The South Korean national team is not traditionally one you see among the favourites when going into big tournaments. The Koreans have however managed to qualify for every World Cup since 1986. Their best finish was a fourth place, when they in 2002 went all the way to the semi-finals, in a tournament played on their home turf. At this year’s World Cup Nike have kitted them with a brilliant new home shirt.
South Korea is a proud nation, which never does anything half-heartedly. This was particularly apparent in 2002, when the World Cup hosts put on quite a show, which also brought success in terms of football. At this year’s World Cup in Brazil the South Koreans down only show up with a team in perfect harmony; they have also been fitted with a new shirt that symbolises the great balance in the squad.
In a combination of innovative technology and strong national symbolism, Nike have managed to encapsulate the stubbornness and spirit, which characterises the Korean national team. The dedicated team of Nike designers found their inspiration in Taegeuk, the Yin/Yang symbol in the South Korean flag. The symbol, which represents balance and harmony, is a perfect reflection of the team’s dedication and team spirit. The collar is directly inspired by Korean fashion and the shirt is therefore also stylishly well in check.
SungYueng Ki, who will be representing his country in Brazil is particular proud of his new home shirt: “The Korean shirt is filled with the aspirations of a nation. This year in Brasil, with a shirt that expresses the balance of the yin and yang, we will look to reach new heights as a team on football's biggest stage."
On top of the symbolic representations, which are deeply rooted in the national team shirt, Nike have also managed to equip the shirt with their very best technologies. The shirt has a combination of Nikes well known Dri-Fit technology, their “Burnout” weave and laser carved ventilation holes, like the ones we saw on the Australian shirt. The Korean players will therefore not have to worry about wearing soaked and therefore heavy shirts, which is definitely a possibility in the very hot Brazilian climate.
Nike also continue their Better World program into the Korean national teams shirt and for the first time ever their shirt is made entirely from recycled bottles. Each set is made from 18 bottles on average.
On this shirt Nike’s 3D technology has also been taken into use, so it fits down to the very slightest detail. Nikes new Pro Baselayer also features, with the shorts being made to protect the skin, when players tumble or go down in hefty sliding tackles. The result is the Nike Pro Combat Ultralight Shorts, which weigh an impressive 20% less than previous shorts and are made of 87% recycled polyester. One thing is certain: South Korea is ready for battle.
Even though South Korea may not be among the favourites at the World Cup in Brazil, this doesn’t mean they can’t have a strong showing. With their stylish and symbolic shirt, there is no doubt that the South Koreans will step onto the pitch in Brazil proud. What do you think about the new South Korean shirt? What do you like the best about the shirt? Share your thoughts with us in the box below, or on Facebook and Twitter.