South Korea National Football Team
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South Korea National Football Team

Korea Republic
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)? (Taegeuk Warriors)
? (Tigers of Asia)
EAFF (East Asia)
Head coachPaulo Bento
CaptainSon Heung-min
Most capsCha Bum-kun
Hong Myung-Bo (136)
Top scorerCha Bum-kun (58)
Home stadiumSeoul World Cup Stadium
FIFA ranking
Current 39 Decrease 2 (24 October 2019)[1]
Highest17 (December 1998)
Lowest69 (November 2014 - January 2015)
Elo ranking
Current 26 Steady(18 October 2019)[2]
Highest15 (September 1980, June 2002)
Lowest80 (August 1967)
First international
Non-FIFA international
 South Korea 5-1 Hong Kong 
(Hong Kong; 6 July 1948)[3]
FIFA international
 South Korea 5-3 Mexico 
(London, United Kingdom; 2 August 1948)
Biggest win
 South Korea 16-0 Nepal   
(Incheon, South Korea; 29 September 2003)
Biggest defeat
 South Korea 0-12 Sweden 
(London, United Kingdom; 5 August 1948)
World Cup
Appearances10 (first in 1954)
Best resultFourth Place (2002)
Asian Cup
Appearances14 (first in 1956)
Best resultChampions (1956, 1960)
Appearances2 (first in 2000)
Best resultFourth Place (2002)
Confederations Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2001)
Best resultGroup Stage (2001)
South Korea national football team
Revised RomanizationDaehan Min'guk Chukgu Gukga Daepyo Tim
McCune-ReischauerTaehan Min'guk Ch'ukku Kukka Taep'yo T'im

The Korea Republic national football team (Korean: ? ) represents South Korea in international football and is controlled by the Korea Football Association.

Since the 1960s, South Korea has emerged as a major football power in Asia and is historically the most successful Asian football team, having participated in nine consecutive and ten overall FIFA World Cup tournaments, the most for any Asian country. Despite initially going through five World Cup tournaments without winning a match, South Korea became the first and currently only Asian team to reach the semi-final stages when they co-hosted the 2002 tournament with Japan. South Korea won the first two AFC Asian Cup tournaments (1956 and 1960), though they have been unable to win since, finishing as the runners-up in 1972, 1980, 1988, and 2015, and third in 1964, 2000, 2007, and 2011. They also took the gold medal at the 1970, 1978, and 1986 Asian Games. They have qualified for every FIFA World Cup since 1986.[4]

The team is commonly nicknamed "The Reds" by both fans and the media due to the color of their primary kit. The national team's supporting group is officially referred to as the Red Devils.[5]


Japanese forced occupation (1920s-1940s)

Korea was not introduced to the sport of association football until the late 19th century; it is often said that soccer in Korea dates to 1882, when British sailors from HMS Flying Fish played a game while their vessel was visiting the Incheon Port.[6]

Korea became a Japanese colony in 1905 and was annexed into it outright in 1910. In 1921, the first All Joseon Football Tournament was held, and in 1928, the Joseon Football Association (JFA) was organized, which created a foundation to disseminate and develop football in Korea.[7] Korean teams participated in competitions with Japanese teams from around 1926; Joseon Football Club became a de facto national team for Koreans, and won the 1935 Japanese national championship.[6] Koreans also played on the Japanese national team, most notably Kim Yong-sik who played for Japan at the 1936 Summer Olympics; Japan's last prewar national team in 1940 had two Korean players, Kim Yong-sik and Kim Sung-gan.[8][9]

The JFA was reorganized in 1945 as Japanese occupation ended with the close of World War II.[6][10] Following the establishment of the South Korean state in the late 1940s, a new Korea Football Association (KFA) was founded in 1948 and joined FIFA, the international football governing body. The same year, the South Korean national team made its international debut and won 5-3 against Mexico at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.[6]

Five titles and six-time runners-up in Asia (1950s-1980s)

South Korea first entered the FIFA World Cup qualification in 1954 and qualified to participate at the 1954 FIFA World Cup by defeating Japan 7-3 on aggregate with Choi Chung-min's three goals.[11] South Korea became the second Asian team ever to compete at the FIFA World Cup after the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). South Korea played games against Hungary and Turkey, losing 9-0 and 7-0 respectively (the game scheduled against West Germany was never played because neither were seeded in their group, as per that tournament's rules).[12] It would take thirty-two years before South Korea was able to participate at the World Cup finals again.

