Despite starting just five SPL matches since his January move to Scotland Ki, or Dave as he’s known by his new team-mates, has made it into coach Huh Jung-moo final squad of 23 for South Africa.
An announcement on the final squad had been expected on Sunday but after losing 1-0 to Belarus Jung-moo delayed naming his squad. Ki played the full match against Belarus and can now look forward to retaining his place for the World Cup opener against Greece on June 12 with the other group matches being against Argentina and Nigeria.
Yung-moo’s big decision was over the fitness of striker Lee Dong-gook who missed out on the 2006 finals in Germany due to injury. “The fact that I don’t have a lot of options in terms of strikers is one of the reasons I chose Lee,” admitted the Korean coach.
“Even if he can’t play against Greece in the first game, I think he’ll be ready for the second and third games.”
Ki never played in any matches under Neil Lennon with his last Celtic appearance being in the 4-0 defeat to St Mirren that ended Tony Mowbray’s reign as Celtic boss.
Despite his limited appearances he made a good impression on the Celtic support with his willingness to break forward from midfield, range of passing and ability from set-pieces.
With Morten Rasmusen missing out on a place in the Danish squad alongwith former Celt Scott McDonald being axed by Australia it’s great to see Ki making it to the World Cup finals.
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