Hong Myung-bo

Hong Myung-bo
Hong in 2013
Personal information
Full name Hong Myung-bo
Date of birth (1969-02-12) 12 February 1969
Place of birth Seoul, South Korea
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Sweeper
Youth career
1987–1990 Korea University
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991 Sangmu FC (army)
1992–1997 Pohang Steelers 110 (14)
1997–1998 Bellmare Hiratsuka 42 (0)
1999–2001 Kashiwa Reysol 72 (7)
2002 Pohang Steelers 19 (0)
2003–2004 LA Galaxy 38 (0)
Total 281 (21)
National team
2000 South Korea U23 1 (0)
1990–2002 South Korea 136 (10)
Teams managed
2009 South Korea U20
2009–2012 South Korea U23
2013–2014 South Korea
2016–2017 Hangzhou Greentown
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
Hong Myung-bo
Hangul 홍명보
Hanja 洪明甫
Revised Romanization Hong Myeong-bo
McCune–Reischauer Hong Myŏng-bo

Hong Myung-bo (Korean: 홍명보, Hanja: 洪明甫; Korean pronunciation: [hoŋmjʌŋbo]; born 12 February 1969 in Seoul) is a South Korean former footballer and former manager of the South Korean national team. Hong, alongside compatriot Cha Bum-kun, is often considered one of the greatest Asian footballers of all time. Hong was a member of the South Korean national team in four World Cups, and was the first Asian player to play in four consecutive World Cup final tournaments.

A former defender Hong often played as a centre-back but also played at the full-back position. He was often touted to be the best sweeper in Asia at that time. He was often cited as the "Korean Libero" by the media due to his ability to play deep into the midfield and strike a long distance ball. He retired as a player following the end of the 2004 Major League Soccer season, having finished his career with the Los Angeles Galaxy. He was chosen among the "FIFA 100", Pelé's selection of the 125 greatest living footballers in the world. He was the only South Korean footballer in the FIFA 100. He was also the recipient of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball. No other Asian player has yet achieved this feat.

He managed the South Korea national under-20 football team in 2009, and led the team to the quarterfinals in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Since being appointed in 2009, he has worked as head coach of the under-23 football team. Under his guidance, the South Korean national football team was able to receive the bronze in the 2012 London Olympics, which set up a record by obtaining the first medal ever for South Korea in Olympic football as well as being the first Asian team in 44 years to win a medal at that event.[1] On June 24, 2013, Hong was appointed as the head coach of South Korean national football team to lead the team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but resigned the post a year later following the team's poor showing at the World Cup.

Club career

Hong Myung-bo played the defender position for Pohang Steelers in South Korea's K League, Bellmare Hiratsuka Kashiwa Reysol in Japan's J1 League, LA Galaxy in USA's Major League Soccer

International career

Hong Myung-bo made his first appearance for the South Korea national football team on 4 February 1990, in a friendly match against Norway national football team. Hong Myung-bo went on to participate in major competitions such as 1990 FIFA World Cup, 1994 FIFA World Cup, 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2002 FIFA World Cup, 1996 AFC Asian Cup, 2000 AFC Asian Cup.

Hong was selected as an over-aged player by the South Korea under-23 for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. But he was injured just before the tournament, and replaced by Kang Chul.

1990 World Cup

Hong's first appearance at a World Cup finals was at the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Hong played in all three group stage matches against Belgium, Spain, and Uruguay. However, South Korea was eliminated in the group stage after losing all the three games.

1994 World Cup

Hong's talent was most notable during the 1994 World Cup group stage. When South Korea had only 5 minutes to catch up Spain, who was leading the match with the score of 2-0, Hong scored the first goal and assisted the winger Seo Jung-won to score the equalizer goal shortly after, making the match a memorable draw against Spain.

In the match that took place two weeks later, South Korea was losing during the first half with the score of 3-0 to Germany – the defending World Champions at the time, represented by numerous skillful players including Jürgen Klinsmann, Jürgen Kohler, Matthias Sammer, Rudi Völler and Lothar Matthäus. After assisting the striker Hwang Sun Hong to strike the first goal into the net, Hong scored the second goal himself, but that was the last goal of the match.

1998 World Cup

Hong's third World Cup appearance was at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. Hong played all three group stage matches of South Korea against Mexico, Netherlands and Belgium. South Korea was eliminated at the first round with 1 draw (Belgium) and 2 losses (Mexico and Netherlands).

2002 World Cup

Hong captained the South Korean national team to a historic fourth-place finish in the 2002 World Cup.[2] He scored the winning penalty to secure a 5–3 shootout victory in the quarter final against Spain after a goalless draw. The Technical Study Group voted him as the third best player of the tournament (Bronze Ball award), the first ever Asian player to be named in the top 3 players in a World Cup. Leader of the Korean defensive trio alongside Kim Tae-young and Choi Jin-cheul, he ended his international career after a 2002 friendly match against World Cup champions Brazil as the all-time leader in appearances for the South Korean national team, with 135 caps.

