TOP 6 All-Time Greatest Korean Soccer

TOP 6 All-Time Greatest Korean Soccer Players


As Asian footballers have demonstrated in recent years, their level of play has improved significantly.

The players’ efforts have made them comparable to their current European counterparts. Continue reading to learn more about the greatest Korean soccer players of all time.

Comparing Asian football to European football demonstrates that, while there is still much ground to cover in terms of quality, stature, and reputation, there has never been a shortage of world-class talent. We have seen players such as Shinji Kagawa, Park Ji-Sung, Yuto Nagatomo, and Ali Dei.

With this in mind, join us as we examine our presented list of the Top 6 Greatest Korean Footballers of all time.

Examining the List of the Top 6 Greatest Korean Soccer Players of All Time

Continue reading to see the most up-to-date list of the most significant Korean footballers of all time.

 1. Lee Woon-Jae

  • Age: 48

  • Position: Goalkeeper. The most significant Korean soccer players list begins with Lee Woon-Jae, a former South Korean goalkeeper. Lee was a member of South Korea’s FIFA World Cup teams for four years, 1994, 2002, 2006, and 2010.

Among his outstanding performances was at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he competed in all seven competitions until the third-place play-off. Meanwhile, Lee maintained a perfect record against Spain, Poland, and Portugal.

He made history in the quarter-finals of the competition between South Korea and Spain. With the match ending in a draw, the game was sent to penalties, where Lee produced an extraordinary performance, blocking all four of Spain’s shots and enabling his team to win the game 5-3 in the shootout.

South Korea became the first Asian team to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals due to the result and finished fourth in the competition. Lee, dubbed ‘Spider Hand,’ was not a tall or fast player, but he possessed excellent judgment and communication with defenders. Was keeping predictive ability distinguished Lee as a goalkeeper who excelled in penalty shootouts.

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2. Son Heung-min

  • Age: 28

  • Position: Forward. Son Heung-min was born in Chuncheon, Gangwon, South Korea. He is another name on the list of the most significant Korean soccer players of all time. Playing brilliantly as a forward Premier League club, Tottenham Hotspur demonstrates the extent of the South Korean professional footballer’s talent and justifies his inclusion on the Premier League Player of the Month list. PFA Fans’ Premier League Player of the Month and AFC Asian International Player of the Year are just a few of Son’s accolades from his 11-year senior career.

Son’s career statistics have appeared for four clubs since 2009: Hamburger SV II, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, and Tottenham.

And appeared in 448 matches, scoring 157 goals. Son’s four goals against Southampton were one of his standout performances in the 2020-21 season.

He scored all five goals with Harry Kane’s assistance and led Tottenham to a 5-2 victory over Southampton. On 2 January 202, the enigmatic forward scored his 100th goal for Tottenham, which sealed a 3-0 win over Leeds United.

3. Hong Myung-bo

  • Age: 52

  • Position: Sweeper. The following man on the list of all-time great Korean soccer players is Hong Myung-bo, who is currently the head coach of Ulsan Hyundai. Myung-bo, a former South Korean footballer, is regarded as one of the greatest Asian footballers and played as a sweeper.

The gifted player represented South Korea at four FIFA World Cups and was the first Asian footballer to appear in four consecutive World Cup finals. Myung-bo has established himself as the first Asian player to win the World Cup’s Bronze Ball.

Not only is he one of two Asian players in the FIFA 100, but he is also included in Pele’s list of the world’s 125 greatest living footballers. Though Myung-bo lacked quickness, unflinching stamina, and exceptional ability in man-to-man defense, he was renowned for his extended vision and excellent leadership, which enabled him to control opposing defenders.

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Myung-bo began his senior career with Sangmu FC in 1991 and played for the club for 13 years before retiring in 2004. Meanwhile, he competed in international competitions for South Korea U23 and South Korea, where he scored ten goals in 136 appearances.

 4. Cho Kwang-Rae

  • Age: 67

  • Position: Central midfielder. Another of the best Korean football players in history is Cho Kwang-Rae, now 67 years old. Born in Jinju, Gyeongnam, South Korea, Cho began his senior career with Pohang Steelworks in 1978.

Being regarded as one of the most talented South Korean central midfielders, Cho got the name of ‘Computer Linker’ during his playing time because he was excellent at accurate passings, extended vision, and intelligent decisions.

Spending his club career at Yonsei University, Pohang Steelworks, Army FC, Daewoo Royals, Cho became one of the university students’ national teams for the 1976 World University Football Championship, Uruguay.

From 1976 to 1986, Cho appeared in 100 international competitions and scored 15 times. Taking a look at the list of honors he left in his career are longer than what we can cover all of them.

Here we have only presented some of the most significant ones, including Korean National Championship runner-up in 1974, Korean Semi-professional League in 1980, Asian Club Championship in the 1985-86 season, and FISU Asian Cup runner-up.

5. Choi Soon-Ho

  • Age: 59

  • Position: Attacking midfielder Choi Soon-ho was born on 10 January 1962 and is a former professional footballer who now works as a South Korean football manager.

Being able to control the ball through various abilities, including excellent dribbling, shooting, passing, and rapid speed, propelled him to prominence as one of South Korea’s greatest strikers of all time.

His abilities enabled him to play as a striker and an attacking midfielder. Choi made an outstanding performance for South Korea in the 1980 AFC Asian Cup, scoring two goals against Kuwait and a hat-trick against the United Arab Emirates.

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Following this result, he became the AFC Asian Cup’s youngest top scorer at 18. Choi scored four goals for South Korea’s under-20 team, earning the 1980 AFC Youth Championship award.

He also performed admirably at the 1981 FIFA World Youth Championship, scoring two of the team’s four goals and assisting against Italy. Choi’s flawless performances may attract the attention of Serie A club Juventus.

However, his refusal to accept his team’s offer prompted him to join. Unsurprisingly, his name is associated with one of the greatest Korean soccer players of all time.

6. Huh Jung-moo

  • Age: 66

  • Position: Midfielder. The next name on our list is Huh Jung-moo, a 66-year-old man who played as a midfielder and is one of the greatest Korean soccer players. The versatile footballer played as an attacking or defensive midfielder, but he could also play as a striker, winger, or full-back.

His energetic playing style earned him the moniker ‘Jindogae,’ which derives from the hunter dog race in his hometown. After graduating, Huh joined Korea Electric Power FC, where he began serving his mandatory military service.

Huh competed in international competitions for 12 years and earned two Asian Games goal medals. After retiring from football, huh began his managerial career with POSCO Atoms in 1991-92.


Footballers can achieve significant positions in some of the world’s best clubs and win numerous awards in the process.

The current generation of Asian footballers has followed in their footsteps regarding quality. It has already established itself as a name and reputation in the European landscape through its affiliation with prominent clubs.

South Korea has been one of the most successful Asian footballing nations. They established themselves in football by showcasing the best South Korean players’ exceptional abilities in the world’s top leagues, including the Premier League.

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