 16:00, Saturday 23 June
South Korea vs Germany – 15:00, Wednesday 27 June

Key players

Son Heung-min: Son Heung-min has become arguably one of the best players that South Korea has ever produced. His performances for Spurs get better each year and the much loved versatile midfielder will play a big part in determining whether South Korea can advance from their group.

Son is one of the best players to put on a South Korea jersey (AFP/Getty Images)

Lee Chung-yong: It has been a frustrating last couple of years at Crystal Palace for Lee Chung-yong who has mainly been used as a squad player and he missed out on some recent South Korea friendlies due to his lack of fitness. He was South Korea’s joint highest goal scorer with two goals in the 2010 South Africa tournament where they lost in the round of 16.

Park Joo-ho: A stand-out player in South Korea’s Asia Cup triumph in 2015, Park Joo-ho has a wealth of experience behind him, both internationally and in Europe. He briefly played for Borussia Dortmund, but made a name for himself playing for Mainz and Basel, and was a part of the Basel team that beat Manchester United to stop them advancing from the group stage of the Champions League in 2011.

One to watch

Hwang Hee-chan: Hwang Hee-Chan has been impressing at RB Salzburg after moving to Austria from South Korea. Hee-Chan, 22, was part of the Salzburg team that was defeated in the Europa League semi-final by Marseilles and has been a recent addition to South Korea’s international side.

How did they get here?

South Korea laboured their way to the World Cup and a turbulent qualifying campaign ended with them finishing second to Iran to take the final qualifying place, just two points above Syria and Uzbekistan.

How will they do?

Deep down South Korea have the potential to produce an upset and beat a bigger team, but on the other hand they were outplayed in a recent friendly match against Bosnia and Herzegovina, losing 3-1. The first game of the group against Sweden will be key to any progression given a positive result against Germany and Mexico is unlikely.

Odds on South Korea winning the World Cup: 400/1


Goalkeepers: Kim Seunggyu, Kim Jinhyeon, Cho Hyeonwoo

Defenders: Kim Younggwon, Jang Hyunsoo, Jeong Seunghyeon, Yun Yeongseon, Kwon Kyungwon, Oh Bansuk, Kim Jinsu, Kim Minwoo, Park Jooho, Hong Chul, Go Yohan, Lee Yong

Midfielders: Ki Sungyueng, Jeong Wooyoung, Kwon Changhoon, Ju Sejong, Koo Jacheol, Lee Jaesung, Lee Seungwoo, Moon Sunmin, Lee Chungyong

Forwards: Kim Shinwook, Son Heungmin, Hwang Heechan, Lee Keunho

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