Korea Republic
Nickname(s)Taegeuk Warriors (태극전사)
Tigers of Asia (아시아의 호랑이)
AssociationKorea Football Association (KFA)
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationEAFF (East Asia)
Head coachHong Myung-bo
CaptainSon Heung-min
Most capsCha Bum-kun
Hong Myung-bo (136)
Top scorerCha Bum-kun (58)
FIFA codeKOR
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 22 Increase 1 (20 June 2024)[1]
Highest17 (December 1998)
Lowest69 (November 2014 – January 2015)
First international
 South Korea 5–3 Mexico 
(London, England; 2 August 1948)
Biggest win
 South Korea 16–0 Nepal   
(Incheon, South Korea; 29 September 2003)
Biggest defeat
 South Korea 0–12 Sweden 
(London, England; 5 August 1948)
World Cup
Appearances11 (first in 1954)
Best resultFourth place (2002)
Asian Cup
Appearances15 (first in 1956)
Best resultChampions (1956, 1960)
EAFF Championship
Appearances9 (first in 2003)
Best resultChampions (2003, 2008, 2015, 2017, 2019)
FIFA Confederations Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2001)
Best resultGroup stage (2001)
Websitewww.kfa.or.kr Edit this at Wikidata
South Korea national football team
Hangul
대한민국 축구 국가대표팀
Hanja
大韓民國 蹴球 國家代表팀
Revised RomanizationDaehan Min'guk Chukgu Gukga Daepyo Tim
McCune–ReischauerTaehan Min'guk Ch'ukku Kukka Taep'yo T'im

The South Korea national football team (Korean: 대한민국 축구 국가대표팀; recognized as Korea Republic by FIFA[2]) represents South Korea in men's international football and is governed by the Korea Football Association. South Korea has emerged as a major football power in Asia since the 1980s, having participated in ten consecutive and eleven 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 so far only) Asian team to reach the semi-finals when they co-hosted the 2002 tournament with Japan. South Korea also won two AFC Asian Cup titles, and finished as runners-up on four occasions. Furthermore, the team won three gold medals and three silver medals at the senior Asian Games.[3]

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.[4]

History

Main article: History of the South Korea national football team

Early history

Further information: Football in South Korea

Korea (Joseon) was not introduced to the sport of association football until the late 19th century; it is often said that football in Korea dates to 1882, when the Royal Navy sailors from HMS Flying Fish played a game while their vessel was visiting the Incheon Port.[5] 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 was organized, which created a foundation to disseminate and develop football in Korea.[6] 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 Emperor's Cup.[5] Koreans also played for the Japan national team, most notably Kim Yong-sik who played for Japan at the 1936 Summer Olympics.[7]

The Joseon FA was reorganized in 1945 as Japanese occupation ended with the end of World War II.[5][8] 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.[5]

First World Cup team (1954)

The South Korean team with the country's president Syngman Rhee after winning the 1956 AFC Asian Cup

In 1954, South Korea entered FIFA World Cup qualification for the first time, and qualified for the 1954 FIFA World Cup by beating Japan 7–3 on aggregate.[9] South Korea were only the second Asian team to compete at a World Cup after the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), and the first fully-independent Asian nation to do so. South Korea lost their only two games by heavy margins: 9–0 against Hungary (the joint-heaviest defeat in World Cup history) and 7–0 against Turkey. Their third scheduled game, against West Germany, was never played because neither were seeded in their group, as per that tournament's rules.[10] It would take thirty-two years before South Korea was able to participate at the World Cup finals again.

Despite this poor performance, South Korea successfully rallied by winning the inaugural AFC Asian Cup in 1956.[11] They hosted the next edition in 1960 and successfully retained the title, beating South Vietnam, Israel, and Republic of China in the process.[12] However, the South Korean players received fake medals, instead of the gold medals they had been promised, and returned them to the KFA.[13] The KFA promised to give them real medals, but this did not occur until 2019. South Korea have not won the AFC Asian Cup since 1960, something that has thus been attributed to the "curse of the fake gold medals."[14]

Foundation of Yangzee (1967)