The KFA joined the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) in 1954.[13] South Korea won three silver medals consecutively at the Asian Games (1954, 1958, 1962).[14] The South Korea's 5-0 win against Iran at the 1958 Asian Games is the largest margin in their rivalry.[15] At the 1962 Asian Games, South Korea won all group matches against Japan, Thailand and India. They defeated Malaya in the semi-finals and met India again in the final but lost.[16] South Korea participated at the first AFC Asian Cup in 1956. They drew with Hong Kong but defeated Israel and South Vietnam to take first place.[17] They hosted and won the 1960 AFC Asian Cup by winning all of their games against South Vietnam, Israel and Republic of China but failed to repeat this success at the 1964 AFC Asian Cup which Israel won.[18][19]

South Korea didn't enter the 1966 FIFA World Cup qualification to avoid North Korea. The Korean Central Intelligence Agency was motivated by North Korea's advancing to the quarter-finals at the 1966 FIFA World Cup and ordered KFA to found Yangzee FC for the national team's development.[20] South Korea failed to qualify for the 1970 FIFA World Cup but achieved a good result by winning the 1970 Asian Games.[21] South Korea reached the final at the 1972 AFC Asian Cup but lost against Iran after extra time.[22] South Korea won all six games until the semi-finals at the 1978 Asian Games and shared gold medals by drawing with North Korea in the final.[23] South Korea reached the final with the 18-year-old forward Choi Soon-ho's seven goals at the 1980 AFC Asian Cup and met Kuwait, who they defeated 3-0 in the group stage, but lost 3-0 this time.[24]

In 1986, South Korea won the East Asia zone competition of the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification with two wins against Japan in the final round and was able to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1954. South Korea lost 3-1 to the eventual champion Argentina but Park Chang-sun scored the first South Korean goal of the World Cup in the first group match. They drew 1-1 with Bulgaria and faced the defending champion Italy in the crucial last match. However, South Korea lost 3-2 in a match that caused controversy in South Korea due to the referee David Socha's alleged poor officiating.[25]

In the same year, South Korea hosted the 1986 Asian Games. Cho Kwang-rae led the team's gold medal by consecutively scoring winning goals in the semi-finals against Indonesia and the final against Saudi Arabia.[26] South Korea also hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics and drew 0-0 with the eventual champion Soviet Union and United States but lost 2-1 against Argentina in the group stage. Their next major tournament was the 1988 AFC Asian Cup, in which they won all four games in the group stage and defeated China in the semi-finals but lost on penalties 4-3 in the final against Saudi Arabia. Kim Joo-sung became the first Korean player who was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.[27] South Korea finished the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualification in first place by recording nine wins and two draws without a loss and qualified for the World Cup again.

Period of decline (1990s)

South Korea started the 1990s poorly. At the 1990 FIFA World Cup, they lost all their games against Spain (3-1), Uruguay (1-0), and Belgium (2-0). South Korea won the 1990 Dynasty Cup, the East Asian tournament, but failed to qualify for the 1992 AFC Asian Cup by losing against Thailand in the qualification because the KFA sent B team to the match.

At the 1994 FIFA World Cup they managed to draw with Spain 2-2. Hong Myung-bo scored a goal and assisted teammate Seo Jung-won with the second, with both goals occurring in the last five minutes of the game. In their next game they earned another draw with Bolivia 0-0. In their last game against Germany they nearly managed another draw with Hwang Sun-hong and Hong Myung-bo each scoring a goal in the second half after being down 3-0 but they were unable to score thereafter and were defeated 3-2.

South Korea participated at the 1994 Asian Games after the World Cup. They defeated Nepal 11-0 with Hwang Sun-hong's eight goals in the first match. They also defeated Oman but lost to Kuwait and finished the group stage in second place. They defeated Japan in the quarter-finals but lost to Uzbekistan in the semi-finals and Kuwait again in the bronze medal match so stayed in fourth place.[28] Their poor performances continued at the 1996 AFC Asian Cup. They barely managed to make it out of the group stage as they ranked third in their group, losing to Kuwait on goal difference.[29] A comparison made between all the third-ranked teams in each group allowed South Korea to advance. However, they suffered a 6-2 loss to Iran in the quarter-finals, conceding five goals in the second half which included Ali Daei's four goals.[30]

Afterwards, former South Korean international Cha Bum-kun became the head coach going into the 1998 FIFA World Cup. They won the group of the final round in the qualification. However, performing well in the qualification, the team played poorly in the tournament, losing to Mexico 3-1 and the Netherlands 5-0. Cha was sacked after the loss to the Netherlands. The team then managed a 1-1 draw against Belgium.

Huh Jung-moo succeeded to the position of manager and participated at the 1998 Asian Games during December. They precariously started the tournament with loss to Turkmenistan in the first round. They won all matches against Japan, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait in the second round but lost to Thailand in the quarter-finals by conceding golden goal during extra time.[31] South Korea ranked 17th place in the FIFA World Rankings after the tournament which is their highest ranking despite their poor results in major tournaments.[32] South Korea was invited out to the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup and met Canada and Costa Rica in the group stage. The three teams drew all their games and Costa Rica took first place in the group by more goals. South Korea had a coin toss with Canada to decide quarter-finalists and lost it. At the 2000 AFC Asian Cup, South Korea managed to advance out of the group stage and defeated Iran in the quarter-finals but were beaten by Saudi Arabia in the semi-finals. They defeated China to gain third place.[33]

