The Korean national football team play Russia in their first match of the Group H on Tuesday or Wednesday morning here at the Arena Pantanal in to Cuiabá. The team moved to Cuiabá on Sunday and had a two-hour training session at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul on Monday.
The first match is crucial for both countries. Russia is ranked 19th in the world, much higher than Korea's 57th, and led by world-famous manager Fabio Capello from Italy. The team boasts a well-organized defense.
Capello is a tough opponent for Korean Manager Hong Myung-bo to handle, with 13 titles under his belt from his spells with AC Milan, AS Roma, Juventus, and Real Madrid. He has coached the Russian national team since 2012.
The Daily Mail reported that Capello is the highest paid manager at the World Cup with almost 7 million pounds, compared to Hong's 474,000 pounds (W800 million), which put him in 23rd place among 32 national bosses.
Capello is renowned for building strong defenses, carrying on the tradition of the Italian "catenaccio" or chain system. Russia only allowed five goals in 10 games in the European qualifiers.
With his strong charisma, Capello is well placed to implement his defensive tactics. In order to maximize organization of the team, Capello filled the entire 23-man roster with players from the Russian league only.
Can Hong make history in his first World Cup as a manager? The challenge is about to begin.