Main article: Yangzee FC

In 1965, the South Korean government was hesitant to play football matches against North Korea and thus withdrew from the 1966 FIFA World Cup qualification to avoid possibly playing the northern neighbors. Kim Yong-sik, the KFA vice-president at that time, had evaluated North Korea as a world class team.[15] This would be proven true, as the North Koreans advanced to the quarter-finals at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. In March 1967, the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) founded Yangzee FC, collecting famous footballers in South Korea to train them intensively.[16] Yangzee players received benefits like exemption from military service, long-term overseas training and high salaries in return for intensive training.[16] At the 1968 Summer Olympics qualification, South Korea was eliminated by goal difference although their points were tied with Japan, the group winners.[17] They also participated in the 1969 Asian Club Championship, finishing as runners-up.[18] However, South Korea failed to qualify for the 1970 FIFA World Cup despite governmental support, and Yangzee was losing support as Kim Hyong-uk, the director of KCIA and supporter of the club, was dismissed from his post, and tensions between South and North Korea were beginning to subside.[16] Yangzee was eventually dissolved in March 1970 without ever having played against North Korea, but players achieved a good result by winning the 1970 Asian Games.[19]

Second World Cup team (1986)

In 1985, South Korea won the East Asian tournament of the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification including two victories against Japan in the final round, and was able to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1954. After one of the greatest forwards of German Bundesliga at that time, Cha Bum-kun,[22][23] joined the existing winning team, the South Korean squad for the 1986 FIFA World Cup was evaluated as the golden generation in their country.[24] 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. They conceded Alessandro Altobelli's opening goal, but Choi Soon-ho scored the equalizer outside the penalty area. However, Altobelli's second goal was followed by Cho Kwang-rae's fatal own goal, and South Korea lost 3–2 in the match although Huh Jung-moo pulled one back. Afterwards, South Korean newscasts and journalists criticized the referee David Socha, claiming that his judgements about situations of the game were poor including the decision to award a penalty to Italy.[25][26] South Korea redeemed their failure of World Cup success with a gold at the 1986 Asian Games.[27]

Tragedy of Marseille (1998)

In 1997, Cha Bum-kun became the head coach going into the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification. South Korea consecutively won four early qualifiers against Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, and quickly solidified their position as first place of the group. At the 1998 FIFA World Cup, they lost their first match against Mexico 3–1. Ha Seok-ju scored a deflected free kick for the opening goal, but was then sent off only three minutes after for an ill-advised tackle.[28] South Korea was then thoroughly outclassed by the Netherlands, managed by Guus Hiddink, losing 5–0 in Marseille. Cha was sacked in the middle of the group stage after the loss to the Netherlands. The only South Korean player to be praised from the match was the goalkeeper Kim Byung-ji,[29] who conceded five of the Netherlands' 17 shots on target.[30] The team then managed a 1–1 draw against Belgium.

Hiddink's magic (2002)

Seoul Plaza during the 2002 World Cup

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.[32] The KFA promised him to ensure long-term training camps and authority about management of coaching staff.[33] 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 Hiddink and gave him a nickname "Oh-dae-ppang", which means five to nothing in Korean, when South Korea lost 5–0 again in the friendly match against Czech Republic after the Confederations Cup.[34] At the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup, South Korea finished in fourth place with two draws and three losses without a win. However, they showed their improvement in friendly matches against European teams just before the World Cup, finishing the preparation for the tournament successfully.[35][36][37]

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.[38]

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 disallowed by the referees.[39][40] 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.[41] 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.[citation needed]

Captain Park era (2008)

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

In 2008, South Korea chose Huh Jung-moo as their manager, and Park Ji-sung as the next captain. Under Huh, the South Korean team was undefeated for 27 consecutive games in 2009.[43] At the fourth round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, they recorded four wins and four draws without a loss against North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. Park Ji-sung, Park Chu-young, Lee Chung-yong and Ki Sung-yueng were in charge of South Korea's attack in the qualifiers, and were evaluated as four key players in the squad at the time.[44]

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 4–1 defeat, 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.

Proactive football (2022)

Paulo Bento was the longest-serving manager in South Korean national team history.[45]

Kim Pan-gon, the KFA official in charge of finding a new coach, contracted Paulo Bento and his coaching team to set long-term goals after the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[46] Bento showed a philosophy that wasn't dominated by the opposition's tactics and maintained his team's build-up play.[47] However, South Korea, an underdog in the World Cup, had been familiar with reactive tactics that focus on defense. His style received negative assessments from a significant number of KFA's executives, and he came under fire from the South Korean media. Bento severed relations with the technical committee and managed the national team with only his coaching staff after Kim Pan-gon resigned from the association. Nevertheless, the national team players were attracted to his tactics and systematic training programs, and strongly supported him.[48]

