Like Argentina, who won the World Cup after 36 years, and LG Twins, who won the Korean Series after 29 years, can Korean soccer fulfill its destiny?
South Korea’s soccer team has been touted as the “powerhouse of Asia” with 10 consecutive World Cup finals appearances, but has yet to win the Asian Cup. The Asian Cup is a continental championship organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It is the equivalent of the European Football Championship (Euro), which is held every four years and makes even domestic soccer fans go crazy.
Although the tournament is now defunct, the winner received a ticket to the FIFA Confederations Cup, where they could rehearse with the world’s top teams a year before the World Cup.
But after winning back-to-back titles at the inaugural edition in Hong Kong in 1956 and the second edition in South Korea in 1960, South Korea hasn’t won the Asian Cup in 63 years.
Rather, it has been a tournament of misfortune. At the 1992 tournament in Japan, they fielded an unemployed squad in the preliminary round before losing to Thailand, and at the 1996 tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), they lost 2-6 in the quarterfinals to Iran, conceding four goals to their star striker Ali Daiei.
At the 2015 tournament in Australia, they reached the final with a five-game unbeaten run to the semifinals before losing to the hosts in extra time. Four years ago in the UAE, they were shocked by Qatar in the quarterfinals.
Therefore, the expectations of the people and soccer fans for this Asian Cup are expected to increase as the tournament approaches. In particular, there are many predictions that South Korea will be able to reach the top of the Asian Cup, which has not been achieved in more than 60 years, thanks to the presence of world-class European players such as Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan, who are among the top scorers in the Premier League at Tottenham and Wolverhampton, Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), who has been upgraded to a world-class defender, and Lee Kang-in (PSG), who will be responsible for the next 10 years of Korean football. 토토사이트
Jürgen Klinsmann, who leads the Korean national soccer team, has also declared that he is ‘all in’ for the Asian Cup and wants to evaluate himself after the tournament.
The Korean Football Association also announced an incentive fund for the winners early on, showing their desire to be crowned Asian champions.