With the World Cup drawing closer we explore the Tottenham connections with another of the countries taking part this summer, South, (officially The Republic of), Korea.
Spurs have played in the country in one tournament and have featured a couple of players from there, as well as some of the international links.
The tournament we played was The Peace Cup in July 2005 when we met Boca Juniors in Suwon in front of 118.909 people and after going behind to an early goal Jermain Defoe and Mido scored before they made the final result 2-2. Two days later we beat the other opening day victors, Sundowners of South Africa 3-1, again in Suwon. Keane 2 and Kanoute scoring for Spurs with them replying late on. Our last group game saw us play Spain’s Real Sociedad this time in Ulsan and Mido scored in a 1-1 draw, some sources credit this as an own goal.
The final was in Seoul V Olympique Lyonnais. Keane scored twice and an own goal saw us 3-0 up at half time before they scored in the second half for Tottenham to win the trophy 3-1. Robbie Keane ending as the tournaments top scorer.
The first Korean to play for Spurs was Lee Young-Pyo (top). Lee joined us from PSV Eindhoven in 2005.
Starting as a left back he also played on the right side and was comfortable playing in central midfield.
A popular player he liked to get forward and support the attack. Despite a number of injuries he still made 70 appearances for Spurs.
He came to international attention after his performances in the 2002 World Cup in his home country, reaching the semi final. He set up the Golden Goal in the game V Italy and his ball skills and step-overs made him popular with the home fans. He would play in the 2006 World Cup finals as a Spurs player and again in the 2010 competition after he left us. Lee also played at the 2000 Olympics.
In 2008 he moved to Borussia Dortmund and later to Vancouver Whitecaps. Often referred to as one of his countries best ever players he retired after the Asian Cup in 2011 having won 127 full international caps and captained his country.
The only time England have played South Korea at full international level was in that country in a friendly prior to the 2002 World Cup.
The only Spurs man involved was Teddy Sheringham, who did set a record, when he came on at half time he equaled the record (16) as the most used England player from the substitutes bench.
Left - Heung-Min Son
In the finals themselves Teddy Sheringham featured four times for England, all from the bench. The England side included former Tottenham man Sol Cambell and the future Spurs man Danny Murphy who was called up as a late replacement and was then injured and himself replaced.
That World Cup would see the first appearance of a Spurs man in the actual final tie when Christian Ziege came on for Germany, he played in five games during the event.
We currently have Heung-Min Son on the playing staff. Since joining from Bayer Leverkusen in August, 2015 he has become the highest scoring Asian in Premier League history. In the last year he has won the Asian Football Confederation International Player of the Year award (second time) and was the South Korean Footballer of the year. A key player for his country he scored in the 2014 World Cup finals. He has won the player of the month award twice, the first Asian to do so. As the article is published Son has won the best footballer in Asia award for 2017.
At the end of last season, Tottenham had a presence in the country when the FIFA Under 20 World Cup was held there. Josh Onomah and Kyle Walker-Peters were in the England side whilst the USA featured Brad Friedel on the coaching staff with Cameron Carter Vickers in the squad and it also included one Jonathan Klinsmann in goal the son of our own Jurgen.
A sign of the changing importance of the international fan, when last summer Spurs sent Kyle Walker, Ben Davies and Kevin Wimmer to join Heung-Min Son on a promotional trip to the country before joining up with the touring party in China.
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