【Qatar World Cup】South Korea【Full Explanation】

National Team

All 32 teams participating in the World Cup in Qatar are introduced.

This time, we will introduce Group H, the South Koreans, who have steadily improved their team’s level of perfection by introducing the “connecting soccer” brought by their Portuguese coach to their traditional style of soccer.


Basic Information

Number of appearances11th (10th consecutive)
Highest AchievementSemifinals
FIFA Ranking28th
Capital citySeoul
Population51.63 million people
ManagerPaulo Bento
NicknameAsian Tigers

Results of last 6 games

6/2Friendly matchBrazil1-5H
6/6Friendly matchChile2-0H
6/10Friendly matchParaguay2-2H
6/14Friendly matchEgypt4-1H
9/23Friendly matchCosta Rica2-2H
9/27Friendly matchCameroon1-0H

・Paulo Bento, who took over immediately after the World Cup in Russia, has spent four years instilling in the team a “build-up soccer” style, in which the team carefully builds up from the back and attacks with a quick rhythm while increasing the possession rate, which is steadily being perfected.

・In the final Asian qualifying round, the team qualified in second place behind Iran in a field packed with Middle Eastern teams, and qualified for its 10th consecutive tournament.

Even though the team suffered a heavy defeat against Brazil in a friendly match in June, they still won well against difficult opponents such as Chile and Egypt. The fact that they scored in all of their matches is a positive, and although they exposed their defensive instability against Costa Rica in September, they showed improvement against Cameroon by adopting a two-man front line and allowing no goals to be scored.

Group H has a difficult group of opponents, including Portugal, Uruguay, and Ghana, and the team does not have a high reputation in Japan. However, with the return of key players and the stability of the final lineup and the talent of the attackers, advancing past the group stage is not a dream.

Group Stage Schedule 【Group H】
Date of a matchLocal game start timeOpponentTotal match record
Section 1November 2416:00Uruguay
1 wins, 1 draw, 6 losses
Section 2November 2816:00Ghana
3 wins, 0 draw, 3 losses
Section 3December 218:00Portugal
1 wins, 0 draw, 0 losses


(Name)Paulo Bento
(Date of birth)June 20, 1969(53)
(inauguration)Aug. 2018

Since taking over immediately after the World Cup in Russia, he has instilled a tactical style in which the team builds up attacks by carefully connecting from the back and attacking with a fast rhythm.

He holds the record for the longest tenure as Korea’s national team coach of all time.

・From 2010 to 2014, he was the national coach of Portugal with Ronaldo.

・During his active career, he represented Portugal in the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea, playing against the South Korean national team.

Basic Formations & Tactics

Steady penetration of “build-up soccer” The key is the skill and judgment of the defenders.

<Basic Formations>

The Korean national team has a tradition of physicality and strength on the ball, and coach Paulo Bento has spent four years instilling a “build-up soccer” style, in which the team carefully connects passes from the final line and builds attacks.

Due to a change in the team’s style, Jo Hyeon-woo, who was the team’s guardian god at the World Cup in Russia four years ago, was removed from the regular role and replaced by Kim Seung-gyu, who has the skill underfoot and is a good starting point for the attack.

The team often struggles against opponents who defend by pulling back, and when the defensive midfielder, who plays both offense and defense, makes a series of errors in judgment, the team’s tactics are at a standstill.

・In the June match against Brazil, the team was overwhelmed by the press from the front, exposing the shortcomings of their build-up soccer.

<At Attack>

The team takes control of the game by building with steady passing from the rear and increasing the possession rate, but the emphasis is on distributing the ball to the front line through quick passing from the build-up and developing the attack at a fast tempo.

As the team began to build from the final line, the SBs and midfielders penetrated into the enemy camp and actively switched positions to confuse the opposing defenders. With a numerical advantage, they draw out the opposing defenders and aim to score with crosses from the side attacks of both wingers, Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan, and from the overlapping crosses of CF Hwang Ui-jo and both SBs, who have the ability to hold up the ball.

Long feeds from the back and a counter by ace Son Heung-min to get behind the opponent’s final line are also a threat.

<At Defense>

・In situations where the opponent has the ball, the team will press aggressively from the front line, surrounding one player with several others, aiming to win the ball while also forcing the opponent to kick a long ball for collection.

In the defensive phase, Hwang In-beom and Jeong Woo-young, who can contribute offensively and defensively, support the bottom of the midfield, and the strong physical CBs Kim Min-jae and Kim Young-gwon solidify the defense with their strength against manpower, while maintaining the final line and stopping the opponent’s attack with man marking and zone.

Star players(Top 3)

Son Heung-Min (FW/Tottenham)

”The Best Asians of All Time.”

An absolute ace of Korea, he is the first Asian player in history to win the Premier League scoring title. He is fast and physical at the top level, and his sharp dribbling allows him to break down the left side of the field. He has a strong torso and can play accurately without losing his balance even when running at full speed.

・His powerful and dynamic shooting with both feet is also a big attraction, and he can finish in any way possible, including FKs.He can also serve in an assisting role at a high level.

