K-League announces All-Star starting lineup
Ulsan Hyundai defender Kwak Tae-hwi was named the most popular footballer in the K-League Monday, leading the All-Star ballot.
The league announced the final voting and the starting 11 for the All-Star game, which will pit members of the 2002 World Cup squad that reached the semifinal that year against a K-League All-Star side on July 5 at Seoul World Cup Stadium.
Kwak, known for his goal-scoring capabilities despite his position, gained a total of 42,256 votes in a 13-day poll that ended Sunday, followed by Brazilian attacking winger Eninho of Jeonbuk Motors and Yoon Bitgaram of Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, who each earned 35,343 and 33,746 votes respectively.
National team strikers Lee Dong-gook and Lee Keun-ho also made the starting lineup with 30,393 and 24,985 votes each.
Jeonbuk, the runaway league leaders, have three players in the best 11, while Suwon Bluewings, FC Seoul and Ulsan all have two starters.
The K-League All-Star team, called Team 2012, will be headed by Seongnam manager Shin Tae-yong, who led his club to win the the 2010 Asian Football Confederation Champions League and 2011 FA Cup.
In order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Cup held jointly by Korea and Japan, the K-League came up with the All-Star game plan in May.
With most of the players from the 2002 team including Hong Myung-bo, Hwang Sun-hong and Yoo Sang-chul agreeing to participate in the game, Guus Hiddink, who guided the squad to the penultimate round after ousting Portugal, Italy and Spain, will lead the side again.
The league said last week that the 65-year-old Dutchman decided to join the All-Star event. Hiddink is currently in charge at Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala.
However, it is not clear that Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung and Cha Du-ri of Fortuna Dusseldorf will take part in the match due to their team schedules.
According to the K-League, due to the Euro 2012 schedule, United players are expected to be summoned for pre-season training later than usual, while Cha, who signed a two-year deal with the German side earlier this month, flew to Germany last week.