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Celtic’s Dragon set for World Cup role

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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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