Celtic’s Dragon set for World Cup role


World Cup Bhoy

Celtic midfielder Ki Sung Yeung is an almost certain starter for South Korea against Greece on Saturday with the Korean midfield imaginatively named- Two Park’s and Two Dragon’s.

The Park’s are Manchester United’s Ji-sung and Park Chu-young of AS Monaco with Ki one of the dragons alongside Bolton’s Lee Chung-yong.

Ji-sung Park is the most famous Korean player and is well established in Europe with Champions League experience gained at PSV Eindhoven and Manchester United.

Coach Hun Jung-moo clearly rates the Celtic midfielder highly to include a 21-year-old in his starting line up for the match with Greece.

Despite an uninspiring build up to the finals, including a 1-0 defeat to Belarus, the South Korean’s are confident of progressing out of Group B which also includes Argentina and Nigeria.

Although Ki only has eight full caps playing in the World Cup shouldn’t be too daunting a task after appearing at the u-20 World Cup in Canada in 2007 and the Olympic Games the following year in China.

Despite starting just five games for Celtic, and none since the 4-0 defeat from St Mirren in February, Ki has made an impact on the Celtic support and could be a major player next season.

Comparing his play to Steven Gerrard on arrival certainly raised expectations of the Asian Young Player of the Year- being a replacement for Shunsuke Nakamura would have kept most hoops supporters happy.

Life after Celtic has been far from happy for Nakamura who left Espanyol in mid-season to return home to Yokohamo Marinos.

The midfielder looked a tired shadow of himself during his final season at Celtic with the constant demands of long-distance travel for international football and the lack of a proper summer break taking their toll.

Nakamura’s fitness is a major concern for Japan ahead of the World Cup opener with Cameroon on June 14 with the player almost resigned to being a bit part of the squad.

He said: “I’m not thinking about whether I’ll make the first team or whether I’ll play all matches.”

The full list of past and present Celtic players in the World Cup is: Ki Sung Yueng, Landry N’Guemo, Georgios Samaras, Shunsuke Nakamura, Chris Killen, Michael McGlinchey and Edison Braffheid.

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