photo credit: wyliepoon
The Team: Unlike their North Korean dopplegangers, the South Korean people are known as lovers of democracy and all that accompanies it. I think the freedom they express in their daily lives has translated to the soccer field too, as they have sharply risen in the FIFA rankings over the last two decades. Now they are renowned as a top Asian soccer side, and they are looking to improve on their 2002 World Cup finish at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The Cream: The best lads on the pitch for South Korea are GK Lee Woon-Jae, DEF Oh Beom-Seok, MF Kim Do-Heon, and star F Lee Dong-Gook. Mr. Dong-Gook (no comment) is a mercurial striker, notching 22 goals in 75 international matches. Keeper Woon-Jae is the team’s “old man” with over 100 caps. There are several other major contributors to the squad, but I do not have enough time or space to list them all here. Coach Huh Jung-Moo has lots of options.
The Dream: South Korea finished fourth at the 2002 World Cup (which they co-hosted). However, other than that one shining moment, they have failed to achieve anything on the international soccer ladder of success. They have a good team in 2010, but they received a very difficult draw, and I would be hard pressed to espouse much confidence in them coming anywhere close to their 2002 success. Thus, I place the odds of them winning the Cup at 300:1.