South Korea appoint Hong Myung-bo as Klinsmann’s successor

July 9 – World Cup legend Hong Myung-bo has returned to lead South Korea for a second time after the Korean Football Association (KFA) named him the country’s new manager. 

He will succeed the German Jurgen Klinsmann and depart his club Ulsan HD with immediate effect. He led the club to domestic league titles in 2022 and 2023.

“Ultimately, the ability to bring the team together is the most important aspect,” said KFA president Chung Mong-gyu in a statement announcing the appointment. “It will be up to the coaching staff to handle the tactical side of things.”

With the appointment, bringing to an end a five-month search, the KFA want to close the disappointing chapter under Klinsmann, who departed after Korea failed to reach the final of the Asian Cup.

In Qatar, Jordan proved to be too strong, winning 2-0 in the semi-finals after Korea had masterminded a few narrow escapes in previous knockout matches. The team’s play was labelled as ‘zombie football’.

“From what I’ve seen in the style of play the coach has instilled in Ulsan, I thought that’s what we needed in order to establish the football philosophy and game models of Korean football,” said the KFA’s COO Lee Limsaeng.

He also highlighted Myung-Bo’s leadership qualities: “This is the very moment that we need ‘one team, one spirit and one goal’ as the coach once stressed the importance of. What we’ve learned from the tenures of two foreign coaches previously is that we need more discipline than self-control, and I think Hong is the right man to establish the one team.”

Jesse Marsch had reportedly been top of the KFA’s shortlist, but Myung-Bo brings a wealth of experience with him. He captained South Korea at the 2002 World Cup when, on home soil, the team reached the last four of the tournament. He managed the country to bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but his spell in charge of the senior team in 2014 ended in disappointment.

In the World Cup qualifiers, South Korea will face Palestine, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait and Iraq. The top two of each group will clinch an automatic ticket to the United States, Mexico and Canada in 2026, the first World Cup to feature 48 finalists.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1721243790labto1721243790ofdlr1721243790owedi1721243790sni@i1721243790tnuk.1721243790ardni1721243790mas1721243790

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