Dutch managers era (2000s)

Hiddink and World Cup semi-finalists

On 18 December 2000, the KFA named Dutch coach Guus Hiddink as the manager of the team for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, co-hosted in South Korea.[34] The KFA promised him to ensure long-term training camps and authority about management of coaching staff.[35] At the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, they lost 5-0 against France, the eventual champions, and failed to advance to the semi-finals although defeating Australia and Mexico. South Korean journalists criticized Hiddnk and gave him a nickname "Oh Dae Ppang", meaning five to nothing, when South Korea lost 5-0 again at the friendly match against Czech Republic after the Confederations Cup.[36] At the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup, South Korea finished in fourth place with two draws and three losses without a win. However, their results improved at three friendly matches prior to the World Cup against Scotland (4-1 win), England (1-1 draw) and France (3-2 loss).[37][38][39]

Seoul Plaza during the 2002 World Cup

South Korea co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament with Japan. They had never won a game in the World Cup previously but the South Korean team achieved their first ever victory in a World Cup with a 2-0 victory against Poland when the tournament began. Their next game was against the United States and earned a 1-1 draw, with striker Ahn Jung-hwan scoring a late game equalizer. Their last game was against the favored Portuguese side. Portugal earned two red cards in the match, reducing them to nine men and Park Ji-sung scored the winning goal in a 1-0 victory, allowing the South Korean team to qualify for the second round for the first time in their history. The team's success led to widespread euphoria from the South Korean public, with many people joining the Red Devils, which gained widespread attention with their passionate support of the team.[40]

South Korea's second round opponents were Italy, who they defeated 2-1. The South Korean team was awarded an early penalty but Ahn Jung-hwan's effort was saved by Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon. Christian Vieri then scored to put Italy ahead but Seol Ki-hyeon scored an equalizer in the 88th minute, allowing the game to go through to extra time. Francesco Totti was controversially sent off for an alleged dive and Ahn redeemed his missed penalty by scoring the winner with a headed golden goal, allowing them to advance to the quarter-final. South Korea faced Spain in the quarter-finals. Spain managed to score twice in this match, but both goals were cancelled by the referees.[41][42] The game then went to the penalty shoot-out where South Korea won 5-3, thus becoming the first Asian team to reach the final four.[43] The South Korean team's run was halted by a 1-0 loss to Germany in the semi-finals. They lost to Turkey 3-2 in the third-place match and finished the tournament in fourth place.

Team captain Hong Myung-bo received the Bronze Ball as the World Cup's third best player, the first Asian footballer to be awarded this. In addition Hong was selected for the team of tournament alongside teammate Yoo Sang-chul, the first and only time Asian footballers have been named. This level of success was unprecedented for a country that had never before won a game in the World Cup. They had gone further than any Asian team and upset several established European teams in the process, leading to an increase in the popularity of football in the country. Hiddink became a national hero in South Korea, becoming the first person to be granted honorary citizenship as well as being given a private villa.

Five years under four foreign managers

Despite widespread pleas for him to stay, Hiddink resigned following the 2002 World Cup. After his departure there was a greater emphasis on hiring foreign coaches. As a result, Portuguese coach Humberto Coelho became the new manager. Under his management South Korea participated in and won the first EAFF East Asian Cup in 2003. However, following a defeats to Oman and Vietnam and a draw against the Maldives, Coehlo was sacked. Dutch coach Jo Bonfrère then took over. They had less success the next year at the Asian Cup, losing to Iran in the quarter-finals. South Korea hosted the 2005 EAFF East Asian Cup but finished in last place.

South Korea qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup after defeating Kuwait in the qualifiers, finishing second in Group B after Saudi Arabia. By this point Bonfrère had come under heavy criticism for the team's poor performance during the 2005 East Asian Cup as well as a loss to Saudi Arabia during World Cup qualification. He eventually resigned, and as a result, the KFA named Dick Advocaat the new coach to lead the team into the World Cup. During the 2006 World Cup, South Korea achieved their first World Cup victory outside Asia by beating Togo 2-1, with goals from Lee Chun-soo and Ahn Jung-hwan. Their next game was against France, who held the lead for most of the game but a goal by Park Ji-sung allowed the South Korean team to draw with the eventual finalists. This placed South Korea at the top of their group but they lost their last game 2-0 to Switzerland, which eliminated them from the tournament. Advocaat resigned due to his contract with a Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg before the World Cup and was replaced by assistant coach Pim Verbeek, who had also worked under Hiddink during the 2002 World Cup.