Managerial career

On September 26, 2005, after his retirement as a player, Hong returned to the national team as assistant coach. Helping the manager Dick Advocaat, he took part in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and worked with the next manager Pim Verbeek in the Asian Cup 2007. After the resignation of Pim Verbeek, he was one of the candidates to become the next manager. The Korea Football Association announced that it had appointed him as the South Korea national under-20 football team, on 19 February 2009. Under his guidance the team reached the quarter finals of the tournament, but were eliminated due to a 2–3 defeat to Ghana national under-20 football team. Hong also served an assistant coach for under-23 football team under Park Sung-wha. In October 2009, he took over the coaching duties at under-23 football team. He led his team into third place in the 2010 Asian Games.On August 10, 2012, Hong Myung-bo coached the U-23 Men's Olympic team to a 2-0 win over Japan to secure the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.[3] He was named as assistant manager to Guus Hiddink at Anzhi Makhachkala in August 2012. After Choi Kang-hee, the former head coach of South Korean national football team, took the responsibility of the team's poor performance in 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian qualification and resigned from his position, Hong Myung-bo was appointed as the new head coach of the team on June 24, 2013 to prepare the team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After a winless World Cup campaign, Hong resigned from his post on July 10, 2014.



Pohang Steelers

Kashiwa Reysol

South Korea



South Korea U23

Career statistics


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
Korea Republic League FA Cup League Cup Asia Total
1992POSCO Atoms / Pohang SteelersK-League291-80-371
Japan League Emperor's Cup J.League Cup Asia Total
1997Bellmare HiratsukaJ1 League1003100??13+?1+?
1999Kashiwa ReysolJ1 League2854252-379
Korea Republic League FA Cup League Cup Asia Total
2002Pohang SteelersK-League1900000-190
United States League Open Cup League Cup North America Total
2003Los Angeles GalaxyMajor League Soccer25020270
CountryKorea Republic 1291400270??156+?14+?
Japan 1147113102??135+?12+?
United States 380200000400
Total 28121133372??331+?26+?


[20] [21]

Korea Republic national team

International goals

Results list South Korea's goal tally first.
1.August 3, 1990Beijing, China China PR1 goal1–1 (6–5 PSO)1990 Dynasty Cup
2.September 23, 1990Beijing, China Singapore1 goal7–01990 Asian Games
3.August 24, 1992Beijing, China North Korea1 goal1–11992 Dynasty Cup
4.May 13, 1993Beirut, Lebanon India1 goal3–01994 FIFA World Cup qualification
5.October 19, 1993Doha, Qatar Iraq1 goal2–21994 FIFA World Cup qualification
6.June 5, 1994Boston, United States Ecuador1 goal1–2Friendly match
7.June 17, 1994Dallas, United States Spain1 goal2–21994 FIFA World Cup
8.June 27, 1994Dallas, United States Germany1 goal2–31994 FIFA World Cup
9.September 11, 1994Gangneung, South Korea Ukraine1 goal1–0Friendly match
10.August 8, 1996Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Chinese Taipei1 goal4–01996 AFC Asian Cup qualification

Personal life

Hong married Cho Soo-mi,[22] who was five years younger than him, in 1997. He has two sons, Hong Seong-min and Hong Jeong-min. One of them is currently attending Korea International School. Hong also has two younger siblings. Hong is known for his reticence and charisma.


  1. "South Korea blanks Japan for men's soccer bronze - CBC Sports". cbc.ca. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  2. Jiang, Allan. "South Korea 2002 FIFA World Cup Retrospective". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  3. https://sports.yahoo.com/news/skorea-beat-japan-win-first-football-bronze-211743779.html
  4. "포철 홍명보 '올해의 선수'뽑혀". The Hankyoreh. 4 December 1992.
  5. "올 최우수선수 홍명보". The Hankyoreh. 6 December 1992.
  6. "「적토마」고정운 MVP영예". Kyunghyang. 20 November 1994.
  7. "신태용 올 축구 황금발". The Hankyoreh. 24 November 1995.
  8. "프로축구 MVP 김현석 뽑혀". The Hankyoreh. 30 November 1996.
  9. "2002년 K-리그 시상식 21일 개최". Yonhap. 20 December 2002.
  10. "FIFA XI´s Matches - Full Info". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 20 October 2015.
  11. "Asian Player of the Year". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 18 January 2018.
  12. "[아시안컵] 결승골 이동국…득점왕 등극". Kukmin Ilbo. 30 October 2000.
  13. "Jリーグ 歴代のMVP・ベストイレブン・得点王". ULTRAZONE. 5 December 2017.
  14. "Awards". FIFA. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  15. "2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan: Report and Statistics" (PDF). FIFA.
  16. "The Fifa 100". The Guardian. 4 March 2004.
  17. "프로축구 '레전드 베스트11' 투표". Dong-A Ilbo. 31 May 2013.
  18. Johnston, Patrick (21 November 2014). Peter Rutherford, ed. "Kewell, Hong, Daei among AFC's first Hall of Fame inductees". Reuters. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  19. "Hong Myungbo K League Official Stats". kleague.com. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  20. "Hong Myung-bo". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
  21. "Myung-Bo Hong - Century of International Appearances". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  22. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2012-08-22.

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