South Korean Football - A Strong Presence In Asian And Global Arena

South Korean football - a strong presence in Asian and global arena

ABU DHABI, (Pakistan Point News - 16th May, 2023) Football in South Korea dates back to 1882, more than 140 years ago, and the first professional football league championship in the country was launched in 1983,which a beginning towards a golden march of the game.

In just four decades, football in South Korea has succeeded in leaving a great imprint on the Asian and international arenas with various Korean clubs and teams.

South Korea's best ever result was the fourth place at the 2002 World Cup, a jewel in the crown of Korean football, after the Asian Cup title Korea won a decade before.

The powerful league championship in South Korea has always attracted a large audience since its inception in the 1980s. South Korean clubs have made their presence felt on the Asian scene with several titles and achievements.

In only four decades, the K-League, the top professional football league in South Korea, has produced many distinguished teams, capable of competing strongly on the continental stage, such as Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma (now known as Seongnam FC), Ulsan Hyundai, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Pohang Steelers.

Jeonbuk has the largest number of titles in the Korean Professional League, with nine titles, compared to seven titles of the Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma.

Korea also made their presence felt on the Asian arena with several titles and achievements in the AFC Champions League.

For example, South Korea tops the list of countries whose teams have won the AFC Champions League title with 12 titles so far, compared to eight titles of Japanese clubs and six titles of Saudi clubs.

Pohang Steelers comes at the forefront of the Korean clubs, which won the continental title thrice, compared to two titles each of Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Suwon samsung Bluewings, and Ulsan Hyundai.

South Korean clubs won the runners-up title in seven other editions of the AFC Champions League, being the most to reach the final matches of the tournament in 19 times.

The achievements of the Korean clubs coincided with the best achievement of the South Korean national team in its history when the team made its way to the golden square of the 2002 World Cup.

They advanced to the semi-finals after defeating Italy and Spain in the knockout stages. In the semi-finals, they were eventually eliminated by Germany, finishing in fourth place overall.

The Korean team was the first from outside Europe and the Americas, to accomplish the achievement of reaching the golden square in the World Cup, and it remained the only one to achieve this until the Moroccan national team succeeded in repeating it during the last edition.

Along with this global achievement, the Korean national team left a very early imprint on the continental scene by winning the title of the first two editions of the AFC Asian Cup in 1956 and 1960, in addition to winning the second place four times and the third place three times.

The Korean team won the gold medal in three editions of the Asian Games and won silver medal in three editions and bronze medal in one edition.

The Korean football also presented a group of stars who toured international stadiums, led by Son Heung-min, the current Tottenham Hotspur star, who shared the Premier League top scorer award last season with the Egyptian Mohamed Salah, the Liverpool player.

Former player Park Ji Sung was a star in European stadiums for many years, especially with Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven.