Homage poured around the world of football for the passing of Yoo Sang-chul, 49, last Monday night. Yoo was the star of the South Korean team in the semifinals at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
The athlete has suffered from pancreatic cancer which he started battling against last November 2019. He is known to be the most versatile player throughout the football history of the country who made it to the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in 2002. Yoo served as midfielder after lifting South Korea into the final four.
He was able to hit an insurance goal in the country’s 2-0 win over Poland, marking the first victory of South Korea at a World Cup.
“Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero,” FIFA World Cup’s official Twitter account posted, referring to the lost sports gem, Yoo.
The athlete has served as a coach to professional and college teams after his club career for 12 years.
The fallen sports star was remembered by the Incheon United and Daejeon Hana Citizen, the final and the first football clubs he coached. The teams expressed their tribute to Yoo through a social media post.
Apart from them, the Korea Football Association (KFA) and a batch of other K League clubs also paid their respect to Yoo.
His photos were also posted by the Japanese club, Yokohama F. Marinos, as it wrote its tribute message. The former player spent a couple of tours of duty to the said club.
Before midnight, a memorial altar for the athlete was placed at Asan Medical Center and despite the late hours, Yoo’s 2002 World Cup teammates visited and reminisced the memories they had with the adored athlete and coach in South Korea.
“As a player, a coach and a human being, Yoo Sang-chul was simply the best,” Hwang Sun-hong, former Daejeon Hana Citizen head coach, said. “I think we’ve lost such a good person. He dealt with a lot of stress from a young age, and I hope he will now rest in peace in a good place.”