Relaymedia

World Cup Sees Players Pray Thankfulness to God as Korea, Brazil Win

An exciting day in Germany at the World Cup has seen South Korea overcome their first hurdle, in defeating a tough Togo team. A number of Korean players bent on their knees on the pitch and prayed tha
( [email protected] ) Jun 15, 2006 09:35 AM EDT

An exciting day in Germany at the World Cup has seen reigning champions Brazil set a new record for the most consecutive matches won in World Cup history (8), as they beat Croatia, as well as 2002 surprise team South Korea overcome their first hurdle, in defeating a tough Togo team.


Thousands of Korean supporters filling the stadium rejoiced at the final whistle, as a number of Korean players bent on their knees on the pitch and prayed thankfulness to God.

South Korea's Lee Young-pyo was the image of faithfulness, as he was pictured praying immediately after the game had ended.

As South Korea's defender in its World Cup football team, and a devout Christian, Lee has said previously the number of Christians in the squad would have a positive effect on their World Cup challenge.

"In 2002 we had six or seven players who were Christian. Now we have 12," Lee told reporters on Sunday as the squad prepared for the Group G clash with Togo in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

"This is a very good thing for us because I believe the 12 players will make us much stronger. I believe Jesus will give me a good result at this World Cup."

According to Lee, the players meet on a regular basis to discuss their faith, although it was difficult for them to get to church during the intense training programme coach Dick Advocaat had put them through in Scotland and Germany.

In addition, despite his excellent performance in South Korea's 2002 exploits towards the semi-finals, Lee humbly claimed that he did not consider himself a leader, although he was happy to counsel several of the younger players.

"We are always getting together and I can talk about tactics and individual movement and stuff but I don't think I'm a leader on the field," he said.

"Every Korean player is a leader on the pitch."

Song Chong Gug, another one of the stars of South Korea’s victory, was also seen falling to his knees immediately at the final whistle, as he prayed to God.

Elsewhere, Brazil, another prayerful side with many members boasting publicly about their faith in Jesus Christ, won a challenging competition against a resistant Croatia team, as Kaka scored a 44th minute winner for the South-American side.

Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira paid tribute to Croatia after the game.

Parreira said after the match: "I think the game was balanced, we had more shots on goal but we had a certain difficulty imposing our own rhythm."