S. Korea's 2002 World Cup hero Yoo Sang-chul dies at 49 from cancer
Updated: 2021-06-09 07:01:30 KST
South Korean football legend and 2002 World Cup hero Yoo Sang-chul died of pancreatic cancer on Monday evening at the age of 49.
The former midfielder was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in October 2019 during his tenure as head coach of K League side Incheon United.
"Here at his funeral at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, some of the country's best-known football figures showed up to pay their respects and bid Yoo a last farewell."
"He was somebody who worked very hard to lead his young juniors by example. It breaks my heart to hear such sad news."
Tributes have also poured in from across the globe.
On Twitter, FIFA called Yoo a World Cup hero who served a vital role in South Korea reaching the 2002 semi-finals under Guus Hiddink.
"Whether it be as a forward, a midfielder OR a defender, Yoo always produced. He was a jack of all trades who greatly helped South Korean football."
Head of the Korea Football Association Jung Mong-gyu lamented the recurrence of Yoo's cancer as it seemed like he was relatively healthy early last year, making some public appearances and even approaching Incheon about a coaching return.
A versatile player who enjoyed successful club stints in both Korea and Japan as well as playing over 100 times for his country, Yoo is best remembered for scoring the second goal against Poland in his nation's first-ever World Cup victory.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.