They were placed in Group H with Ghana from Africa, South American powerhouse Uruguay, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.
In order to advance to the knockout stages, Paulo Bento will be hoping that his team can pull off a few surprises during the group stage.
The first candidate for Bento between the sticks should be Kim Seung-gyu. The 31-year-old has been in outstanding form in the top division of Saudi Arabia and is a regular for Al-Shabab.
Another candidate for the starting spot is Jo Hyeon-woo, who has been reliable for Ulsan Hyundai.
Then there are players like Song Bum-keun and Kim Dong-jun, who had already made an impression with the U-23 setup.
Kim Seung-gyu, Jo Hyeon-woo, Song Bum-keun, Kim Dong-jun
Bento prefers to have a four-man backline for his squad.
Since Kim Young-gwon is one of the most seasoned contenders and has close to 100 international appearances, he will be in charge of managing the defense.
Kim Min-Jae, who plays for Serie A team Napoli, is most likely to be his partner in crime at the center of the defense. He frequently contributes significant goals during set-pieces, which will help South Korea at the World Cup.
The obvious pick at left-back should be Kim Jin-Su, although Chul Hong of Daegu FC will challenge his sway there as well. Bento will have a difficult time deciding between Kim Moon-hwan and Kim Tae-Hwan at right back because both players have been performing well in the K League.
Kim Jin-su , Hong Chul , Kim Moon-hwan, Kim Young-gwon, Kwon Kyung-won, Kim Tae-hwan, Cho Yu-min, Kim Min-jae, Yoon Jong-gyu, Lee Yong, Park Ji-soo
The Taegeuk Warriors’ midfield is well-rounded and has the ideal ratio of youth and experience.
Hwang In-beom can dismantle enemy assaults and regain possession, giving him a strong presence in central midfield.
Lee Jae-Sung of FSV Mainz, who exudes confidence on the ball and enjoys setting the pace of the game, is the ideal partner for him. Paik Seung-Ho of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors is another competitor with the ability to do well on the largest stage. Lee Kang-in of the Spanish team Mallorca causes Bento further selection difficulties because he is also vying for a position in the midfield.
Jung Woo-young, Lee Jae-sung, Hwang In-beom, Paik Seung-ho, Na Sang-ho, Son Jun-ho, Lee Kang-in, Yang Hyun-jun, Song Min-kyu, Nam Tae-hee, Kang Seong-jin
The forward line is the strongest section in Korea.
Son Heung-min, a star for Tottenham Hotspur, is Korea’s best hope, and much will depend on how he plays in Qatar.
The 30-year-old will have the help of Hwang Ui-jo and Hwang Hee-chan, among others.
The latter works for Premier League team Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Bento’s squad will benefit from his experience.
Freiburg’s Jeong Woo-yeong, who played regularly in the Bundesliga, will also be vying for a starting position.
Son Heung-min, Hwang Ui-jo , Cho Gue-sung, Hwang Hee-chan, Jeong Woo-yeong, Kwon Chang-hoon, Cho Young-wook
Player to watch
One of South Korea’s most versatile goalkeepers, Kim is renowned for his quick reactions and agility. In the J1 League, he also improved his passing abilities.
On August 14, 2013, in a scoreless draw with Peru, Kim made his senior international debut. It was his first time maintaining a clean sheet.
Kim was selected as South Korea’s backup goalkeeper to Jung Sung-ryong for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After Jung’s dismal performance against Algeria, he was chosen to play against Belgium after sitting out the previous two games. He made many stops, but one was allowed, and Korea fell 1-0. Despite the defeat, Kim received high appreciation from the supporters for his performance, allowing just one goal against a side with a high world ranking in his World Cup debut.