Taeguk Warriors icons Ahn Junghwan and Park Jisung have been unveiled as Local Organising Committee (LOC) Ambassadors for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 at a ceremony in Seoul.
The event, held at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies on Wednesday 18 May, saw the legendary duo appointed by Chung Monggyu and Cha Bumkun, chairman and vice-chairman of the LOC, and Kim Jungnam, president of OB Footballers.
"Preparations for the U-20 tournament will get a big boost because of Park and Ahn," said Chung who is also president of the Korea Football Association. "The addition of these two stars will motivate many young players."
Neither of these former internationals needed any introduction, of course, with Park renowned the world over for a glittering career in in which he won the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup – becoming the first Asian player to claim these prizes – as well as four Premier League titles with Manchester United. The former midfielder, who retired in 2014, also earned 100 caps for his country, representing Korea Republic at three different FIFA World Cups.
The best of the three came in 2002, when Ahn emerged as the hero of the team that finished fourth on home soil. It was the then Perugia forward’s unforgettable extra-time winner against Italy that took the Taeguk Warriors through to the quarter-finals and cemented forever his place in the nation’s hearts. Ahn, who won 71 caps and also starred with Park in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, is now a famous TV personality in his home country.
Both were welcomed and congratulated by chairman Chung, who handed the pair certicificates of appointment before a talk show took place in which the two former players spoke about the U-20 World Cup and offered advice to the players involved.
The 24-team tournament will be played out in six cities - Cheonan, Daejeon, Incheon, Jeju, Jeonju and Suwon – between 20 May and 11 June 2017.