South Korea's next major tournament was the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. The team struggled in the group stages without Premier League players Lee Young-pyo, Park Ji-sung, and Seol Ki-hyeon. The team drew its first game against Saudi Arabia but suffered a shocking loss to Bahrain. They narrowly defeated co-host Indonesia in their final group game and managed to scrape through with four points. They defeated Iran in the quarter-finals via penalty shoot-out following a draw. South Korea entered another penalty shoot-out after another goalless draw to Iraq but were defeated. They then beat Japan on penalties once more to gain third place. Later, it was discovered that during the tournament, four veteran players, including then captain Lee Woon-jae, broke team rules to go on a late-night drinking binge in an Indonesian bar. Each of the four players were banned from national team participation for at least two years.[44] Verbeek resigned after the tournament, taking blame for the team's unsatisfactory performance as they had failed to score a single goal following the group stage and had to resort to penalties for three games in a row. He also criticized the unrealistic expectations from the fans.

Park Ji-sung era

South Korea playing against Argentina at the FIFA World Cup, in June 2010.

Afterwards, South Korea chose Huh Jung-moo as their manager again and Park Ji-sung as the next captain. Under Huh's management, the South Korean team managed to win the 2008 EAFF East Asian Cup, go undefeated for 27 consecutive games in 2009. South Korea won the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification with seven wins and seven draws without a loss.

At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, they won their first game against Greece 2-0, with goals from Lee Jung-soo and Park Ji-sung. They then faced Argentina and suffered a large loss 4-1, including an own goal by forward Park Chu-young. They then obtained a 2-2 draw in a match against Nigeria, with Lee Jung-Soo scoring in the tournament once more and Park Chu-young redeeming his own goal from the previous game by scoring from a free kick. This allowed them to make it to the second round for the first time on foreign soil. In the knockout stage they met Uruguay, who took an early lead with a goal from Luis Suárez. South Korea equalized in the second half after Lee Chung-yong scored his second goal of the tournament but South Korea conceded another goal by Suárez in the 80th minute. Despite maintaining the majority of the possession in the second half, South Korea was unable to equalize again and were eliminated from the tournament.

Following the 2010 World Cup, Cho Kwang-rae took over as the coach. At the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, they won against Bahrain, India and drew with Australia in the group stage. They finished with seven points but was second in the group after Australia on goal difference. They won Iran after extra time in the quarter-finals and faced rivals Japan in the semi-finals. They drew with Japan during 120 minutes, but failed to score in the penalty shoot-out with Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima saving two shots and were beaten 3-0. They defeated Uzbekistan to earn third place and managed to win the Fair Play Award. Koo Ja-cheol finished as the tournament's top scorer with five goals. Following the Asian Cup, key players Park Ji-sung and Lee Young-pyo retired and the team's performance began to decline. Following a humiliating loss to Japan and Lebanon, Cho was unceremoniously sacked.

London Generation (2010s)

South Korea national football team - October 2012

Cho Kwang-rae was hurriedly replaced with Choi Kang-hee with the task of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup as the team was in jeopardy of breaking its long-running streak of World Cup qualification. Under Choi South Korea narrowly qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil by finishing second in their group via goal difference. Choi's contract was up after the conclusion of the qualification matches and was replaced by former player Hong Myung-bo, who had captained the 2002 World Cup team and coached the under-23 team to a bronze medal finish at the 2012 Summer Olympics, hosted in London. Hong actively used the Olympic bronze medalists for the 2014 World Cup who are called the "London Generation".[45]

South Korea started its World Cup campaign against Russia and drew 1-1 with them. South Korea suffered a 4-2 loss to Algeria in their second game, conceding three goals by half time with no shots on goal. Son Heung-min and Koo Ja-cheol both scored goals in the second half but the South Koreans were unable to equalize, leaving them at the bottom of their group. Their final game was against Belgium and despite Belgian midfielder Steven Defour earning a red card in the match they were able to win 1-0, eliminating South Korea and leaving them without a single win for the first time since 1998.

The team's poor performance resulted in a hostile reaction from fans, who threw toffees at them upon their return.[46] Hong was heavily criticized for the perceived lack of strategy and team selection controversies. Following the World Cup, Hong initially intended to continue in his position until the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, but relented and resigned under heavy media pressure along with several KFA associates in responsibility for the failures at the World Cup. The team was ranked 69th by the end of the year, their worst ever. After initial negotiations with Bert van Marwijk broke down, the KFA appointed Uli Stielike in October as the new manager with a contract up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. At the group stage of the 2015 Asian Cup, they won all three games against host country Australia, Kuwait and Oman but some players suffered injuries and had to leave the tournament. South Korea defeated Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals with two goals from Son Heung-min in extra time and advanced to semi-finals for the tenth time, a tournament record. They defeated Iraq in the semi-finals and advance to the final for the first time since 1988. In the final, South Korea faced Australia which they defeated in the group stage but lost after extra time.[47] Despite the loss in the final, the team was praised for its performance as they had managed to reach the final without conceding any goals.[48] For the combined qualification matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, South Korea won all seven matches without conceding a goal in the second round but following a series of poor results in the third round of qualifiers, including losses to China and Qatar, Stielike was sacked and was replaced by former under-20 and under-23 coach Shin Tae-yong for the remainder of the qualifying round.[49] Under Shin, the team managed to qualify as the second-placed team in their group following two goalless draws against Iran and Uzbekistan, sending South Korea to the World Cup for the ninth consecutive time.[50]

