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Preview: Team K League vs Tottenham Hotspur, Coupang Play Series

notice 2022.07.10   I   hits 2025

The cream of the K League is all set to welcome Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur to Seoul World Cup Stadium for a one-off match as part of the Coupang Play Series. A glittering night awaits in the Korean capital on Wednesday, July 13 as Korean national team captain Son Heung-min arrives in Korea for a match with his club side for the very first time. K League United Columnist Shibajee Das looks ahead to the occasion. 

Match History

An exhibition match that is usually organised by the K League, an all-star match first took place more than three decades ago in the year 1991. In what started as a match between K League players with mixed teams, the fixture has gradually gone on to see some of the game's global superstars enchant the Korean audience.

The first major match which attracted attention outside the country was held in 2008 when K League All-Stars took on rivals J.League All-Stars in Tokyo. Former Suwon Samsung Bluewings forward Edu stole the headlines when he came off the bench to score twice en route to a 3-1 victory. The following year it was the reverse fixture in Incheon, with the J.League All-Stars this time tasting a 4-1 success. 

In 2010, FC Barcelona became the first European club to appear in a fixture of this nature with the match reaching a whole new level of popularity. Zlatan Ibrahimovic's early goal and a Lionel Messi brace helped the Catalan side to a 5-2 win. Seven years later, the K League All-Stars travelled to Hanoi to face a talented Vietnam U22 team with current senior team star Nguyen Van Toan netting the match's only goal.

Record Serie A champions Juventus were the next to visit Korea in 2019. Six goals were shared between the two teams with Osmar, Cesinha and Adam Taggart scoring for Team K League in a 3-3 draw. Three years on, the intriguing fixture returns promising to be full of entertainment. 

Domestic Stars in action

Several big-name K League players will be seen on the same side for the first time as they get set to tackle Tottenham. Only one player from the match against Juventus remains in this year's squad - goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo.

The key players in defence could be Kim Jin-su, who recently extended his stay at Jeonbuk, Pohang Steelers revelation Park Seung-wook and the only Dutchman to win the AFC Champions League, Dave Bulthuis.  
There is an abundance of talent further up the pitch with 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup top scorer Cho Young-wook, and La Masia graduates Lee Seung-woo and Paik Seung-ho. All will be looking to impress.

Elsewhere, much of the goal-scoring duties will fall on the shoulders of K League's highest-scoring Korean player this season, Joo Min-kyu of Jeju United and Suwon FC's South African forward Lars Veldwijk.

[READ: Team K League Squad Announcement]

The Opposition

No name in the fixture will attract as much attention as 2021-22 Premier League Golden Boot winner Son Heung-min. It will be a momentous occasion for the national team captain, who recently celebrated his 30th birthday, and will now don the colours of his long-time club for the first time on home soil.

Tottenham Hotspur is among the most supported clubs in Korea and home to Son and Cho So-hyun, the men's and women's national team captains. The club has four official supporters' clubs in the country in addition to a Korean Twitter account and a dedicated Korean language website.

The North London club is coming into this match on the back of a campaign when they finished in 4th place in the Premier League going on to secure UEFA Champions League football for this season. Antonio Conte has wasted no time in reinforcing his squad as they aim to challenge on all fronts in the upcoming season.

Spurs have been among the busiest Premier League clubs in the summer transfer window, with as many as five completed transfers so far. New Brazilian No. 9 Richarlison arrived from Everton amidst much fanfare along with backup goalkeeper Fraser Forster, midfielder Yves Bissouma, Croatian superstar Ivan Perisic and centre-back Clement Lenglet. Only the latter won't feature during this tour. However, apart from Son most of the attention will be on Harry Kane whereas, Korean football fans will also get to witness Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur, their opponent for this year's FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.  

Spurs' visit to Korea

This will be Tottenham's third visit to Korea having taken part in a promotional trip in 2017 with the only time the club toured the country for match purposes being in 2005. Spurs were part of a star-studded cast for the 2005 Peace Cup, which included the likes of Boca Juniors, Lyon, PSV Eindhoven and Real Sociedad.

Robbie Keane finished as the top-scorer as Spurs went on to beat Lyon 3-1 in the final at Seoul World Cup Stadium to win the tournament. 17 years later, they will take to the pitch in Korea once again first against Team K League in Seoul and then versus Sevilla in Suwon three days later.  

Team K League Full Squad

The 24-man Team K League Squad was announced on 7th July with two players from each K League 1 team. It will be managed by Jeonbuk's Kim Sang-sik with Kim Do-kyun of Suwon FC assisting him.


Kim Young-kwang (Seongnam FC), Jo Hyeon-woo (Ulsan Hyundai)


Kim Jin-su (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Kim Jin-hyuk (Daegu FC), Lee Ki-je (Suwon Samsung Bluewings), Dave Bulthuis (Suwon Samsung Bluewings), Jeong Tae-wook (Daegu FC), Kim Dong-min (Incheon United), Kim Ji-soo (Seongnam FC), Park Seung-wook (Pohang Steelers)


Kim Dae-won (Gangwon FC), Yang Hyun-jun (Gangwon FC), Aleksandar Paločević (FC Seoul), Cho Young-wook (FC Seoul), Shin Jin-ho (Pohang Steelers), Lee Seung-woo (Suwon FC), Amano Jun (Ulsan Hyundai), Kwon Chang-hoon (Gimcheon Sangmu), Lee Myung-joo (Incheon United), Gerso Fernandes (Jeju United), Paik Seung-ho (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)


Lars Veldwijk (Suwon FC), Joo Min-kyu (Jeju United), Cho Gue-sung (Gimcheon Sangmu)


Kim Sang-sik (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)

Assistant Manager

Kim Do-kyun (Suwon FC)

UPDATE: Cesinha, Hong Jeong-ho, and Um Won-sang have been replaced by Kim Jin-hyuk, Paik Seung-ho, and Amanjo Jun due to injury.

Where To Watch

The match will be available to watch in Korea via the video streaming platform Coupang Play. It will also be the first match to be broadcast live on SpursPlay, the newly launched destination for exclusive Tottenham Hotspur content.

The kick-off is at 8 PM KST or 12 noon GMT.

Shibajee Das

K League United Columnist

Twitter - @Shibagoal