FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Korea Republic are Asia’s most successful FIFA World Cup nation. They have featured in nine World Cups, reaching the 2002 semi-finals on home soil. They had a one-off visit to the world stage in 1954, before enduring a 32-year drought. Despite their competitive showings during the 1980s and 90s, Korea Republic had never won a match until they co-hosted in 2002. Under Guus Hiddink they defeated Poland, Portugal, Italy and Spain en route to the last four. In 2010, they made history by again reaching the knockout stage for the first time on foreign soil, before a tense defeat against Uruguay in the Round of 16. Brazil 2014 saw South Korea suffer a group-stage exit despite a draw with Russia.

The team
Following an indifferent qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014, Korea Republic appear a team on the up under new coach Uli Stielike who replaced the legendary Hong Myungbo in 2014. There are few old stagers in a side which is looking increasingly difficult to score against, but has plenty of attacking weaponry at the other end of the pitch. The quantity of players making their mark in the German Bundesliga is rapidly growing, most notably Koo Jacheol and Son Heungmin, and the pair, along with captain Ki Sungyueng, are an integral part of the Taeguk Warriors.

The coach
Veteran German coach Uli Stielike made an immediate impact when he arrived to take the team’s reins in the wake of Brazil 2014. A key member of Germany’s national team for many years until his international swansong in 1984, Stielike has enjoyed a lengthy coaching career across three continents, including the national teams of Switzerland and Côte d'Ivoire. The South Koreans immediately enjoyed strong results under Stielike, reaching the AFC Asian Cup final in 2015 thus ending a 27-year drought from the continental decider.

The stat
– Korea Republic have featured in eight successive World Cups dating back to 1986.

The former stars
Cha Bumkun, Hong Myungbo, Park Jisung