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SOUTH KOREA

Away 1996

Matchworn Sun-Hong Hwang 13.03.1996 CRO 🇭🇷 : KOR 🇰🇷 3-0

Manufacturer: Nike

Source: Collector

 

South Korea is considered one of the strongest teams in Asia. With eleven World Cup appearances – ten of them in a row – the country also has the most participations in the world's biggest footall tournament on the Asian continent. Together with Japan, South Korea was also the first Asian country to host a World Cup in 2002. The “Taegeuk Warriors” achieved their best ever result at a World Cup: a fourth-place finish after narrowly losing out to Germany in the semifinals. However, the battle for hosting the 2002 World Cup already began in 1996. Competing with Japan and Mexico, the South Koreans went on a major promotional tour, playing friendly matches in Europe against other nations and club teams. Outfitted for the first time by an American manufacturer, the Koreans wore a red and black Nike jersey almost exclusively. However, in the match against Croatia this unusual away jersey was used for the first and only time. Probably the rarest "modern" South Korean jersey, it is also the only one that includes the color green. In addition to the various shades of blue and green, the jersey also has a subtle pattern, which was also used in later shirts. In addition, the jerseys had a special patch on the left sleeve, which was intended to indicate the potential hosting of the 2002 World Cup in their own country. It was worn by Sun-Hong Hwang, who actually played for the second team of Bayer Leverkusen (my favorite team) in the early 90s and later in the 2nd Bundesliga for Wuppertaler SV. As a fan of rare and unusual jerseys, this piece certainly represents one of the highlights of my collection. Researching this jersey meant a lot of googling in Korean, which eventually led me to a very comprehensive website that features a detailed overview of South Koreas past national team jerseys.

South Korea wearing the shirt against Croatia in 1996. This was the only official match the shirt was used in.

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