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Stielike seeks to close gap

South Korea
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2016 Olympics men's football final squad lists for all 16 teams

Brazil's Olympic football squad started their preparations ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at their headquarters in Teresopolis on Monday.
Brazil star Neymar sits down for an exclusive chat with ESPN to discuss his side's gold medal chances after coming up short in 2012.
Mexico will hope to defend their Olympic title they won so memorably in London four years ago.
Brazil attacker Gabriel Barbosa has spoken of his excitement ahead of representing Brazil at the Rio Olympics.

The Olympic football tournament is almost set to kick off in Rio de Janeiro. Here are all the final 18-man squads.

*- Overage player born before 1993.


Goalkeepers: Farid Chaal (El Harrach), Abdelkader Salhi (Chlef)

Defenders: Ayoub Abdellaoui (USM Alger), Abdelghani Demmou* (MC Alger), Houari Ferhani (Kabylie), Ryad Keniche (Setif), Miloud Rebiai (Setif)

Midfielders: Haris Belkebla (Tours), Sofiane Bendebka* (Hussein Dey), Abdelraouf Benguit (Paradou), Mohamed Benkhemassa (Alger), Zakaria...

 By John Duerden

Park Chu-Young slowly finding his feet after Arsenal disappointment

Park Chu-young
FC Seoul's Park Chu-young is slowly rebuilding his reputation after his ill-fated decision to join Arsenal over Lille in 2001.

Park Chu-Young's transfer to North London in August 2011 was a surprise at the time and a disaster in hindsight.

If you ever need an example of a bad choice then see the South Korean's decision to suddenly drop negotiations with French champions Lille after three solid years with AS Monaco and head to England.

Park arrived at the Emirates as a 26-year-old: Korea's best striker and one of the top goal-scorers in Asia. The 2004 Young Asian Player of the Year left the club after seven league minutes...

 By John Duerden

South Korea coach Uli Stielike seeking to bridge gap between Asia and Europe

For the past 12 months or so, South Korea have been the best team in Asia. Their record since losing the final of the 2015 Asian Cup to Australia in Sydney is impressive: 15 games played, 12 games won, 3 draws, 41 goals scored and just 2 conceded.

That sequence has taken the team through to the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup. But the streak is at serious risk this Wednesday, with a game against Spain and another four days later against the Czech Republic.

But it is worth it....

 By John Duerden

Top five matchups in 2018 AFC World Cup final round qualification

Now that the draw for the 2018 AFC World Cup final qualifying round is out, it is time to take a closer look into which of the region's top players will be up against one another as the games play out.

There will be some fascinating matchups over the coming months, as the best teams on the continent fight it out over the course of 10 games.

Only four Asian nations will be guaranteed World Cup spots, with another two facing more playoffs for a chance to make it to Russia 2018.

The matches begin in...

 By Jason Dasey

Park Ji-sung names his four best Asian players, hopes for Man United miracle

KUALA LUMPUR -- It's been half a dozen years since he played in his third and final World Cup, yet a lean and mean Park Ji-sung still looks like he could captain South Korea and, indeed, do a job in midfield for struggling Manchester United.

The former Red Devil, now 35, is wandering around the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the Malaysian capital, happy to pose for photographs and mingle with AFC officials after Tuesday's final round draw for the 2018 World Cup.

The Taeguk Warriors were handed a difficult...

 By Jason Dasey

Korean ace Son Heung-min backed by Spurs legend Anderton to succeed

Spurs striker Son Heung Min
Son Heung-min will be hoping to write his name into Tottenham folklore as a Premier League winner this season.

He took South Korea to the brink of Asian Cup glory last year, yet Son Heung-min is still struggling to establish himself at Tottenham Hotspur, left out of this week's international matches so he can concentrate on his club responsibilities.

It denied Asian fans a chance to see the former Bundesliga star, with the Taeguk Warriors hosting Lebanon in an AFC World Cup qualifier on Thursday before a high-profile friendly in Thailand next week.

The omission is effectively a tactical move as South Korea...