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Korea Republic's World Cup Preview: The Team

N Seoul Tower, Namsan, Seoul, South KoreaTHE PAST

Korea Republic is probably the most significant Asian country when it comes to Cup success.  In 1954 the squad was the first Asian country to be represented at the World Cup, but the nation failed to make it another Cup until Mexico was the host in 1986.  Since qualifying for that Cup Korea Republic has qualified for seven straight, but only advanced once past the first round.  When Korea hosted the 2002 World Cup the hosting nation finished in fourth place with a semi-final loss to Germany 1-0.  It is the best that any Asian country has ever done in the event and it was also the first time that Korea had won a single match in the event.  That magical year the club beat Italy and Spain to advance to the final four spots.

THE PRESENT

Korea Republic didn’t exactly impress this recent WCQ, but the squad did perform well enough to advance to the big stage this summer.  Winger Park Ji-Sung is the team’s star and the club will heavily rely on the Manchester United player for success in South Africa this summer and forward Park Chu Young should make it back from injury prior to the start of the event.  Most of these Korean players are relatively unknown to the globe, but the club is well known for playing in low scoring battles.

THE PREDICTION

On average I would say that the line for Korea Republic to win it all this summer is somewhere between 250 to 1 or 300 to 1.  In other words the club is nearing the bottom of the pack when it comes to a shot of taking home the Cup and no other team in their group bracket is projected as low.  The club can look to recent success in the Cup as one of their positive steps towards success, but that was also a year that the squad had the advantage of hosting the event as well.  This year I would be shocked if the country made it to the second round of the event.  Argentina, Greece, and Nigeria all appear to be wiser choices.

Creative Commons License photo credit: yeowatzup

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