Taeguk Warriors aiming high
© Getty Images

'Attack wins games, defence wins championships,' as the established footballing wisdom goes, and it is a phrase that could prove eerily true at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009 in Egypt.

Korea Republic's Kim Min-Woo, a full-back by trade, proved to be his team's goal hero for the second time when he notched a brace in the Round of 16 victory over Paraguay to secure his side's passage into the quarter-finals. "Of course it was a great feeling," said the 19-year-old in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com.

"In the national side I usually play up front or out wide, but I'll do whatever the coach tells me. I'm happy to play in any position that helps the team. I don't mind where I play, as long as I'm in the starting line-up."

Kim had previously rescued a valuable point against Germany in the group stage which was key to helping the Koreans through to the knockout stages. His next victims were coach Adrian Coria's young Albirroja, although the 3-0 scoreline was hardly a fair reflection of the difficulty the Taeguk Warriors had in overcoming their opposition.

"It was a new stadium for us and we didn't have a chance to train there," said the man of the moment. "We didn't function as a team in the first half, but at the break we told ourselves we needed to work harder and create more space. In the end we managed to forge some chances and we were clinical in front of goal."

We're getting stronger with every game. We're becoming more and more confident and we don't have a problem performing over 90 or 120 minutes because we're super-fit.
Kin Min-Woo, Korea Republic defender.

"You're the best," coach Hong Myung-Bo told his charges following the victory which ensured the nation's third quarter-final appearance in 11 attempts at this level. After finishing fourth in 1983 and making the quarter-finals in 1991, the Korea Republic squad are aiming to make history in North Africa. Form appears to be on their side too - the Koreans began the tournament with a defeat and a draw but have notched victories in each of their last two games.

"The only disappointment we've had so far was against Cameroon - an African side. They have some very physical players and it was a new experience for me," said Kim. "(Quarter-final opponents) Ghana are one of the strongest nations in Africa, but if we play our own game and give it our all, I'm sure we'll get a positive result."

It is obvious that the only star in the Korea Republic squad is the team. Indeed, it is "with teamwork and an all for one and one for all" attitude that Kim plans on beating the Black Satellites at the Mubarak Stadium in Suez on Friday. The young defender-turned-forward somewhat unsurprisingly names former FIFA World Player of the Year Kaka as one of his idols, although more curious were his reasons for his choice: "Kaka is really good-looking and he's a nice guy on and off the pitch," explained Kim with a chuckle.

Kim also has the adidas Golden Shoe in his sights and is determined fire his team to glory with yet more goals: "Everyone dreams of winning the Golden Shoe, so why not me? The team is the most important thing, though. If I have to play at full-back obviously I will have less of a chance, but the team comes before any of my personal ambitions."

Back home, the quietly-spoken Korean is still studying at Yonsei University and dreaming of a successful career in sport. "Of course I hope to become a professional footballer one day, but I'm a student at the moment. I've enjoyed playing at this wonderful tournament and so I'm not thinking too much about the future. What's important is the next match against Ghana."

And what next for the Warriors? "We're getting stronger with every game. We're becoming more and more confident and we don't have a problem performing over 90 or 120 minutes because we're super-fit," added the No3 - a word of warning for the other eight teams still involved at Egypt 2009.