Korea Republic on Monday named former skipper Hong Myungbo the new coach of the national side, tasked with preparing the out-of-form team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
The Korea Football Association said Hong, 44, had been given a two-year contract to replace Choi Kanghee who quit as coach last week after South Korea scraped through to qualify for its eighth straight FIFA World Cup.
As a player, Hong represented the national team at four consecutive FIFA World Cups from 1990 and became a national hero as captain of the side that reached the semi-finals of the 2002 competition in South Korea.
He faces a tough challenge in injecting fresh confidence and motivation into the current national team that only managed to qualify for Brazil on goal difference.
In its last four qualifying games, it was beaten twice by Iran, drew with Lebanon and was lucky to scrape through with wins over Qatar and Uzbekistan.
Hong began his coaching career as an assistant on the senior national team from 2005 to 2007.
He coached South Korea to bronze at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and led an under-23 team to a bronze medal at the London Olympics last year. It was the country’s first Olympic football medal.