Yoo Sang-chul (Korean: 유상철; 18 October 1971 – 7 June 2021) was a South Korean football player and manager. Yoo was regarded as one of the greatest South Korean midfielders of all time. He was selected as a midfielder of the 2002 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team and K League 30th Anniversary Best XI.[3][4]

Yoo Sang-chul
Yoo in July 2011
Personal information
Date of birth (1971-10-18)18 October 1971
Place of birth Seoul, South Korea
Date of death 7 June 2021(2021-06-07) (aged 49)
Place of death Seoul, South Korea
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990–1993 Konkuk University
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1998 Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 75 (21)
1999–2000 Yokohama F. Marinos 44 (24)
2001–2002 Kashiwa Reysol 33 (14)
2002–2003 Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 18 (12)
2003–2004 Yokohama F. Marinos 36 (6)
2005–2006 Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 13 (1)
Total 219 (78)
International career
1996–2004 South Korea U23 8[α] (0)
1993 South Korea B
1994–2005 South Korea 124 (18)
Managerial career
2011–2012 Daejeon Citizen
2014–2017 Ulsan University
2018 Jeonnam Dragons
2019 Incheon United
Medal record
Men's football
Representing  South Korea
Summer Universiade
Silver medal – second place 1993 Buffalo Team[1]
AFC Asian Cup
Bronze medal – third place 2000 Lebanon Team
EAFF Championship
Gold medal – first place 2003 Japan Team
East Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 1993 Shanghai Team[2]
*Club domestic league appearances and goals
Yoo Sang-chul
Hangul
유상철
Hanja
柳想鐵
Revised RomanizationYu Sangcheol
McCune–ReischauerYu Sangch'ŏl

Club career

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In 1994, Yoo joined a K League club Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i,[5] and was selected as a defender of the K League Best XI right after his first season. In 1996, he won the 1996 K League with Ulsan.[6] In 1998, he won the K League scoring title, scoring 14 goals in 20 games,[7] and was named as a midfielder in the K League Best XI.[5]

Yoo was offered a trial from Barcelona after the 1998 FIFA World Cup.[8][9] However, confusion regarding how agents work in European football caused him to miss out on the trial;[10] furthermore, his club Ulsan had already agreed to a contract-binding deal to sell him to Yokohama F. Marinos.[11]

Yoo briefly joined Kashiwa Reysol in 2001, where he played 33 games and scored 14 goals.[12] Following his success at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, there was interest from many major European football clubs, and he nearly signed a deal with Tottenham Hotspur, to the point that he had already said farewell to Kashiwa; but the negotiation broke down.[10] Without a club, he returned to Ulsan after the registration deadline and was granted a special exemption to play with the team.[10] With only eight matches left in the 2002 season, he scored nine goals, helping Ulsan move from a mid-table position to a title challenge, finishing in second place.[10] That season, he picked up another Best XI award as a forward, after finishing with the third-most goals in the league.[5][10] He was one of only two players in K League history to have been included in all three outfield positions of the Best XI.[13]

Back at Yokohama, Yoo won the J.League in 2003 and 2004, before returning to Ulsan and winning one more title in 2005.[6] Following that title, a chronic left knee injury forced him to retire from football.[13][14]

International career

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Yoo scored two goals for South Korea in FIFA World Cup, one in 1998 against Belgium,[15] and another in 2002 against Poland.[16] He played a key part of the South Korea national team when they reached the semi-finals in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and was named to the World Cup all-star team.[17] He was also part of the South Korea under-23 team for the 2004 Summer Olympics,[18][19] who finished second in Group A, making it through to the next round, before being defeated by Paraguay, the eventual silver medalists.[20]

Style of play

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Yoo was one of South Korea's most versatile players in the 1990s and 2000s. He was originally a defensive player, who could perform roles of stopper and right back with excellent physical strength, but he had the ability to spark attacks with his incisive distribution after getting great positioning and wide vision in his experiences.[21] He could even be deployed as a forward, and he became the top goal-scorer of the league. His versatility allowed him to shine in almost any area of the field from defence to attack, and his presence allowed coach Guus Hiddink to alter tactics easily during World Cup matches.[21] After his retirement, he shocked Koreans by revealing that he was blind in one eye during his career.[22]

Managerial career

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Yoo Sang-chul began managing in 2009 as a high school football manager, at Chuncheon Machinery Technical High School.[10]

On 17 July 2011, he was appointed manager of Daejeon Citizen.[23] This was a tough appointment, because a match-fixing scandal caused Daejeon to lose nearly half of their players just before his appointment.[10] Then, in 2012, a relegation system was introduced, threatening the Citizens with relegation.[10][24] In the 2012 season, while it was close,[25] the Daejeon Citizens managed to avoid relegation.[26] Following the expiration of his contract at the end of the 2012 season, negotiations to extend his contract failed, and the Daejeon Citizens appointed a different manager, a move which many fans found controversial.[27][28][29]

In January 2014, Yoo became the manager of the Ulsan University football team, the affiliate university team of the Ulsan Hyundai football club where he had spent his entire K-League career.[30] He remained with Ulsan University until December 2017, when he was appointed manager of the Jeonnam Dragons.[31]

Under Yoo, the Jeonnam Dragons attempted to reorganize the team around a youth movement. However, the team struggled to score goals, and despite Yoo's request, they were unable to land a better forward. His tenure at Jeonnam Dragons ended on August 16, 2018, when he resigned after only three victories, with the team doing poorly in the 2018 K League 1 standings.[32] Jeonnam Dragons would eventually be relegated at the end of the season.[33]