South Korea national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

At the 2018 World Cup, they lost their first game against Sweden 1-0 after conceding a penalty kick. They then faced Mexico and lost 2-1 after conceding another penalty kick. However, despite their two consecutive losses, South Korea was not eliminated just yet. To have any chance of advancing, South Korea would have to win their final group stage match against the defending champions Germany by at least two goals and Mexico would have to defeat Sweden in its last group stage game.[51] South Korea for its part did what it had to do to stay in contention and won 2-0 against Germany, causing them to be eliminated in the first round for the first time in 80 years. Germany had 28 shots with 6 on target, but the South Korea's defense, led by keeper Jo Hyeon-woo, did not concede once.[52][53][54] However, Mexico lost to Sweden that same day and thus South Korea ultimately finished third in the group. As a result, South Korea saved Mexico from being eliminated and Mexican fans heavily praised the Koreans and celebrated their victory in front of the South Korean embassy.[55][56][57] The match is also called the "Miracle of Kazan" in South Korea although they dropped out of the tournament.[58] However, Shin resigned from the team and Portuguese manager Paulo Bento replaced him after the World Cup.[59]

South Korea participated at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and finished the group stage with nine points.[60] South Korea eliminated Bahrain after extra time in the Round of 16,[61] but lost in quarter-finals by the eventual tournament winners Qatar.[62]

Team image

Kits and crest

Red is the traditional shirt color of the South Korean national team, who are consequently nicknamed "the Reds", while the fans are called "the Red Devils". The away shirt has varied between white and blue. In 1994, the home shirt shifted from red to white, but in October 1995, red returned as home color, paired with black shorts.

South Korea used to wear the South Korean flag as their shirt badge until 2001, when their tiger crest was unveiled.[63]

Kit suppliers

Kit supplier Period Notes
Adidas, Asics, Kolon Sports
Prospecs, Weekend
1977-1985 Adidas was South Korea's first official kit sponsor.
At that time, Didn't have exculsive kit sponsor.[64]
1985-1988 Sportswear brand of Samsung C&T Corporation[65]
1988-1995 Weekend was renamed Rapido in January 1988[66]
1996-present Sponsorship Contract Date: End of 1995[67]
Contract Start Date: 1 January 1996

Kit deals

Kit supplier Period Contract
Value Notes
1996-1997 (2 years) Total $3.0 million[68]
($1.5 million per year)
1998-2002 (5 years) Total $38 million[69][70][71]
($7.6 million per year)
2003-2007 (5 years) Total $50 million[72]
($10 million per year)
2008-2011 (4 years) Total $49 million[73]
($12.25 million per year)
2012-2019 (8 years) Total $120 million[74]
($15 million per year)


The official supporter group of the national team, the Red Devils, were founded in 1995. Known for their passionate support, they are commonly referred to as the 12th man.[40] Their most common chant is "?~ (Dae~han Minguk, meaning "Mighty Republic of Korea)" followed by five claps. The FIFA Fan Fest was introduced at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea. .


The traditional rival of South Korea is Japan. The football rivalry is long-seated and is often seen as an extension of an overall rivalry that runs deep between the two nations. Controversies occasionally flare up in matches between the two nations.

South Korea also possesses a strong rivalry with North Korea, though matches are infrequent due to diplomatic and security reasons.

South Korea has had great success against China, with China failing to defeat them in 28 competitive matches before finally winning a game in 2010.

Recently, a rivalry has also developed with Iran.[75] They have played against each other officially since 1958, totalling 31 matches as of June 2019, including nine World Cup qualifiers. These two teams were among the strongest Asian national football teams during the 1960s and 1970s. Although the teams only had one chance to play against each other in the final match of the AFC Asian Cup, in 1972, they have faced each other five consecutive times in the quarter-finals between 1996 and 2011, with each team recording two wins, two losses, and a draw. Iran leads the all-time series with 13 wins, 9 draws and 9 losses.

Competitive record

     Champions       Runners-up       Third place        Fourth place  

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA Squad GP W D L GF GA
Brazil 1950 Did not enter
Switzerland 1954 Group stage 16th 2 0 0 2 0 16 Squad 2 1 1 0 7 3
Sweden 1958 Preliminary competition entry denied[76]
Chile 1962 Did not qualify 4 2 0 2 6 9
England 1966 Did not enter
Mexico 1970 Did not qualify 4 1 2 1 6 5
West Germany 1974 8 3 4 1 10 4
Argentina 1978 12 5 6 1 16 9
Spain 1982 3 2 0 1 7 4
Mexico 1986 Group stage 20th 3 0 1 2 4 7 Squad 8 7 0 1 17 3
Italy 1990 Group stage 22nd 3 0 0 3 1 6 Squad 11 9 2 0 30 1
United States 1994 Group stage 20th 3 0 2 1 4 5 Squad 13 9 3 1 32 5
France 1998 Group stage 30th 3 0 1 2 2 9 Squad 12 9 2 1 28 8
South Korea Japan 2002 Fourth place 4th 7 3 2 2 8 6 Squad Qualified as hosts
Germany 2006 Group stage 17th 3 1 1 1 3 4 Squad 12 7 3 2 18 7
South Africa 2010 Round of 16 15th 4 1 1 2 6 8 Squad 14 7 7 0 22 7
Brazil 2014 Group stage 27th 3 0 1 2 3 6 Squad 14 8 3 3 27 11
Russia 2018 Group stage 19th 3 1 0 2 3 3 Squad 18 12 3 3 38 10
Qatar 2022 To be determined 3 2 1 0 10 0
Total Fourth place 10/18[a] 34 6 9 19 34 70 138 84 37 17 274 86
  1. ^ Statistics since 1948, when South Korea became a member of FIFA.

