Before South Korea’s Heung-min Son and Kim Young-gwon scored two to put Germany out of the World Cup, its goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo’s heroic saves kept die Mannschaft out.
Nicknamed “Dae-hair“ (Daegu FC’s David de Gea), the 26-year-old who plays for Daegu FC in the K-League, hit the headlines after his point-blank range save against Sweden in South Korea’s opening fixture in the World Cup. Despite having only 8 national caps to his name, it looks like he’s South Korea’s hottest property at the moment.
Cho is one of the most talented keepers in the K-League. His reflexes, agility, and shot-stopping ability won him the best goalkeeper award in K-League 2 in 2015 and 2016, and an equivalent of the award in K-League 1 in 2017.
Former South Korea coach Uli Stielike picked Cho in the squad for Korea’s World Cup Qualifiers against Loas and Myanmar in 2015. But his first international cap came in a friendly against Honduras in May this year, ahead of the World Cup.
His performances in the friendlies impressed South Korea boss Shin Tae-yong, who handed him his competitive debut for South Korea against Sweden in the World Cup. He was picked over Kim Seung-gyu, who was expected to start.
Cho, who recently expressed his desire to play in the Premier League, had caught the eye of clubs from Korea and Japan before the 2018 season as well. But he decided to stay put and prepare for the World Cup.
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