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4th place (2002)


Shin Tae-yong

In a squad that con­tains many solid foot­ballers, the stand-out player is Tot­ten­ham winger Son He­ung-Min, who when signed from Bayer Lev­erkusen for

£22mil­lion be­came the most ex­pen­sive Asian foot­baller ever. Son fell slightly off the radar dur­ing the clos­ing weeks of Tot­ten­ham’s sea­son but be­fore that of­ten earned more plau­dits than Harry Kane.

Last 16.

World ranked 57, the Asian Tigers, or Red Dev­ils, have made nine World Cup ap­pear­ances, his­tor­i­cally the best by an Asian na­tion. De­spite ini­tially go­ing through five World Cup tour­na­ments with­out win­ning a match, they be­came the first and cur­rently only Asian team to reach the semi-fi­nal stages when they co-hosted the 2002 tour­na­ment with Ja­pan. Head­liner Son and the oth­ers play­ing in the Premier League gives them depth and ex­pe­ri­ence.

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