At the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup that is a few days away, the South Korea national football team and that of Mexico would be playing against each other on Saturday, June 23. The two teams belonging to Group F are fixed to meet at the Rostov-on-Don stadium by 4 pm.
FIFA World Ranking
According to the FIFA world ranking released on 17 May 2018, while South Korea ranked 61st, the Mexican team ranked 15th team in the world.
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History of South Korea and Mexico
The Mexico national football team, which is also known as Selección de fútbol de México in the Spanish language, is the representative of Mexico in all international football competitions. The football team is under the leadership of the Mexican Football Federation which is the governing body in charge of football in Mexico.
Also, the South Korea national football team thatwas formerly known as the South Korea Republic national football team is the national team that represents South Korea in all men’s international association football. It is also under the leadership of the Korea Football Association (KFA).
The Mexico national team competes under the umbrella body of CONCACAF. This is the confederation in charge of the countries covering the North and Central America, and the Caribbean. And on the part of the South Korean team, they also compete under the umbrella body of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
The South Korean national football team is commonly called by thenickname, “The Reds,” by both fans and the media. This is because the color of their major kit is red. As a result of this nickname, the official name given to the supporting group of the national football team is the Red Devils.
The South Korean team is also known to be the major football power in Asia since the 1960s. Historically, they are the most successful Asian football team because of their highest performance at FIFA Mega tournaments compared to another Asian continental, national teams.
Records of Appearances at International Football Competitions
South Korea has participated for nine consecutive times at FIFA World Cup tournaments and so far, they have made a total of ten appearances. This is the highest that any Asian country has gone.
Mexico is one of the football teams that have qualified for the FIFA Mega Event so much. Since the inauguration of World Cup tournaments that took place in 1930, they have made a total appearance of sixteen times in World Cup tournaments. More so, since 1994, they have qualified consecutively for all FIFA World Cups. This makes them one of the six national football teams that have done so.
Although there was a season that the team of South Korea has made appearances in five World Cup tournaments but could not win a single match, they are still respected as the first and presently the only Asian football team that would get to the semi-final stages. They achieved this feat when they hosted the FIFA Mega tournament of 2002 alongside Japan.
On the part of the Mexican team, they are one of the eight successful nations so far that have won two out of the three most important football tournaments. These include the World Cup, Confederations Cup, and Summer Olympics. They won the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1999 and the Summer Olympics cup in 2012. The other countries they share this title with include Brazil, Italy, Argentina, France, Spain, and Uruguay.
In spite of their initial poor performance at their early stage of appearing at international competitions, during the FIFA Mega tournament of 2010, the South Korean made a noticeable improvement as they were able to get to the Round of 16.
In the first two AFC Asian Cup tournaments to be organized, they won the cup. However, since then, they have finished in the second place and those years are 1972, 1980, 1988, and 2015. They also took the third place in 1964, 2000, 2007, and 2011.
Even though the Mexican has won the title, it took them about 32 years before they achieved this since its inauguration in 1930. They got this achievement after playing against Czechoslovakia in a 3-1 game.
Major Accomplishments of the Teams
The South Korea team won the first two AFC Asian Cup tournaments in 1956 and 1960 to be organized. Then, they finished in the second place four times. These periods are 1972, 1980, 1988, and 2015.
The Mexico national team have made a total of 15 appearances at the World Cup tournaments. Also, in 1999, the team emerged as the winner of the FIFA Confederations Cup while they ended up in the third position in 1995. At the CONCACAF Championship & Gold Cup which they have appeared since 1963, they have won the cup on a total number of 10 different times.
Apart from winning the AFC Asian Cup and finishing as the runners-up, South Korea has also finished in the third place in 1964, 2000, 2007, and 2011. Then, they as well took the gold medal in 1970, 1978, and 1986 Asian Games.
Also, they won the CONCACAF Championship & Gold Cup three consecutive times from 1993 to 1998, and two consecutive times in 2009 and 2011. They also emerged as the runners-up two times in 1967 and 2007 and took the third position on three occasions with 2017 being the last.
Mexico remains the first country that would host the World Cup tournament two times. This came to be because Colombia announced that they could not afford the costs of hosting the event.
In their participation at the AFC Asian Cup tournaments, the South Korean have emerged as the winners two times which were in 1956 and 1960. Then, they were the runners-up on four different occasions which were in 1972, 1980, 1988 and 2015. In 2002, they got the FIFA World Cup Most Entertaining Team award.