Olympic Games

Football at the Summer Olympics has been an under-23 tournament since 1992.
Summer Olympic Games record Qualification record
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA Squad GP W D L GF GA
United Kingdom 1948 Quarter-finals 8th 2 1 0 1 5 15 Squad Directly qualified
Finland 1952 Did not enter
Australia 1956 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 2 2
Italy 1960 4 2 0 2 4 4
Japan 1964 Group stage 14th 3 0 0 3 1 20 Squad 4 2 1 1 7 4
Mexico 1968 Did not qualify 5 4 1 0 17 5
West Germany 1972 4 3 0 1 16 2
Canada 1976 6 3 2 1 10 5
Soviet Union 1980 6 4 0 2 16 6
United States 1984 11 5 3 3 19 11
South Korea 1988 Group stage 11th 3 0 2 1 1 2 Squad Qualified as hosts
1992-present See South Korea national under-23 football team
Total 3/11[a] 8 1 2 5 7 37 42 24 7 11 91 39
  1. ^ Statistics since 1948, when South Korea became a member of FIFA.

FIFA Confederations Cup

FIFA Confederations Cup record
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA Squad
Saudi Arabia 1992 Did not enter
Saudi Arabia 1995 Did not qualify
Saudi Arabia 1997
Mexico 1999
South KoreaJapan 2001 Group stage 5th 3 2 0 1 3 6 Squad
France 2003 Did not qualify
Germany 2005
South Africa 2009
Brazil 2013
Russia 2017
Total Group stage 1/10 3 2 0 1 3 6

AFC Asian Cup

AFC Asian Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA Squad GP W D L GF GA
British Hong Kong 1956 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 9 6 Squad 4 4 0 0 9 1
South Korea 1960 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 9 1 Squad Qualified as hosts
Israel 1964 Third place 3rd 3 1 0 2 2 4 Squad 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pahlavi dynasty 1968 Did not qualify 4 1 1 2 9 4
Flag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svg 1972 Runners-up 2nd 5 1 2 2 7 6 Squad 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pahlavi dynasty 1976 Did not qualify 4 2 0 2 3 3
Kuwait 1980 Runners-up 2nd 6 4 1 1 12 6 Squad 3 3 0 0 10 1
Singapore 1984 Group stage 9th 4 0 2 2 1 3 Squad 4 3 1 0 13 0
Qatar 1988 Runners-up 2nd 6 5 1 0 11 3 Squad 3 1 1 1 5 3
Japan 1992 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 7 2
United Arab Emirates 1996 Quarter-finals 7th 4 1 1 2 7 11 Squad 3 3 0 0 17 0
Lebanon 2000 Third place 3rd 6 3 1 2 9 6 Squad 3 3 0 0 19 0
China 2004 Quarter-finals 6th 4 2 1 1 9 4 Squad 6 4 0 2 30 4
IndonesiaMalaysiaFlag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svgVietnam 2007 Third place 3rd 6 1 4 1 3 3 Squad 6 3 2 1 15 5
Qatar 2011 Third Place 3rd 6 4 2 0 13 7 Squad Directly qualified
Australia 2015 Runners-up 2nd 6 5 0 1 8 2 Squad Directly qualified
United Arab Emirates 2019 Quarter-finals 5th 5 4 0 1 6 2 Squad 8 8 0 0 27 0
China 2023 To be determined 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 2 titles 14/17 67 36 16 15 106 64 50 36 5 9 164 23

Asian Games

Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
Asian Games record
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA Squad
India 1951 Did not enter
Philippines 1954 Silver medal 2nd 4 1 2 1 15 12 Squad
Japan 1958 Silver medal 2nd 5 4 0 1 15 6 Squad
Indonesia 1962 Silver medal 2nd 5 4 0 1 9 5 Squad
Flag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svg 1966 Round 1 11th 2 0 0 2 0 4 Squad
Flag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svg 1970 Gold medal 1st 6 3 2 1 5 3 Squad
Iran 1974 Round 2 8th 5 1 1 3 4 10 Squad
Flag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svg 1978 Gold medal 1st 7 6 1 0 15 3 Squad
India 1982 Group stage 9th 3 1 0 2 4 3 Squad
South Korea 1986 Gold medal 1st 6 4 2 0 14 3 Squad
China 1990 Bronze medal 3rd 6 5 0 1 18 1 Squad
Japan 1994 Fourth place 4th 6 3 0 3 17 7 Squad
Flag of Thailand (TIS 982 draft standard).svg 1998 Quarter-finals 6th 6 4 0 2 12 6 Squad
2002-present See South Korea national under-23 football team
Total 3 titles 12/13 61 36 8 17 128 63

