Still just 24 years of age, Ri Kwang-Chon is nonetheless one of Korea DPR’s most experienced players at international level, having featured significantly in their qualifying campaigns for the last two FIFA World Cups™.
He was a permanent fixture in coach’s Yun Jong-Su’s squad four years ago, excelling at the back as Korea DPR swept past the likes of United Arab Emirates and Thailand to reach Asia’s final qualifying round for Germany 2006.
Reaching the continent’s last eight was a major achievement for the East Asians but they came up just short against Asia’s elite sites and failed to qualify for the 2006 showpiece. Despite that failure, Korea DPR did succeed in unearthing a host of talented youngsters, with Ri among the most notable. With the precious experience of that 2006 campaign behind him, the April 25 Sports Group star played a vital defensive role as Kim Joon-Hun’s charges mounted a memorable and ultimately successful qualifying campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
Aside from shoring up the defense alongside the likes of Ri Jun-Il and Pak Chol-Jin, Ri’s surging runs forward became a potent feature of the Chollima’s attacking play and he came close to scoring on more that one occasion.