Advocaat confident as he names his Korea squad
SEOUL, May 11 (Reuters) - South Korea coach Dick Advocaat named a balanced and versatile squad on Thursday for next month's World Cup finals in Germany.
South Korea, who reached the last four in the 2002 World Cup finals on home soil before losing to Germany, meet Togo in their opening Group G game on June 13.
'We think we have a very balanced squad and one that can surprise a lot of people in the world,' Advocaat told a news conference.
'We are capable of at least the second round,' he said, adding that anything can happen in a major tournament when it gets to the knock-out stages.
The squad blends well-known players who have established their reputations by playing in Europe with those who have continued to develop at home.
The best-known players in the squad are Manchester United winger Park Ji-sung, who shone at the 2002 finals, and Tottenham Hotspur defender Lee Young-pyo.
Advocaat also opted for the experience of defender Choi Jin-cheul, a key member of Guus Hiddink's 2002 team, and wingback Song Chong-gug, who returned to Korea after a disappointing couple of years at Feyenoord.
MSV Duisburg forward and fan favourite Ahn Jung-hwan also made the squad but there was no place for Cha Du-ri, the son of former national coach Cha Bum-kun.
'We have players who have already played in the World Cup finals,' said Advocaat, adding that his team would be helped by that experience and their subsequent increased international exposure.
'The disadvantage is that we play away,' he said.
South Korea suffered a lengthy hangover following the 2002 World Cup and the departure of their highly-successful Dutch coach Guus Hiddink.
Both of Hiddink's immediate successors, Portugese Humberto Coelho and another Dutchman, Jo Bonfrere failed to sustain the high standards set at Japan-Korea 2002.
Goalkeepers: Lee Woon-jae (Suwon Bluewings), Kim Yong-dae (Seongnam Ilwha) Kim Young-kwang (Chunnam Dragons)
Defenders: Lee Young-pyo (Tottenham Hotspur), Kim Dong-jin (FC Seoul), Cho Won-hee (Suwon Bluewings), Song Chong-gug (Suwon Bluewings), Choi Jin-cheul (Chonbuk Motors), Kim Jin-kyu (Jubilo Iwata), Kim Young-chul (Seongnam Ilwha)
Midfielders: Park Ji-sung (Manchester United), Kim Do-heon (Seongnam Ilwha), Kim Sang-shik (Seongnam Ilwha), Kim Nam-il (Suwon Bluewings), Lee Eul-yong (Trabzonspor), Lee Ho (Ulsan Tigers), Baek Ji-hoon (FC Seoul)
Strikers: Ahn Jung-hwan (MSV Duisburg), Cho Jae-jin (Shimizu S-Pulse), Park Chu-young (FC Seoul), Seol Ki-hyeon (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Lee Chun-soo (Ulsan Tigers), Chung Kyung-ho (Gwangju Sangmu)>