Dynasty Cup and EAFF East Asian Cup

Dynasty Cup record
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA Squad
China 1990 Champions 1st 4 3 1 0 5 1 Squad
China 1992 Runners-up 2nd 4 1 3 0 5 3 Squad
Hong Kong 1995 Runners-up 2nd 4 1 3 0 6 5 Squad
Japan 1998 Third place 3rd 3 2 0 1 4 3 Squad
Total 1 title 4/4 15 7 7 1 20 12
EAFF East Asian Cup record
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA Squad
Japan 2003 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 4 1 Squad
South Korea 2005 Fourth place 4th 3 0 2 1 1 2 Squad
China 2008 Champions 1st 3 1 2 0 5 4 Squad
Japan 2010 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 8 4 Squad
South Korea 2013 Third place 3rd 3 0 2 1 1 2 Squad
China 2015 Champions 1st 3 1 2 0 3 1 Squad
Japan 2017 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 7 3 Squad
South Korea 2019 To be determined
Total 4 titles 7/7 21 8 10 3 29 17

Head-to-head records

As of 15 October 2019, after the match against North Korea.[77]

Positive balance (more wins)
Neutral balance (equal W/L ratio)
Negative balance (more losses)
  1. ^ Including Khmer Republic.
  2. ^ Including the Federation of Malaya.
  3. ^ Including Burma.
  4. ^ Including FR Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro.
  5. ^ Including North Yemen.

Recent results and fixtures

  Win   Draw   Loss

Coaching staff

Position Name
Manager Portugal Paulo Bento
Assistant Manager Portugal Sérgio Costa
Assistant Coach Portugal Filipe Coelho
Assistant Coach Canada Michael Kim
Assistant Coach South Korea Choi Tae-uk
Goalkeeping Coach Portugal Vítor Silvestre
Fitness Coach Portugal Pedro Pereira


Current squad

The following players were called-up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Lebanon on 14 November 2019 and a friendly match against Brazil on 19 November 2019.[78]
Caps and goals updated as of 15 October 2019, after the match against North Korea.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Kim Seung-gyu (1990-09-30) 30 September 1990 (age 29) 46 0 South Korea Ulsan Hyundai
1GK Jo Hyeon-woo (1991-09-25) 25 September 1991 (age 28) 14 0 South Korea Daegu FC
1GK Gu Sung-yun (1994-06-27) 27 June 1994 (age 25) 1 0 Japan Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo

2DF Kim Young-gwon (1990-02-27) 27 February 1990 (age 29) 74 3 Japan Gamba Osaka
2DF Lee Yong (1986-12-24) 24 December 1986 (age 32) 44 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
2DF Kim Jin-su (1992-06-13) 13 June 1992 (age 27) 42 1 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
2DF Park Joo-ho (1987-01-16) 16 January 1987 (age 32) 39 1 South Korea Ulsan Hyundai
2DF Kim Min-jae (1996-11-15) 15 November 1996 (age 22) 25 2 China Beijing Guoan
2DF Kwon Kyung-won (1992-01-31) 31 January 1992 (age 27) 12 1 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
2DF Kim Moon-hwan (1995-08-01) 1 August 1995 (age 24) 10 0 South Korea Busan IPark
2DF Jung Seung-hyun (1994-04-03) 3 April 1994 (age 25) 8 0 Japan Kashima Antlers

3MF Son Heung-min (captain) (1992-07-08) 8 July 1992 (age 27) 85 26 England Tottenham Hotspur
3MF Lee Jae-sung (1992-08-10) 10 August 1992 (age 27) 47 8 Germany Holstein Kiel
3MF Jung Woo-young (1989-12-14) 14 December 1989 (age 29) 47 3 Qatar Al-Sadd
3MF Nam Tae-hee (1991-07-03) 3 July 1991 (age 28) 45 6 Qatar Al-Sadd
3MF Hwang Hee-chan (1996-01-26) 26 January 1996 (age 23) 30 4 Austria Red Bull Salzburg
3MF Ju Se-jong (1990-10-30) 30 October 1990 (age 29) 23 1 South Korea FC Seoul
3MF Kwon Chang-hoon (1994-06-30) 30 June 1994 (age 25) 22 5 Germany SC Freiburg
3MF Hwang In-beom (1996-09-20) 20 September 1996 (age 23) 18 1 Canada Vancouver Whitecaps FC
3MF Na Sang-ho (1996-08-12) 12 August 1996 (age 23) 9 1 Japan FC Tokyo
3MF Lee Kang-in (2001-02-19) 19 February 2001 (age 18) 2 0 Spain Valencia