Bento's team easily qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup after scoring well against Asian teams, but the media still doubted that his proactive tactics would be effective against World Cup giants. Before the tournament, Son Heung-min, the Premier League Golden Boot winner and one of South Korea's key players, injured his eye socket and wasn't in optimal condition.[49] At the World Cup, South Korea contested a goalless draw with Uruguay, but encountered a crisis after losing 3–2 to Ghana in the second match. Their defense failed to block all three of Ghana's shots on target, although their striker Cho Gue-sung scored two goals with headers.[50] Bento was sent off for arguing with referee Anthony Taylor just after the match ended,[51] and had to see South Korea's last group match against his homeland Portugal in the stands. However, South Korea defeated Portugal 2–1 with Kim Young-gwon and Hwang Hee-chan's goals, advancing to the knockout stage as group runners-up.[52] Despite a 4–1 defeat to Brazil in the round of 16, the four-year challenge with Bento was finally appreciated by journalists and set a good direction for South Korean football.[53]

Team image

Nicknames

The South Korea national football team has been known or nicknamed as the Taegeuk Warriors (Korean태극전사) and the Tigers of Asia (Korean아시아의 호랑이).[54][55]

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.[56] On 5 February 2020, the KFA announced a new, more simplistic logo.[57] The emblem retained the tiger, albeit in a more minimalist design, enclosed in a rectangular frame.[57] Red, blue and white, South Korea's traditional colors, have been maintained in the new logo.[57]

Kit suppliers

Kit supplier Period Notes
Adidas, Asics, Kolon Sports,
Prospecs, Weekend [ko]
1977–1985 South Korea didn't have an exclusive kit sponsor at that time,
though they contracted with Adidas as their first official kit sponsor.[58]
Weekend [ko] 1985–1988 Sportswear brand of Samsung C&T Corporation[59]
Rapido [ko] 1988–1995 Weekend was renamed "Rapido" in January 1988.[60]
Nike 1996–present Contracted at the end of 1995,[61] and sponsored since 1 January 1996.

Kit deals

Kit supplier Period Contract date Contract duration Total Annual Ref.
Nike 1996–present
December 1995
1996–1997 $3 million $1.5 million
16 December 1997 1998–2002 $38 million $7.6 million [62]
9 January 2003 2003–2007 $50 million $10.0 million [63]
23 October 2007 2008–2011 $49 million $12.3 million [64]
13 January 2012 2012–2019 $120 million $15.0 million [65]
20 January 2020
2020–2031 $204 million $17.0 million [66]

Home stadium

Main article: List of football stadiums in South Korea

The South Korea national team played their first home match at the Dongdaemun Stadium on 21 April 1956. The match was a qualifier for the 1956 AFC Asian Cup against the Philippines.[67] They currently play their home matches at several stadiums, which are also used by K League clubs.

Rivalries

Main articles: Football rivalries between Japan–South Korea, between Australia–South Korea, between China–South Korea, and between North Korea–South Korea

South Korea's biggest rival is Japan. The rivalry is an extension of a competitive rivalry between the two nations that goes beyond football, and some matches in the past have been tainted with controversy.[68][69] South Korea leads the all-time series with 42 wins, 23 draws and 16 losses.[70]

A rivalry has also developed with Iran.[71] The two nations have played against each other officially since 1958, totalling 33 matches as of March 2022, including eleven World Cup qualifiers. South Korea and Iran were among the strongest Asian national 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, 10 draws and 10 losses.[70]

Another major rival is Australia. In head-to-head matches, each team achieved 9 wins in 29 encounters, and 11 matches ended in a draw.[70] The two countries have also met in four matches at the Asian Cup,[72] including the 2015 final, where Australia won 2–1 after extra time for their first ever Asian championship.[73]

South Korea has had great success against China, as China failed to beat them in competitive matches for 32 years before finally winning in 2010.[74] They also possess a strong rivalry with North Korea, though matches are infrequent due to diplomatic and security reasons.

Supporters

Main article: Red Devils (supporters club)

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.[38] Their most common chant is "Dae~ Han-Min-Guk" (Korean대~한민국, lit. Republic of Korea or Great Korea), followed by five claps.[75] The FIFA Fan Fest was introduced at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea.

