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 the South Koreans suffer a group-stage exit despite a draw with Russia. They became the third side from Asia to reach Russia 2018, thanks to a finishing second in Asian qualifying Group A behind Iran.

The team
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
Shin Taeyong was appointed in July 2017 following the dismissal of Uli Stielike a month earlier. A former midfielder for the Taeguk Warriors, the 46-year-old Taeyong most recently coached the home nation at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 and won the AFC Champions League with Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma in 2010.

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

The former stars
Cha Bumkun, Hong Myungbo, Park Jisung