The Most Famous

SOCCER PLAYERS from North Korea

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This page contains a list of the greatest North Korean Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 16,923 Soccer Players, 31 of which were born in North Korea. This makes North Korea the birth place of the 69th most number of Soccer Players behind New Zealand and Montenegro.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary North Korean Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous North Korean Soccer Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of North Korean Soccer Players.

Photo of Lee Yoo-hyung

1. Lee Yoo-hyung (1911 - 2003)

With an HPI of 68.69, Lee Yoo-hyung is the most famous North Korean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 53 different languages on wikipedia.

Lee Yoo-Hyung (Hangul: 이유형, 21 January 1911 – 29 January 2003 ) was a Korean football player and manager. He has played for Japan national team and South Korea national team. He also played Kyungsung FC. He started coaching career before the Korean War. After the war, he managed South Korea national football team several times.

Photo of Kim Yong-sik

2. Kim Yong-sik (1910 - 1985)

With an HPI of 68.49, Kim Yong-sik is the 2nd most famous North Korean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.

Kim Yong-sik (Korean: 김용식; Hanja: 金容植; 25 July 1910 – 8 March 1985) was a South Korean football player who played international football for both Japan and South Korea. He is esteemed as a godfather in the South Korean football. He was diligent and only absorbed in the football. He extremely avoided harmful things to human body including alcohol and tobacco, and had ardor for training. He played as a centre-half, but he was a playmaker who took part in the attack. He was noted for his workrate, rapid pace, and elaborate techniques, which could go around the field while he didn't drop the ball to the ground. Japan also couldn't ignore his skills, and selected him for the Japan national team. Kim became the only Korean, selected for the Japan squad for the 1936 Summer Olympics, and contributed to defeating Sweden by assisting the winning goal in the tournament. In 1937, Kim joined Waseda University which had many Japan national team's players but he went back to Korea because of the discrimination about Korean. He could participate in the Olympics with Korean nationality after the end of the Japanese forced occupation. He achieved the first victory of the South Korea football history against Mexico in the 1948 Summer Olympics, in which he participated as a player-coach. After the retirement, he managed South Korea at the 1954 FIFA World Cup and 1960 AFC Asian Cup.

Photo of Kim Sung-gan

3. Kim Sung-gan (1912 - 1984)

With an HPI of 67.44, Kim Sung-gan is the 3rd most famous North Korean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.

Kim Sung-gan (Korean: 김성간, November 17, 1912 – May 19, 1984) was a South Korean footballer. Born in Pyongyang (known at the time as "Heijō"), he played for Japan national team in 1940. He died on May 29, 1984 in a traffic collision.

Photo of Pak Doo-ik

4. Pak Doo-ik (1943 - )

With an HPI of 63.69, Pak Doo-ik is the 4th most famous North Korean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Pak Doo-Ik (Chosungul: 박두익; Hanja: 朴斗翼; born 17 December 1943) is a North Korean former football player.

Photo of Pak Seung-zin

5. Pak Seung-zin (1941 - 2011)

With an HPI of 62.14, Pak Seung-zin is the 5th most famous North Korean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Pak Seung-zin (a.k.a. Pak Sung Jin; 11 January 1941 – 5 August 2011) was a North Korean footballer. He represented North Korea at the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England, scoring two goals, against Chile and Portugal. He is the first Asian footballer to score a goal in the World Cup finals.

Photo of Kim Jong-hun

6. Kim Jong-hun (1956 - )

With an HPI of 58.68, Kim Jong-hun is the 6th most famous North Korean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Kim Jong-hun (김정훈; born September 1, 1956) is a retired North Korean football player and the former head coach of the North Korea national football team. He led the nation's team to and during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Photo of Hong Yong-jo

7. Hong Yong-jo (1982 - )

With an HPI of 53.00, Hong Yong-jo is the 7th most famous North Korean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Hong Yong-Jo (Korean: 홍영조; Hanja: 洪映早; born 22 May 1982) is a North Korean international football striker, currently playing for 25 April FC in the DPR Korea League. He previously played for FC Rostov in Russia and FK Bežanija in the Serbian SuperLiga.He captained the North Korean team that qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Photo of Kim Yong-jun

8. Kim Yong-jun (1983 - )

With an HPI of 52.24, Kim Yong-jun is the 8th most famous North Korean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Kim Yong-Jun (Korean: 김영준; born 19 July 1983) is a North Korean international football manager and former player and current coach.

Photo of Ji Yun-nam

9. Ji Yun-nam (1976 - )

With an HPI of 51.98, Ji Yun-nam is the 9th most famous North Korean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Ji Yun-Nam (Korean: 지윤남; born 20 November 1976) is a former North Korean international footballer, who played for April 25 in the DPR Korea League.

Photo of Ri Myong-guk

10. Ri Myong-guk (1986 - )

With an HPI of 49.18, Ri Myong-guk is the 10th most famous North Korean Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Ri Myong-guk (born 9 September 1986 in Pyongyang, North Korea) is a North Korean international footballer. He currently plays as a goalkeeper for Pyongyang City in the DPR Korea League. He played 15 matches in 2010 World Cup qualifying for Korea DPR, including keeping a clean sheet in the decisive final group game against Saudi Arabia. After the match, he stated "I felt like I was defending the gateway to my motherland". His performances also saw him nominated for the 2009 Asian Footballer of the Year award. Ri was Korea DPR's first choice in goal in FIFA World Cup 2010. He played all Korea DPR's three World Cup matches including 7–0 loss to Portugal. He played more than 100 official matches for his national team since his debut in 2007, making him the most capped player in the history of Korea DPR. He was named the DPRK's best male footballer for three years running, in 2014, 2015, and 2016.Both his father and uncle were goalkeepers for the national team.

Pantheon has 31 people classified as soccer players born between 1910 and 1998. Of these 31, 27 (87.10%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Pak Doo-ik, Kim Jong-hun, and Hong Yong-jo. The most famous deceased soccer players include Lee Yoo-hyung, Kim Yong-sik, and Kim Sung-gan.

Living Soccer Players

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Deceased Soccer Players

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