North Korea National Soccer Team: Who Are They?

Posted: June 16, 2010 in Soccer

People around the world are aware of North Korea, both geographically and, more so, politically.

However, little is known about North Korea’s National Soccer Team, who is playing in their first FIFA World Cup since 1966.

But just who exactly is the North Korean National Soccer Team?

The world got a pretty good glimpse of the North Koreans on Tuesday when they took to the field against no. 1 ranked and frequent World Cup favorite Brazil to open group play in Group G, this year’s “group of death” (along with Portugal and the Ivory Coast.)

One North Korean that stood out was 26 year-old striker Jong Tae-Se. Jong, who was born in Japan to a South Korean mother, and attended a North Korean school (located in Japan). Many consider Jong, also known as “The People’s Rooney” (a reference to England striker Wayne Rooney), the most well-known North Korean in the world (after North Korean leader Kim-Jung-Il).

Jong’s pride in his country was most evident when he was seen openly crying  during the playing of the North Korean National Anthem.

While it is unlikely that North Korea will advance beyond group play, due simply to the difficulty of the countries that are in their group (Brazil, Portugal, and the Ivory Coast), their World Cup Journey will make for quite an interesting story.

Unfortunately for the North Koreans, their journey does not get much easier. They will take on Portugal on Monday (7 am et. on ESPN), and will be eliminated with a loss to the Portuguese.


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