Video: Yu Sang-cheol's goal in the South Korea-Poland game in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Credit: SBS News.
Yu Sang-cheol 유상철, former member of the Korean men’s national team in soccer and manager of the Incheon United FC 인천 유나이티드 of the K League 1, passed away on June 7 following a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer. Considered one of the greatest all-around players in Korean football history, Yu was nominally midfielder but played everywhere in the pitch except for the goalie position, frequently switching positions depending on the substitution.
The highlight of Yu’s 124-cap career was the South Korea-Poland match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, in which Yu cannon-fired a shot from long distance that found the back of the net after deflecting off the goalkeeper’s outstretched hand, pushing South Korea’s lead to 2-0 and securing victory. For his heroics in the 2002 World Cup, in which South Korea made the against-all-odds run to the semifinals, Yu was selected as one of the tournament’s Best XI.
After retiring in 2006, Yu astonished the public by disclosing for the first time that he was functionally blind in his left eye and played with one eye for most of his career, including during the 2002 World Cup.