German coach Uli Stielike takes over S. Korean football team

September 4, 2014
 Uli Stielike (Yonhap)

Uli Stielike (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Former German international Uli Stielike has been named the new head coach of the South Korean men’s football team.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced the hiring of the 59-year-old through the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia on Friday (KST).

Stielike fills the vacancy at the football coaching position here left by Hong Myung-bo, who resigned in early July after South Korea crashed out of the World Cup in Brazil with one draw and two losses.

The KFA said Stielike will arrive in South Korea on Monday and will attend South Korea’s friendly match against Uruguay later that day.

South Korea will host Venezuela in a friendly match later Friday with three assistant coaches on the bench.

Stielike is the first foreign head coach for South Korea since the Dutchman Pim Verbeek, who quit in August 2007 after 13 months on the job.

Stielike enjoyed a successful club career in his native Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach and later in Spain with Real Madrid. He won three consecutive Bundesliga titles starting in 1975, and in Spain, won three straight La Liga championships starting in 1978.

He played 215 matches for Real Madrid and was named the Best Foreign Player in La Liga four times.

As a central midfielder or sweeper, Stielike also appeared in 42 matches for West Germany between 1975 and 1984.

After retiring as a player in 1988, Stielike took over Switzerland, and also had coaching spells with clubs in Spain and Germany.

He then was the assistant coach on the German national team from 1998 to 2000, and the head coach for Cote d’Ivoire from 2006 to 2008.

After a brief stint with a Swiss club, Stielike worked with a pair of Qatari clubs. He managed Al-Arabi and moved to Al-Sailiya before returning to Al-Arabi for his second tour of duty last year.

Stielike was Al-Sailiya’s head coach when South Korean defender Kim Ki-hee was loaned to the club after the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The KFA in August appeared close to reaching a deal with Bert van Marwijk from the Netherlands, but it later said the negotiations broke down on the issue of taxation and where the coach would spend the majority of his time as the South Korea boss.

The KFA dispatched its technical director, Lee Yong-soo, to an unspecified overseas location last weekend, hoping to name the new bench boss by Sept. 15.

Dettmar Cramer of Germany became the first foreign football coach in South Korea in January 1991. South Korea qualified for the 1992 Olympics under Cramer’s tutelage but the coach resigned months before the Olympics over differences with his South Korean staff.

Anatoliy Byshovets of Ukraine coached South Korea at the 1996 Summer Olympics, where he failed to meet his objective of making the quarterfinals.

Guus Hiddink of the Netherlands, who took the reins here before the 2002 World Cup, remains the most successful coach here ever, foreigner or otherwise. South Korea, a co-host of the tournament with Japan, reached the semifinals in an unprecedented run, and no other coach has come close to matching the feat.

Dick Advocaat, also from the Netherlands, coached South Korea at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. South Korea earned its first away World Cup victory but fell short of making it to the round of 16.

Humberto Coelho of Portugal, and two Dutchmen, Jo Bonfrere and Verbeek, each lasted about a year on the bench.