South Korean 2002 World Cup Team to Play Charity Match for 2018 Team

Hyo Jin Lee, May 22, 2018, 7:53 a.m.

Members of the most successful South Korean World Cup team will hold a charity match later this month to cheer on this year's World Cup squad.

"Team 2002," made up of players and coaches from the 2002 World Cup squad that reached the semifinals, said Tuesday their charity match will take place at Seoul World Cup Stadium on May 31.

Prior to the match, the former players will each tape a message of encouragement for this year's national team set to compete at the World Cup in Russia next month.

Among those taking the field will be Hong Myung-bo, captain of the 2002 team; former star forward Ahn Jung-hwan; defensive stalwart Lee Young-pyo; and versatile midfielder Park Ji-sung.

Ahn, Lee and Park will work as television analysts during the World Cup.

Under the guidance of Dutchman Guus Hiddink, South Korea made a Cinderella run to the final four at the 2002 tournament, which the country co-hosted with Japan. The Taeguk Warriors haven't come close to matching that feat since, reaching the last 16 in 2010 but getting knocked out of the group stage in both 2006 and 2014.

This year's team will also face an uphill battle, having been paired with Germany, the world No. 1 and defending champions, Mexico and Sweden in Group F.

Head coach Shin Tae-yong has also been dealt some major injury blows, with key players both on offense and defense sidelined in recent weeks.

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