Recent results and fixtures

Main article: South Korea national football team results (2020–present)

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.[76][77][78][79]

  Win0   Draw0   Loss0   Fixture

2023

7 September Friendly Wales  0–0  South Korea Cardiff, Wales
19:45 UTC+1 Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 13,668
Referee: Willie Collum (Scotland)
12 September Friendly Saudi Arabia  0–1  South Korea Newcastle upon Tyne, England
17:30 UTC+1 Report
Stadium: St James' Park
Attendance: 3,000
Referee: Andrew Madley (England)
13 October Friendly South Korea  4–0  Tunisia Seoul, South Korea
20:00 UTC+9
Report Stadium: Seoul World Cup Stadium
Attendance: 59,018
Referee: Amirul Izwan Yaacob (Malaysia)
17 October Friendly South Korea  6–0  Vietnam Suwon, South Korea
20:00 UTC+9 Report Stadium: Suwon World Cup Stadium
Attendance: 42,175
Referee: Amirul Izwan Yaacob (Malaysia)
16 November 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification South Korea  5–0  Singapore Seoul, South Korea
20:00 UTC+9 Report Stadium: Seoul World Cup Stadium
Attendance: 64,381
Referee: Bijan Heydari (Iran)
21 November 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification China  0–3  South Korea Shenzhen, China
20:00 UTC+8 Report Stadium: Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre
Attendance: 39,969
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar)

2024

6 January Friendly South Korea  1–0  Iraq Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
17:00 UTC+4 Report Stadium: New York University Stadium
Attendance: 100
Referee: Yahya Al-Mulla (United Arab Emirates)
15 January 2023 AFC Asian Cup Group E South Korea  3–1  Bahrain Al Rayyan, Qatar
14:30 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Jassim bin Hamad Stadium
Attendance: 8,388
Referee: Ma Ning (China)
20 January 2023 AFC Asian Cup Group E Jordan  2–2  South Korea Doha, Qatar
14:30 UTC+3 Report
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium
Attendance: 36,627
Referee: Salman Falahi (Qatar)
25 January 2023 AFC Asian Cup Group E South Korea  3–3  Malaysia Al Wakrah, Qatar
14:30 UTC+3 Report
Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium
Attendance: 30,117
Referee: Khalid Al-Turais (Saudi Arabia)
30 January 2023 AFC Asian Cup round of 16 Saudi Arabia  1–1 (a.e.t.)
(2–4 p)
 South Korea Al Rayyan, Qatar
19:00 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Education City Stadium
Attendance: 42,389
Referee: Ilgiz Tantashev (Uzbekistan)
Penalties
2 February 2023 AFC Asian Cup quarter-finals Australia  1–2 (a.e.t.)  South Korea Al Wakrah, Qatar
18:30 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium
Attendance: 39,632
Referee: Ahmed Al-Kaf (Oman)
6 February 2023 AFC Asian Cup semi-finals Jordan  2–0  South Korea Al Rayyan, Qatar
18:00 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
Attendance: 42,850
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed (United Arab Emirates)
21 March 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification South Korea  1–1  Thailand Seoul, South Korea
20:00 UTC+9 Report
Stadium: Seoul World Cup Stadium
Attendance: 64,912
Referee: Khalid Al-Turais (Saudi Arabia)
26 March 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification Thailand  0–3  South Korea Bangkok, Thailand
19:30 UTC+7 Report Stadium: Rajamangala Stadium
Attendance: 45,458
Referee: Adham Makhadmeh (Jordan)
6 June 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification Singapore  0–7  South Korea Kallang, Singapore
20:00 UTC+8 Report Stadium: Singapore National Stadium
Attendance: 49,097
Referee: Sadullo Gulmurodi (Tajikistan)
11 June 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification South Korea  1–0  China Seoul, South Korea
20:00 UTC+9 Report Stadium: Seoul World Cup Stadium
Attendance: 64,935
Referee: Mohammed Al Hoish (Saudi Arabia)
5 September 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification South Korea  v  Palestine South Korea
10 September 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification Oman  v  South Korea Oman
10 October 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification Jordan  v  South Korea Jordan
15 October 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification South Korea  v  Iraq South Korea
14 November 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification Kuwait  v  South Korea Kuwait
19 November 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification Palestine  v  South Korea

2025

20 March 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification South Korea  v  Oman South Korea
25 March 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification South Korea  v  Jordan South Korea
5 June 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification Iraq  v  South Korea Iraq
10 June 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification South Korea  v  Kuwait South Korea

