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2023 AFC Asian Cup: Jurgen Klinsmann names 26-man South Korea squad

Yang Hyun-jun and Kim Ji-soo are two of the surprise inclusions in Jurgen Klinsmann's 26-man South Korea squad for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup with the German looking to Korea's overseas-based players. A total of 11 K League players make the cut including Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors midfielder Park Jin-seob and Gwangju FC star Lee Soon-min.
(Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

The players tasked by Jurgen Klinsmann with winning the AFC Asian Cup for South Korea were unveiled on the morning of Thursday 28th December 2023, following an announcement by the KFA. There are one or two surprises, with Celtic winger Yang Hyun-jun getting a call-up despite playing just 639 minutes for the Glasgow-based side this season. Likewise, Centre back Kim Ji-soo is in, too, despite never featuring for Brentford's first team since moving from Seongnam in the summer.

2022 World Cup squad survivors

There are 14 players named in the squad who went to the World Cup in Qatar, but the likes of Song Min-kyu, Na Sang-ho, Paik Seung-ho, Kim Moon-hwan and Jung Woo-young miss out - all featured heavily for Paulo Bento in Qatar. Hwang Ui-jo and Son Jun-ho are excluded for different reasons with the former under police investigation for the alleged secret filming of a former partner and the latter detained in China for alleged match-fixing.

First major tournament

For Lee Ki-je, Seoul Young-woo, Kim Ju-sung, Kim Ji-soo, Park Yong-woo, Lee Soon-min, Hong Hyun-seok, Park Jin-seob, Yang Hyun-jun, and Oh Hyeon-gyu the 2023 AFC Asian Cup is a first major tournament. It represents quite a fairytale for Park Jin-seop who, just six years ago, was playing in the National League with Daejeon Korail. Oh Hyeon-gyu travelled to Qatar as the so-called 27th man in case Son Heung-min wasn't going to be fit to play but wasn't officially part of the squad.

K League representation 

There are 11 K League players in the squad, one goalkeeper, seven defenders, and three midfielders. Ulsan are the team that's represented the most in K League with five players, followed by Jeonbuk with three.

Most capped & milestones

Captain Son Heung-min is the most capped with 116 appearances for South Korea, followed by Kim Young-gwon with 103. In terms of milestones, Hwang In-beom's next appearance for South Korea will be his 50th.

Most goals and assists

Son Heung-min has the most goals among the current squad with 41, followed by Hwang Hee-chan with 12. Hwang Hee-chan has 10 assists, Son has 19, Lee Jae-sung has 13, Kim Jin-su has 10.

Uncapped

Brentford defender, and former Seongnam FC starlet, Kim Ji-soo is the only uncapped player in the squad. Park Jin-seob, Yang Hyun-jun, and Song Bum-keun have one cap each, Kim Ju-sung has two while Lee Soon-min and Hong Hyun-seok have four, while Seol Young-woo has seven, representing those who have fewer than 10 caps.


Full Squad

Goalkeepers

Kim Seung-gyu, Al-Shabab
Jo Hyeon-woo, Ulsan HD
Song Bum-keun, Shonan Belmare

Defenders

Kim Min-jae, Bayern Munich
Kim Young-gwon, Ulsan HD
Kim Jin-su, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Kim Tae-hwan, Ulsan HD
Jung Seung-hyun, Ulsan HD
Lee Ki-je, Suwon Samsung Bluewings
Seol Young-woo, Ulsan HD
Kim Ju-sung, FC Seoul
Kim Ji-soo, Brentford

Midfielders

Lee Jae-sung, 1. FSV Mainz 05
Hwang In-beom, Crvena zvezda
Lee Kang-in, Paris Saint-Germain
Moon Seon-min, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Park Yong-woo, Al-Ain
Lee Soon-min, Gwangju FC
Hong Hyun-seok, Gent
Park Jin-seob, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Yang Hyun-jun, Celtic
Jeong Woo-yeong, VfB Stuttgart

Forwards

Son Heung-min, Tottenham Hotspur
Hwang Hee-chan, Wolverhampton Wanderers
Cho Gue-sung, FC Midtjylland
Oh Hyeon-gyu, Celtic


South Korea's AFC Asian Cup Fixtures

vs. Bahrain, Monday 15th January 2024 - 20:30 KST
vs. Jordan, Saturday 20th January 2024 - 20:30 KST
vs. Malaysia, Thursday 25th January 2024 - 20:30 KST

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