South Korea coach Huh Jung-moo was the man assigned to stop Maradona when the countries met in their opening match of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, a game long-remembered in Buenos Aires for the Koreans’ strong-arm tactics against their skipper.
“I remember Huh very well,” Maradona said after the draw pairing the sides together was made in December. “In 1986 the Koreans played taekwondo, not football, against us.”
Maradona went into that game in Mexico City nursing a long-standing injury, and the Koreans tactics were to do anything they could to stop him.
Ultimately they failed as Maradona had a brilliant game leading his side to a 3-1 victory, setting off on the path that led to victory in the World Cup final against West Germany.
Argentina and South Korea, who have only played each other once since then, go into Thursday’s match buoyed by victory in their opening games last Saturday with the Argentines beating Nigeria 1-0 and the Koreans overcoming Greece 2-0.
Maradona has just one doubt over defender Juan Sebastian Veron, who strained his right calf muscle against Nigeria and was still sitting out training on Tuesday. Continued…