4FW Kim Shin-wook (1988-04-14) 14 April 1988 (age 31) 54 14 China Shanghai Shenhua
4FW Hwang Ui-jo (1992-08-28) 28 August 1992 (age 27) 30 10 France Bordeaux

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the South Korea squad within the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Kim Jin-hyeon (1987-07-06) 6 July 1987 (age 32) 16 0 Japan Cerezo Osaka 2019 AFC Asian Cup

DF Hong Chul (1990-09-17) 17 September 1990 (age 29) 30 0 South Korea Suwon Samsung Bluewings v.  Lebanon, 14 November 2019 INJ
DF Park Ji-soo (1994-06-13) 13 June 1994 (age 25) 3 0 China Guangzhou Evergrande v.  Lebanon, 14 November 2019 INJ
DF Lee Jae-ik (1999-05-21) 21 May 1999 (age 20) 0 0 Qatar Al-Rayyan v.  North Korea, 15 October 2019 INJ
DF Kim Tae-hwan (1989-07-24) 24 July 1989 (age 30) 5 0 South Korea Ulsan Hyundai v.  Turkmenistan, 10 September 2019
DF Choi Chul-soon (1987-02-18) 18 February 1987 (age 32) 11 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v.  Colombia, 26 March 2019
DF Lee You-hyeon (1997-02-08) 8 February 1997 (age 22) 0 0 South Korea Jeonnam Dragons v.  Uzbekistan, 20 November 2018 U23

MF Paik Seung-ho (1997-03-17) 17 March 1997 (age 22) 3 0 Germany Darmstadt 98 v.  North Korea, 15 October 2019 U23
MF Lee Dong-gyeong (1997-09-20) 20 September 1997 (age 22) 2 0 South Korea Ulsan Hyundai v.  North Korea, 15 October 2019 INJ
MF Kim Bo-kyung (1989-10-06) 6 October 1989 (age 30) 37 4 South Korea Ulsan Hyundai v.  Turkmenistan, 10 September 2019
MF Lee Chung-yong (1988-07-02) 2 July 1988 (age 31) 89 9 Germany VfL Bochum v.  Georgia, 5 September 2019
MF Lee Seung-woo (1998-01-06) 6 January 1998 (age 21) 11 0 Belgium Sint-Truiden v.  Iran, 11 June 2019
MF Lee Jin-hyun (1997-08-26) 26 August 1997 (age 22) 3 0 South Korea Pohang Steelers v.  Iran, 11 June 2019
MF Son Jun-ho (1992-05-12) 12 May 1992 (age 27) 3 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v.  Iran, 11 June 2019
MF Kim Jung-min (1999-11-13) 13 November 1999 (age 19) 1 0 Austria FC Liefering v.  Colombia, 26 March 2019
MF Ki Sung-yueng (1989-01-24) 24 January 1989 (age 30) 110 10 England Newcastle United 2019 AFC Asian Cup RET
MF Koo Ja-cheol (1989-02-27) 27 February 1989 (age 30) 76 19 Qatar Al-Gharafa 2019 AFC Asian Cup RET
MF Kim Joon-hyung (1996-04-05) 5 April 1996 (age 23) 0 0 South Korea Gwangju FC 2019 AFC Asian Cup PRE
MF Han Seung-gyu (1996-09-28) 28 September 1996 (age 23) 0 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors Ulsan Training Camp, December 2018
MF Jang Yun-ho (1996-08-25) 25 August 1996 (age 23) 0 0 South Korea Incheon United Ulsan Training Camp, December 2018

FW Lee Jeong-hyeop (1991-06-24) 24 June 1991 (age 28) 21 5 South Korea Busan IPark v.  Turkmenistan, 10 September 2019
FW Ji Dong-won (1991-05-28) 28 May 1991 (age 28) 55 11 Germany Mainz 05 v.  Bolivia, 22 March 2019 INJ
FW Moon Seon-min (1992-06-09) 9 June 1992 (age 27) 11 2 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors Ulsan Training Camp, December 2018
FW Kim Seung-dae (1991-04-01) 1 April 1991 (age 28) 5 1 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors Ulsan Training Camp, December 2018
FW Cho Young-wook (1999-02-05) 5 February 1999 (age 20) 0 0 South Korea FC Seoul Ulsan Training Camp, December 2018 U23
FW Kim In-sung (1989-09-09) 9 September 1989 (age 30) 0 0 South Korea Ulsan Hyundai Ulsan Training Camp, December 2018
FW Suk Hyun-jun (1991-06-29) 29 June 1991 (age 28) 15 5 France Reims v.  Uzbekistan, 20 November 2018

INJ Withdrew from the squad due to an injury
RET Retired from the national team
PRE Preliminary squad
U23 Included in the under-23 national team

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