Koo Ja-cheol Named Korea Captain for World Cup

Koo Ja-cheol Koo Ja-cheol

Koo Ja-cheol, a forward for Mainz 05 in Germany's Bundesliga, has been named captain for the World Cup in Brazil.

National team manager Hong Myung-bo made the announcement on Wednesday, adding that he named Lee Chung-yong of Bolton Wanderers in the English Championship as vice captain. He made his selection during a meeting of the whole squad.

"Koo has a strong sense of responsibility. He has also served as a bridge between the players and coaching staff," said Hong.

Koo also captained the sides that entered the U-20 World Cup, the Asian Games in Guangzhou one year later and the 2012 London Olympics. This will be his fourth consecutive captaincy under Hong's leadership.

"When I look back at my experience of being captain for the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, it was a very stressful position. As such, I put a high premium on Koo's leadership experience thus far," said Hong.

Koo said, "After I was named captain I spoke with the players and told them that we should use the remaining time wisely to achieve our goal. I will do my best to help the team both as a leader and as one of the players on the ground."

The players returned to the National Football Center in Paju, Gyeonggi Province on Wednesday after a three-day holiday. They had a two-hour training session on the pitch, wearing the official uniform that they will sport in Brazil.

Kim Young-gwon of Guangzhou Evergrande and Ha Dae-sung of Beijing Guoan in China joined the team later than their peers due to their respective club schedules, along with Kim Jin-su of Albirex Niigata in Japan.

"The intensity of training will gradually get harder," Hong promised.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 22, 2014 09:44 KST