Ri Myong-guk

Ri Myong-guk (born 9 September 1986)[1] is a North Korean former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. Ri was known for his positioning and reflexes and sole played for Pyongyang Sports Club in the DPR Korea League. Ri was also a national team veteran and former captain having made 118 appearances for the national team before his retirement in 2019. Ri is currently the goalkeeper coach for his former club.[3]

Ri Myong-guk
Personal information
Date of birth (1986-09-09) 9 September 1986 (age 36)[1]
Place of birth Pyongyang, North Korea[1]
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2019 Pyongyang City
International career
2007–2019 North Korea 118[2] (0)
Medal record
Representing  North Korea
Men's football
Asian Games
Silver medal – second place 2014 Incheon Team
*Club domestic league appearances and goals
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of January 17, 2019
Ri Myong-guk
Revised RomanizationRi Myeongguk
McCune–ReischauerRi Myŏngguk


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".[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

Both his father and uncle were goalkeepers for the national team.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Ri Myong-guk at soccerway.com. Retrieved on 7 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Ri Myong-Guk - Century of International Appearances". RSSSF. 7 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Best Goalkeeper Prize Winner ["Korea" Magazine article]". 4 June 2020. {{cite web}}: |first= missing |last= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Chadband, Ian (15 October 2009). "North Korea's draw with Congo gives world glimpse of secretive nation's football side". London: The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 March 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  5. ^ "AFC player of the year 2009 nominees first list announced". Asian Football Confederation. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Naenara Democratic People's Republic of Korea". naenara.com.kp. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018.
  7. ^ "A day in the life of North Korean footballer Ri Myong-guk". The Guardian. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.

External linksEdit