All-time results

Main article: South Korea national football team results

As of 11 June 2024
Results by decade
Year GP W D L Win % Matches
1948–1959 48 28 9 11 058.33 Matches
1960–1969 90 52 15 23 057.78 Matches
1970–1979 186 117 44 25 062.90 Matches
1980–1989 129 75 29 25 058.14 Matches
1990–1999 151 70 45 36 046.36 Matches
2000–2009 171 76 56 39 044.44 Matches
2010–2019 154 81 31 42 052.60 Matches
2020–present 53 31 12 10 058.49 Matches
Total 982 530 241 211 053.97

Coaching staff

Hong Myung-bo was appointed South Korea's 74th manager in July 2024.
Guus Hiddink is widely regarded as the most successful manager in South Korean football history.[80][81]

Main article: List of South Korea national football team managers

As of 13 July 2024
Current coaching staff
Position Name
Manager South Korea Hong Myung-bo
Assistant manager Vacant
Coach Vacant
Goalkeeping coach Vacant
Fitness coach Vacant

Players

Current squad

The following players were called up for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Singapore and China on 6 and 11 June 2024, respectively.[82][83]

Caps and goals updated as of 11 June 2024, after the match against China.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Song Bum-keun (1997-10-15) 15 October 1997 (age 26) 1 0 Japan Shonan Bellmare
12 1GK Hwang In-jae (1994-04-22) 22 April 1994 (age 30) 0 0 South Korea Pohang Steelers
21 1GK Jo Hyeon-woo (1991-09-25) 25 September 1991 (age 32) 33 0 South Korea Ulsan HD

2 2DF Hwang Jae-won (2002-08-16) 16 August 2002 (age 21) 2 0 South Korea Daegu FC
3 2DF Kim Jin-su (1992-06-13) 13 June 1992 (age 32) 74 2 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
4 2DF Ha Chang-rae (1994-10-16) 16 October 1994 (age 29) 0 0 Japan Nagoya Grampus
14 2DF Cho Yu-min (1996-11-17) 17 November 1996 (age 27) 7 0 United Arab Emirates Sharjah
15 2DF Choi Jun (1999-04-17) 17 April 1999 (age 25) 0 0 South Korea FC Seoul
16 2DF Lee Myung-jae (1993-11-04) 4 November 1993 (age 30) 1 0 South Korea Ulsan HD
20 2DF Kwon Kyung-won (1992-01-31) 31 January 1992 (age 32) 32 2 South Korea Suwon FC
22 2DF Park Seung-wook (1997-05-07) 7 May 1997 (age 27) 2 0 South Korea Gimcheon Sangmu

5 3MF Jung Woo-young (1989-12-14) 14 December 1989 (age 34) 74 3 South Korea Ulsan HD
6 3MF Hwang In-beom (1996-09-20) 20 September 1996 (age 27) 60 6 Serbia Red Star Belgrade
7 3MF Son Heung-min (captain) (1992-07-08) 8 July 1992 (age 32) 127 48 England Tottenham Hotspur
8 3MF Park Yong-woo (1993-09-10) 10 September 1993 (age 30) 15 0 United Arab Emirates Al-Ain
10 3MF Lee Jae-sung (1992-08-10) 10 August 1992 (age 31) 88 11 Germany Mainz 05
11 3MF Hwang Hee-chan (1996-01-26) 26 January 1996 (age 28) 66 14 England Wolverhampton Wanderers
13 3MF Hong Hyun-seok (1999-06-16) 16 June 1999 (age 25) 12 0 Belgium Gent
17 3MF Um Won-sang (1999-01-06) 6 January 1999 (age 25) 8 0 South Korea Ulsan HD
18 3MF Lee Kang-in (2001-02-19) 19 February 2001 (age 23) 29 10 France Paris Saint-Germain
23 3MF Bae Jun-ho (2003-08-21) 21 August 2003 (age 20) 2 1 England Stoke City

9 4FW Joo Min-kyu (1990-04-13) 13 April 1990 (age 34) 4 1 South Korea Ulsan HD
19 4FW Oh Se-hun (1999-01-15) 15 January 1999 (age 25) 1 0 Japan Machida Zelvia

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 Lee Chang-geun (1993-08-30) 30 August 1993 (age 30) 1 0 South Korea Daejeon Hana Citizen v.  Thailand, 26 March 2024
GK Kim Seung-gyu (1990-09-30) 30 September 1990 (age 33) 81 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab 2023 AFC Asian Cup INJ
GK Kim Jun-hong (2003-06-03) 3 June 2003 (age 21) 0 0 South Korea Gimcheon Sangmu v.  Vietnam, 17 October 2023

DF Kim Young-gwon (1990-02-27) 27 February 1990 (age 34) 111 7 South Korea Ulsan HD v.  Thailand, 26 March 2024
DF Kim Min-jae (1996-11-15) 15 November 1996 (age 27) 63 4 Germany Bayern Munich v.  Thailand, 26 March 2024
DF Kim Moon-hwan (1995-08-01) 1 August 1995 (age 28) 27 0 South Korea Daejeon Hana Citizen v.  Thailand, 26 March 2024
DF Seol Young-woo (1998-12-05) 5 December 1998 (age 25) 16 0 Serbia Red Star Belgrade v.  Thailand, 26 March 2024
DF Kim Tae-hwan (1989-07-24) 24 July 1989 (age 34) 31 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2023 AFC Asian Cup
DF Jung Seung-hyun (1994-04-03) 3 April 1994 (age 30) 25 1 United Arab Emirates Al-Wasl 2023 AFC Asian Cup
DF Lee Ki-je (1991-07-09) 9 July 1991 (age 33) 14 0 South Korea Suwon Samsung Bluewings 2023 AFC Asian Cup
DF Kim Ju-sung (2000-12-12) 12 December 2000 (age 23) 2 0 South Korea FC Seoul 2023 AFC Asian Cup
DF Kim Ji-soo (2004-12-24) 24 December 2004 (age 19) 0 0 England Brentford 2023 AFC Asian Cup
DF Kang Sang-woo (1993-10-07) 7 October 1993 (age 30) 3 0 South Korea FC Seoul v.  Saudi Arabia, 12 September 2023
DF Ahn Hyeon-beom (1994-12-21) 21 December 1994 (age 29) 1 0 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v.  Saudi Arabia, 12 September 2023

MF Jeong Woo-yeong (1999-09-20) 20 September 1999 (age 24) 22 4 Germany VfB Stuttgart v.  Thailand, 26 March 2024
MF Paik Seung-ho (1997-03-17) 17 March 1997 (age 27) 17 3 England Birmingham City v.  Thailand, 26 March 2024
MF Song Min-kyu (1999-09-12) 12 September 1999 (age 24) 14 1 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v.  Thailand, 26 March 2024
MF Park Jin-seop (1995-10-23) 23 October 1995 (age 28) 6 1 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v.  Thailand, 26 March 2024
MF Jeong Ho-yeon (2000-09-28) 28 September 2000 (age 23) 1 0 South Korea Gwangju FC v.  Thailand, 26 March 2024
MF Moon Seon-min (1992-06-09) 9 June 1992 (age 32) 16 2 South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2023 AFC Asian Cup
MF Lee Soon-min (1994-05-22) 22 May 1994 (age 30) 4 0 South Korea Daejeon Hana Citizen 2023 AFC Asian Cup
MF Yang Hyun-jun (2002-05-25) 25 May 2002 (age 22) 3 0 Scotland Celtic 2023 AFC Asian Cup
MF Lee Dong-gyeong (1997-09-20) 20 September 1997 (age 26) 8 1 South Korea Gimcheon Sangmu v.  Saudi Arabia, 12 September 2023

FW Cho Gue-sung (1998-01-25) 25 January 1998 (age 26) 39 9 Denmark Midtjylland v.  Thailand, 26 March 2024
FW Oh Hyeon-gyu (2001-04-12) 12 April 2001 (age 23) 11 0 Belgium Genk 2023 AFC Asian Cup
FW Hwang Ui-jo (1992-08-28) 28 August 1992 (age 31) 62 19 England Nottingham Forest v.  China, 21 November 2023

Notes
  • INJ = Withdrew due to injury

Notable former players

The following players were inducted into the KFA Hall of Fame,[84] or were selected for the Korean Best XI of All Time in one or more surveys.[85][86]

  • Goalkeepers

  • Defenders
  • Midfielders
  • Forwards
  • Individual records

    Main article: South Korea national football team records and statistics

    As of 11 June 2024[87]

    Players in bold are still active with South Korea.

