The South Korean national football team on Monday vowed to give its best and meet fans' expectations at the 2018 FIFA World Cup before they start training together for the quadrennial event.
Some 3,000 football fans gathered for an event at Seoul Plaza in Seoul to celebrate the launch of South Korea's World Cup squad that will compete in Russia next month.
"I know fans are concerned because we're in a tough group,"
South Korea's head coach Shin Tae-yong said. "But I believe we can make a 'delightful rebellion' at the World Cup. We can make fans happy by beating Sweden in our first match."
|South Korea national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong (C) and his coaching staff appears onstage in a ceremony to mark the launch of the country`s World Cup squad at Seoul Plaza in the nation`s capital on May 21, 2018. (Yonhap)|
South Korea, making their ninth consecutive World Cup appearance, are looking to pass the group stage at this year's World Cup in Russia. The Taeguk Warriors are in Group F with Sweden, Mexico and Germany.
At the event, South Korean players appeared onstage wearing suits. They were joined by national football legends in their positions.
"I know South Korean football is in a difficult time, but there is a way to make these players perform better," Cha Bum-kun said.
"We need strong support from fans."
Swansea City midfielder Ki Sung-yueng, who will wear the captain's armband at the World Cup, said he has big expectations for football's showpiece event.
"I know we have some injured players, but I have high expectations," he said. "Our country has shown its power even when it has been in a difficult situation. I'm ready to lead the players as the captain."
Crystal Palace midfielder Lee Chung-yong said the players are determined to reach the round of 16 in Russia.
"We reached the World Cup round of 16 stage in 2010, but I hope we can perform better than we did in South Africa," he said.
The Taeguk Warriors will start their training later Monday at the National Football Center in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, with 27 players. Head coach Shin Tae-yong last week unveiled a provisional 28-man roster, but Dijon FCO midfielder Kwon Chang-hoon was dropped later due to injury.
South Korea will confirm their final roster of 23 players after they play two friendly matches at home.
South Korea will face Honduras next Monday and take on Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 1. Shin's team will then depart for their pre-World Cup training camp in Austria on June 3.
In Austria, South Korea will play against Bolivia on June 7 and go head-to-head against Senegal on June 11. Shin's side will fly to Saint Petersburg, where the team's World Cup base camp is located, on June 12.(Yonhap)