Korea are the only Asian country besides India and Pakistan to figure in the top ten. Though not being the centre of focus at the World Cups for long, this would be Korea’s fourth consecutive appearance in the tournament.
However, the Koreans are constantly improving and the vast strides they’ve made can be gauged from the fact that they have moved from being ranked eighth in 1994 to fourth in 2002.
Korea are a team that can never be tak en lightly. Runners-up at the Sydney Olympics, the Koreans are known for their speed and stamina, and can outrun any team in the world for the entire duration of play. For India, who are in the same pool as them for the current edition, the Koreans would prove dangerous to get past, besides hosts Germany and Holland.
Korea captain and key player Woon Kon Yeo, 31, is the senior-most in the squad, having led the side at the Athens Olympics. Together with Yong Bae Kim, 32, Woon Kon Yeo forms the vital link in the midfield and the pair would have to play a crucial role in providing opportunities to Jong Ho Seo upfront. Korea finished a poor sixth at the Azlan Shah tournament this year but not before giving a fright to the other teams — they trounced Olympic champions Australia 3-0.
Under coach Myung Jun Cho, the Koreans would be looking to continue their steady climb up the ladder.