    Most appearances

    Hong Myung-bo is South Korea's joint-most capped player with 136 appearances.
    Rank Player Caps Goals Career
    1 Cha Bum-kun 136 58 1972–1986
    Hong Myung-bo 136 10 1990–2002
    3 Lee Woon-jae 133 0 1994–2010
    4 Lee Young-pyo 127 5 1999–2011
    Son Heung-min 127 48 2010–present
    6 Kim Ho-kon 124 5 1971–1979
    7 Yoo Sang-chul 122 18 1994–2005
    8 Cho Young-jeung 113 1 1975–1986
    9 Kim Young-gwon 111 7 2010–present
    10 Ki Sung-yueng 110 10 2008–2019

    Top goalscorers

    Cha Bum-kun is South Korea's joint-most capped player and top goalscorer with 58 goals.
    Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
    1 Cha Bum-kun 58 136 0.43 1972–1986
    2 Hwang Sun-hong 50 103 0.49 1988–2002
    3 Son Heung-min 48 127 0.38 2010–present
    4 Park Lee-chun 36 89 0.4 1969–1974
    5 Kim Jae-han 33 57 0.58 1972–1979
    Lee Dong-gook 33 105 0.31 1998–2017
    7 Choi Soon-ho 30 103 0.29 1980–1991
    8 Kim Do-hoon 29 72 0.4 1994–2003
    Huh Jung-moo 29 84 0.35 1974–1986
    10 Choi Yong-soo 27 67 0.4 1995–2003
    Lee Tae-ho 27 72 0.38 1980–1991
    Kim Jin-kook 27 94 0.29 1972–1978

    Competitive record

      Champions0   Runners-up0   Third place0   Tournament played on home soil

    FIFA World Cup

    Main article: South Korea at the FIFA World Cup

    FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
    Year Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA
    1930 to 1938 Part of Japan Part of Japan
    Brazil 1950 Did not enter Did not enter
    Switzerland 1954 Group stage 2 0 0 2 0 16 Squad 2 1 1 0 7 3
    Sweden 1958 Did not enter Entry denied by FIFA[88]
    Chile 1962 Did not qualify 4 2 0 2 6 9
    England 1966 Did not enter 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 3 0 1 2 4 7 Squad 8 7 0 1 17 3
    Italy 1990 3 0 0 3 1 6 Squad 11 9 2 0 30 1
    United States 1994 3 0 2 1 4 5 Squad 13 9 3 1 32 5
    France 1998 3 0 1 2 2 9 Squad 12 9 2 1 28 8
    South Korea Japan 2002 Fourth place 7 3 2 2 8 6 Squad Qualified as hosts
    Germany 2006 Group stage 3 1 1 1 3 4 Squad 12 7 3 2 18 7
    South Africa 2010 Round of 16 4 1 1 2 6 8 Squad 14 7 7 0 22 7
    Brazil 2014 Group stage 3 0 1 2 3 6 Squad 14 8 3 3 27 11
    Russia 2018 3 1 0 2 3 3 Squad 18 12 3 3 38 10
    Qatar 2022 Round of 16 4 1 1 2 5 8 Squad 16 12 3 1 35 4
    Canada Mexico United States 2026 To be determined 6 5 1 0 20 1
    Morocco Portugal Spain 2030 To be determined
    Saudi Arabia 2034
    Total Fourth place 38 7 10 21 39 78 11/19[a] 157 99 40 18 319 91
    1. ^ Statistics since 1948, when South Korea became a member of FIFA.

    Summer Olympics

    Football at the Summer Olympics has been an under-23 tournament since 1992.
    Summer Olympics record Qualification record[89]
    Year Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA
    1900 to 1908 Part of the Korean Empire Part of the Korean Empire
    1912 to 1936 Part of Japan Part of Japan
    United Kingdom 1948 Quarter-finals 2 1 0 1 5 15 Squad Directly qualified
    Finland 1952 Did not enter 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 3[a] 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 3[b] 0 2 1 1 2 Squad Qualified as hosts
    1992 to present Entered with the under-23 team Entered with the under-23 team
    Total Quarter-finals 8 1 2 5 7 37 3/11[c] 42 24 7 11 91 39
    1. ^ Includes one unofficial match against Brazil Olympic.
    2. ^ Includes two unofficial matches against the Soviet Union Olympic and Argentina Olympic.
    3. ^ Statistics since 1947, when South Korea became a member of the International Olympic Committee.