Kim Minjae (DF/Napoli)

”Van Dijk in Korea”

His defense against opponents, taking advantage of his favorable physique of 188 cm, his pass cutting, sliding, and aerial battles are all first class.

・He is also a propulsive ball-carrier and actively aims long passes to the opposite side and sharp passes vertically. He is also fearless at times.

Kim Seunggyu (GK/Al-Shabab)

・”Asia’s No. 1 Goalkeeper”

Based on his career and ability, he has been called the No. 1 goalkeeper in Asia.He is highly regarded for his skill with his feet and has established an unshakable position in the current national team.

Despite his large size, he has excellent quickness and reflexes, and his great weapon is his ability to make use of his long arms and legs to save shots. He calmly assesses his opponent’s movement and course until the very end, and reacts firmly to defend the goal even when shooting from close range.

Players List

NameAgeClub teamRepresentative Results (Goals)
Kim Seunggyu32Al-Shabab64 caps・He also has a good aerial defense with his leaping ability.
Jo Hyenwoo31Ulsan Hyundai21 caps・One of Korea’s best goalkeepers who was the guardian god at the World Cup in Russia
Song Bumkeun25Jeonbuk Hyundai0 caps・Modern goalkeeper who can also contribute in the build-up.
・Many female fans
Kim Young-gwon32Ulsan Hyundai94 caps(6)・Leading the final line with precise positioning
・Professional debut in Japan
Lee Yong35Jeonbuk Hyundai57 caps・The oldest on the team, stable and athletic.
Kim Jin-su30Jeonbuk Hyundai57 caps(2)・Repeated overlaps with inexhaustible stamina, creating good opportunities
Hong chul32Daegu FC43 caps・Create opportunities with speed and crosses.
Kim Min-jae26Napoli42 caps(3)・He has been very successful with Napoli since the start of the season and was awarded MVP for the month of September.
・FW before turning pro.
kwon Kyung-won30Gamba osaka23 caps(2)・CB with experience playing in Middle East, China and Japan
Kim Moon-hwan27Jeonbuk Hyundai17 caps・Speed and dribbling are weapons
Kim Tae-hwan33Ulsan Hyundai18 caps・Although he is a sub for the national team, his bold attacks are a threat.
YOON Jong Gyu24FC Seoul3 caps・Promising right SB with offensive power
・Although he recorded an assist in the match against Costa Rica in September, he was involved in conceding a goal immediately afterward, and his defense has issues.
CHO Yu Min26Daejeon Hana Citizen3 caps・The only CB with scoring ability who was called up from the K League 2 (2nd division) club in the members
・As a CB, he makes up for his small stature by taking advantage of his spring, and has a reputation for his strength in aerial combat, such as finishing set pieces and crosses.
Jung Woo-young32Al Sadd63 caps(3)・Made professional debut in Kyoto and played in the Middle East from ’18
・Physical and defensive skills shine through.
Lee Jae-sung30Mainz63 caps(9)・Versatile midfielder who can play anywhere in the midfield.
Kwon Chang-hoon28Gimcheon Sangmu37 caps(11)・Move around the pitch and dribble to create chances
Hwang In-beom26 Olympiacos34 caps(4)・Aggressively attack up the field to add depth to the attack
Paik Seung-ho25Jeonbuk Hyundai10 caps(2)・Has experience in the Barcelona cantera.
・Note the advanced ball-touching technique and passing sense.
Jeong Woo-yeong23Freiburg7 caps(2)・Joined Bayern at the age of 18 and has competed in the CL
Lee Kang-in21Mallorca6 caps・A “child prodigy”, he has been a center of attention since his childhood.
・He has been in good form for Mallorca this season, but has been left out of the national team.
・Expected to play a joker role.
Na Sang-ho26FC Seoul19 caps(2)・Highly rated for breakthrough, scoring and defense.
Song min-kyu23Jeonbuk Hyundai9 caps・Create opportunities off the dribble
SON Jun Ho30Shandong Taishan14 caps・A veteran with a lot of exercise who won the MVP of the K League in the 2020 season
・It is said that “one person dominates the game” and mass-produces assists from corner kicks and free kicks
Son Heung-min30Tottenham102 caps(33)・Aiming to break the South Korean national team’s record for most World Cup goals (3)
Hwang Ui-jo30 Olympiacos47 caps(16)・Highly rated, but lackluster at his club.
・Currently a steadfast CF in the national team.
・Scores a goal against Brazil in June
Hwang Hee-chan26Wolverhampton47 caps(8)・He breaks through defenses with his dribbling and physicality, and his shooting is highly accurate.
Lee Dong-jun24Hertha Berlin4 caps・Breaking through at speed is a weapon.
Cho Kyu-Seong24Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors15 caps
・A versatile CF that aggressively pursues accurate positioning and highly accurate post-play while aiming for goals voraciously
・This season, he scored 17 goals, the most in the domestic league, and assisted the winning goal in the friendly match against the Icelandic national team.

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