With his ability to turn the flow of the game when it matters most, Ahn Jung-Hwan is arguably Korea Republic’s deadliest finisher of all time and still remains the country’s top scorer at the FIFA World Cup with three goals.
Having opened his account at the finals with a clinical header that earned a 1-1 draw with USA in the group stage, Ahn went on to score the golden goal with another header that eliminated Italy from the Round of 16 at Korea/Japan 2002.
However, that golden moment would prove to be the zenith of his career in professional football, as Ahn was subsequently released by Perugia after the FIFA World Cup. He moved on to continue his journey overseas, to Shimizu S-Pulse and Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, FC Metz in France and then MSV Duisburg in Germany in a bid to return to world football’s showpiece event.
Ahn duly proved that Dick Advocaat’s faith in him was right, by scoring the winner with his right foot in a 2-1 comeback win over Togo in Korea Republic’s opener at Germany 2006. But he could not add more goals to his tally in the remaining games as the Taeguk Warriors failed to advance from the group stage.
He then made a return to the K-League to join Suwon Samsung Bluewings in 2007, only to return to his former club, Busan I’Park, the following season. Ahn is currently plying his trade with Dalian Shide in the Chinese Super League, eyeing another chance to prove his worth, this time in South Africa.