    AFC Asian Cup

    Main article: South Korea at the AFC Asian Cup

    AFC Asian Cup record Qualification record
    Year Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA
    British Hong Kong 1956 Champions 3 2 1 0 9 6 Squad 4 4 0 0 9 1
    South Korea 1960 Champions 3 3 0 0 9 1 Squad Qualified as hosts
    Israel 1964 Third place 3[a] 1 0 2 2 4 Squad Direct entry
    Pahlavi Iran 1968 Did not qualify 4 1 1 2 9 4
    1972 Runners-up 5 1 2 2 7 6 Squad Direct entry
    Pahlavi Iran 1976 Did not qualify 4 2 0 2 3 3
    Kuwait 1980 Runners-up 6 4 1 1 12 6 Squad 3 3 0 0 10 1
    Singapore 1984 Group stage 4 0 2 2 1 3 Squad 4 3 1 0 13 0
    Qatar 1988 Runners-up 6 5 1 0 11 3 Squad 3[a] 1 1 1 5 3
    Japan 1992 Did not qualify 2[a] 1 0 1 7 2
    United Arab Emirates 1996 Quarter-finals 4 1 1 2 7 11 Squad 3 3 0 0 17 0
    Lebanon 2000 Third place 6 3 1 2 9 6 Squad 3 3 0 0 19 0
    China 2004 Quarter-finals 4 2 1 1 9 4 Squad 6 4 0 2 30 4
    Indonesia Malaysia Vietnam 2007 Third place 6 1 4 1 3 3 Squad 6 3 2 1 15 5
    Qatar 2011 Third place 6 4 2 0 13 7 Squad Directly qualified
    Australia 2015 Runners-up 6 5 0 1 8 2 Squad Directly qualified
    United Arab Emirates 2019 Quarter-finals 5 4 0 1 6 2 Squad 8 8 0 0 27 0
    Qatar 2023 Semi-finals 6 2 3 1 11 10 Squad 6 5 1 0 22 1
    Saudi Arabia 2027 Qualified 6 5 1 0 20 1
    Total Champions 73 38 19 16 117 74 16/19 62 46 7 9 206 25
    1. ^ a b c South Korea played with their "B" team.

    Asian Games

    Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
    Asian Games record
    Year Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad
    India 1951 Did not enter
    Philippines 1954 Silver medalists 4 1 2 1 15 12 Squad
    Japan 1958 Silver medalists 5 4 0 1 15 6 Squad
    Indonesia 1962 Silver medalists 5 4 0 1 9 5 Squad
    1966 First round 2 0 0 2 0 4 Squad
    1970 Gold medalists 6 3 2 1 5 3 Squad
    Iran 1974 Second round 5 1 1 3 4 10 Squad
    1978 Gold medalists 7 6 1 0 15 3 Squad
    India 1982 Group stage 3 1 0 2 4 3 Squad
    South Korea 1986 Gold medalists 6 4 2 0 14 3 Squad
    China 1990 Bronze medalists 6 5 0 1 18 1 Squad
    Japan 1994 Fourth place 6 3 0 3 17 7 Squad
    1998 Quarter-finals 6 4 0 2 12 6 Squad
    2002 to present Entered with the under-23 team
    Total Gold medalists 61 36 8 17 128 63 12/13

    EAFF Championship

    EAFF Championship record
    Year Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad
    Japan 2003 Champions 3 2 1 0 4 1 Squad
    South Korea 2005 Fourth place 3 0 2 1 1 2 Squad
    China 2008 Champions 3 1 2 0 5 4 Squad
    Japan 2010 Runners-up 3 2 0 1 8 4 Squad
    South Korea 2013 Third place 3 0 2 1 1 2 Squad
    China 2015 Champions 3 1 2 0 3 1 Squad
    Japan 2017 Champions 3 2 1 0 7 3 Squad
    South Korea 2019 Champions 3 3 0 0 4 0 Squad
    Japan 2022 Runners-up 3 2 0 1 6 3 Squad
    Total Champions 27 13 10 4 39 20 9/9

    Other competitions

    Competition Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad
    United States 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group stage 2 0 2 0 2 2 Squad
    South Korea Japan 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup Group stage 3 2 0 1 3 6 Squad
    United States 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup Fourth place 5 0 2 3 3 7 Squad

    Head-to-head record

    The following table shows South Korea's head-to-head record, correct as of 11 June 2024.[90]

    1. ^ Including Czechoslovakia.
    2. ^ Including South Vietnam.
    3. ^ Including North Yemen.
    4. ^ Including SFR Yugoslavia and FR Yugoslavia.

    Honours

    Intercontinental

    Champions: 1987

    Continental

    Champions: 1956, 1960
    Runners-up: 1972, 1980, 1988, 2015
    Third place: 1964, 2000, 2007, 2011
    Gold medalists: 1970, 1978, 1986
    Silver medalists: 1954, 1958, 1962
    Bronze medalists: 1990

    Regional

    Champions: 2003, 2008, 2015, 2017, 2019
    Runners-up: 2010, 2022
    Third place: 2013

    Minor competitions

    Other awards

    See also

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