South Korea World Cup 2022 squad: Final 26-man team announced

South Korea World Cup 2022
(Image credit: Getty)

The South Korea World Cup 2022 squad has been announced by manager Paulo Bento, with the 26-man squad featuring Son Heung-min as the star player.  

Only Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Spain have a longer unbroken World Cup finals appearance streak than South Korea’s 10. 

Drawn with Portugal, Ghana and Uruguay in Group H of the Qatar World Cup 2022, the Taegeuk Warriors will be hopeful of making the knockouts, but a so-so qualifying campaign and some worrying performances since then have brought plenty of concern in Seoul. The Asian powerhouse will have to be at their best, though their best has been worryingly absent during recent years.

They will have to expect bigger challenges than the ones they faced during qualifying, though. South Korea had only to finish above Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and the United Arab Emirates, and with each of those four prioritising defence, qualification was never in doubt. After a slow start, performances improved and a first win against Iran since 2011 was welcome – but overall it was far from the test they needed.

They have a decent spine: Napoli’s Kim Min-jae is hugely influential, if he stays fit, and there are plenty of midfield options to play behind the world-class Son Heung-min in attack. Their pace going forward should cause problems.

They still don’t know how to get the best out of Son, while other attackers such as Wolves’ Hwang Hee-chan (left) and Hwang Ui-jo blow hot and cold. South Korea are also vulnerable defensively and a 5-1 gubbing by Brazil in June was shocking in the space that was afforded to the five-time world champions. A 3-0 defeat to old rivals Japan in July only added to the gloom.

South Korea World Cup 2022 squad

South Korea World Cup 2022 squad: The final 26-man team

  • GK: Kim Seung-gyu (Al-Shabab)
  • GK: Jo Hyeon-woo (Ulsan Hyundai)
  • GK: Song Bum-keun (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)
  • DF: Kim Young-gwon (Ulsan Hyundai)
  • DF: Kim Jin-su (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)
  • DF: Hong Chul (Daegu FC)
  • DF: Kim Min-jae (Napoli) 
  • DF: Kwon Kyung-won (Gamba Osaka)
  • DF: Kim Moon-hwan (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)
  • DF: Kim Tae-hwan (Ulsan Hyundai)
  • DF: Cho Yu-min (Daejon Hana Citizen)
  • DF: Yoon Jong-gyu (FC Seoul) 
  • MF: Jung Woo-young (Al-Sadd)
  • MF: Lee Jae-sung (Mainz) 
  • MF: Hwang Hee-chan (Wolves)
  • MF: Kwon Chang-hoon (Gimcheon Sangmu) 
  • MF: Hwang In-beom (Olympiacos)
  • MF: Na Sang-ho (FC Seoul)
  • MF: Son Jun-ho (Shandong Taishan) 
  • MF: Paik Seung-ho (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)
  • MF: Jeong Woo-yeong (Freiburg)
  • MF: Lee Kang-in (Mallorca) 
  • MF: Song Min-kyu (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors) 
  • FW: Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
  • FW: Hwang Ui-jo (Olympiacos)
  • FW: Cho Gue-sung (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)

South Korea top scorers

2 goals - Cho Gue-sung

1 goal - Hwang Heechan, Kim Young-gwon, Paik Seung-Ho

South Korea yellow cards & suspensions

2 yellow cards - Jung Woo-young

1 yellow card - Cho Gue-sung, Kim Young-gwon, Lee Kang-in, Hwang Heechan

South Korea manager

Who is South Korea's manager for the 2022 World Cup?

Paulo Bento has been in place for over four years but has yet to really convince. Efforts to get his team playing from the back don’t look to have worked, at least against stronger opposition. A poor 2019 Asian Cup, losing to Qatar, followed by average World Cup qualification and worrying warm-up results are not alleviating those doubts at all.

South Korea's star player

Who is South Korea's best player?

Who could it be but Asia’s biggest footballing star, Son Heung-min? If Son plays well then South Korea have a chance of doing well, but there is huge pressure on the Spurs star, which has sometimes shown when playing for his country. The 30-year-old skipper can be guilty of trying to do too much and must trust in his team-mates a bit more. 

How many players are South Korea allowed to take to the 2022 World Cup?

National managers were allowed to bring 26 players to last summer’s European Championship for the first time at a major tournament, as a special measure brought in due to the COVID-19 pandemic – while last year's Copa America allowed squads of 28 players.

Now it has been announced that 26-player squads will return for the Qatar World Cup, an expansion from the usual 23-man teams.

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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).

With contributions from