Lucky11| FIFA World Cup: South Korea Squad Analysis
Son Heung-min of Tottenham provides South Korea's attacking unit with strength, according to Paulo Bento.
Since qualifying for the first World Cup in 1954, South Korea has participated in every tournament since; their best-ever performance was in 2002, when they advanced to the semifinals. They crashed out of the competition in the group rounds in 2018 and were eliminated early. Can they perform better this time?
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The first candidate for Bento between the sticks should be Kim Seung-gyu. The 31-year-old has been in outstanding form in the top division of Saudi Arabia and is a regular for Al-Shabab. Another candidate for the starting spot is Jo Hyeon-woo, who has been reliable for Ulsan Hyundai.
Then there are players like Song Bum-keun and Kim Dong-jun, who had already made an impression with the U-23 setup.
Bento prefers to have a four-man backline for his squad. Since Kim Young-gwon is one of the most seasoned contenders and has close to 100 international appearances, he will be in charge of managing the defense.
Kim Min-Jae, who plays for Serie A team Napoli, is most likely to be his partner in crime at the center of the defense. He frequently contributes significant goals during set-pieces, which will help South Korea at the World Cup. The obvious pick at left-back should be Kim Jin-Su, although Chul Hong of Daegu FC will challenge his sway there as well.
Kim Moon-hwan and Kim Tae-Hwan are the two candidates for right back, and Bento will have a difficult decision to make.
The Taegeuk Warriors' midfield is well-rounded and has the ideal ratio of youth and experience. Hwang In-beom can dismantle enemy assaults and regain possession, giving him a strong presence in central midfield.
Lee Jae-Sung of FSV Mainz, who exudes confidence on the ball and enjoys setting the pace of the game, is the ideal partner for him. Paik Seung-Ho of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors is another competitor with the ability to do well on the largest stage.
Lee Kang-in of the Spanish team Mallorca causes Bento further selection difficulties because he is also vying for a position in the midfield.
The forward line is the strongest section in Korea. Son Heung-min, a star for Tottenham Hotspur, is Korea's best hope, and much will depend on how he plays in Qatar. The 30-year-old will have the help of Hwang Ui-jo and Hwang Hee-chan, among others.
The latter works for Premier League team Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Bento's squad will benefit from his experience. Freiburg's Jeong Woo-yeong, who played regularly in the Bundesliga, will also be vying for a starting position.
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