On May 14, 2019, Yoo was appointed manager of Incheon United.[33] At the time of his appointment, Incheon United was at the bottom of the 2019 K League 1, with only 6 points in 11 games.[33] While managing Incheon United in October 2019, Yoo was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Despite the diagnosis, he continued to manage Incheon United and helped the club avoid relegation, before resigning in January 2020. After resigning, he was named the honorary head coach. In June 2020, when Incheon United had another managerial vacancy, Yoo approached the team and asked to be appointed the manager again, but he was turned down on account of his poor health.[7]

Death

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On 21 November 2019, Yoo announced that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which caused him to be hospitalised.[34] He died on 7 June 2021 in Seoul at the age of 49.[35][36]

Career statistics

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Club

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Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup League cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 1994 K League 20 5 6 0 26 5
1995 K League 26 1 7 1 33 2
1996 K League 2 0 ?[a] ? 4 1 ?[b] ? 6 1
1997 K League 7 1 ?[a] ? 10 0 ?[b] ? 17 1
1998 K League 20 14 ?[a] ? 3 1 ?[b] ? 23 15
Total 75 21 ? ? 30 3 ? ? 105 24
Yokohama F. Marinos 1999 J1 League 22 7 3 1 3 0 28 8
2000 J1 League 22 17 3 0 6 4 31 21
Total 44 24 6 1 9 4 59 29
Kashiwa Reysol 2001 J1 League 24 9 1 0 0 0 25 9
2002 J1 League 9 5 0 0 0 0 9 5
Total 33 14 1 0 0 0 34 14
Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 2002 K League 8 9 ?[a] ? 0 0 8 9
2003 K League 10 3 ?[a] ? 10 3
Total 18 12 ? ? 0 0 18 12
Yokohama F. Marinos 2003 J1 League 17 6 2 0 3 0 22 6
2004 J1 League 19 0 1 0 2 0 4 1 26 1
Total 36 6 3 0 5 0 4 1 48 7
Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 2005 K League 12 1 ?[a] ? 6 0 18 1
2006 K League 1 0 ?[a] ? 0 0 ?[c] ? 1 0
Total 13 1 ? ? 6 0 ? ? 19 1
Career total 219 78 10 1 50 7 4 1 283 87
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Appearance(s) in Korean FA Cup
  2. ^ a b c Appearance(s) in Asian Club Championship
  3. ^ Appearance(s) in AFC Champions League

International

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Appearances and goals by national team and year[37]
National team Year Apps Goals
South Korea 1994 10 1
1995 8 0
1996 5 1
1997 21 7
1998 24 3
1999 2 0
2000 11 0
2001 8 3
2002 16 1
2003 9 1
2004 5 1
2005 5 0
Career total 124 18
Scores and results list Korea Republic's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Yoo goal.
List of international goals scored by Yoo Sang-chul
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 11 October 1994 Hiroshima, Japan 8   Japan 1–1 3–2 1994 Asian Games
2 30 April 1996 Tel Aviv, Israel 19   Israel 2–0 5–4 Friendly
3 25 January 1997 Sydney, Australia 26   New Zealand 3–1 3–1 1997 Opus Tournament
4 21 May 1997 Tokyo, Japan 30   Japan 1–0 1–1 Friendly
5 28 May 1997 Daejeon, South Korea 31   Hong Kong 1–0 4–0 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 12 June 1997 Seoul, South Korea 33   Egypt 2–1 3–1 1997 Korea Cup
7 24 August 1997 Daegu, South Korea 37   Tajikistan 4–1 4–1 Friendly
8 4 October 1997 Seoul, South Korea 40   United Arab Emirates 2–0 3–0 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
9 18 October 1997 Tashkent, Uzbekistan 42   Uzbekistan 2–0 5–1 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
10 25 June 1998 Paris, France 62   Belgium 1–1 1–1 1998 FIFA World Cup
11 9 December 1998 Bangkok, Thailand 66   United Arab Emirates 2–0 2–1 1998 Asian Games
12 14 December 1998 Bangkok, Thailand 68   Thailand 1–1 1–2 1998 Asian Games
13 11 February 2001 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 84   United Arab Emirates 2–1 4–1 2001 Dubai Tournament
14 1 June 2001 Ulsan, South Korea 87   Mexico 2–1 2–1 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup
15 9 December 2001 Seogwipo, South Korea 89   United States 1–0 1–0 Friendly
16 4 June 2002 Busan, South Korea 98   Poland 2–0 2–0 2002 FIFA World Cup
17 8 December 2003 Saitama, Japan 113   China 1–0 1–0 2003 EAFF Championship
18 5 June 2004 Daegu, South Korea 116   Turkey 1–1 2–1 Friendly

Honours

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Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i

Yokohama F. Marinos

South Korea B

South Korea

Individual

See also

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Notes

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  1. ^ Appearances as an overage player (four appearances in Summer Olympics, four appearances in friendlies, including one appearance against non-national team)

References

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  1. ^ a b "FOOTBALL". Universiade '93-Buffalo -Results-. Archived from the original on 29 June 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  2. ^ 동아시아축구 대표 확정. Naver (in Korean). The Hankyoreh. 30 March 1993. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b "FIFA World Cup All-Star Team". USA Today. 29 June 2002. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b 한국 축구 레전드 베스트11 발표 (in Korean). YTN. 31 May 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "CLUB HISTORY". Ulsan Hyundai FC. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Former South Korea and F. Marinos star Yoo Sang-chul dies at 49". The Japan Times. 8 June 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
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