South Korea

Pedigree England, France, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands have all missed the World Cup more recently than South Korea, which has now made every finals since 1982, even if qualification this time around was a little less smooth than normal.

The Star Barely two weeks before its opening game, South Korea confronted its nightmare: the sight of Son Heung-min, the Tottenham forward and the country’s lone superstar, being removed from a Champions League game with a fractured cheekbone. Son has assured fans he will be ready to play. The lingering fear is that he may not quite be at his thrilling best.

Key Question South Korea might have contributed one of the most memorable moments in Russia four years ago — eliminating Germany — but its result was still a disappointment. The question this year will be the same as it was then: Does Son have enough of a supporting cast to shine?

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