| "It is a really tough position. It comes with great responsibility. You also have to be experienced enough to turn the sense of responsibility into your ability in games."
Hong Myung-bo, the head coach of South Korean national soccer team, served as the team`s captain during the 2002 World Cup soccer games. Therefore, he knows better than anyone else the difficulties and stresses a captain faces. Former national team head coach Cho Kwang-rae said that a captain needs both leadership and capability. Also as a playing coach, he has to cope with tactical changes that the coach is pursuing." Some captains change the team color. After Huh Jung-Moo, the coach who took the national team to the Round of 16 in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, appointed Park Ji-sung as captain, the squad became more aggressive and winning.
Coach Hong on Friday announced his team`s final lineup of 23 players for the 2014 World Cup to be held in Brazil. Attention is now being drawn to who will be the captain.
The favorite candidate is Koo Ja-cheol (FSV Mainz), who served as team captain under coach Hong four times, including the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and the 2012 London Olympics. As Koo has spent plenty of time with Hong, he is one of the players who can read the coach`s mind the best.
Lee Chung-yong (Bolton Wanderers) is also a likely candidate. As the national team captain for the first time in November last year, he was acclaimed for showing good leadership and playing a central role in the team. He gets along with all the national team players but can criticize them at a time of crisis. He is also second to none as the team`s ace in terms of performance.
Park Chu-young (Watford) is also cited as a candidate, as he is the only player in the team to have played in two World Cup tournaments. One of the oldest members of the team, Park is said to have close relationships with others and has good leadership. Lee Keun-ho (Sangju Sangmu FC), who served as captain during the team`s training in the U.S. in January, is the only candidate from the K-League. At that time, the head coach assessed him to have led younger players well with rich experiences.
Kwak Tae-hwi (Al-Hilal FC), the oldest player in the team, also has a chance with his rich experiences. However, one stumbling block is that his chances of playing could be limited if he loses in the competition for the starting lineup with Hong Jeong-ho (FC Augsburg).