North Korea midfielder An Yong Hak is not feeling overawed by the fact that his team has been placed in the so-called ‘Group of Death’ at the 2010 World Cup.
The East Asian team have not qualified for the tournament since reaching the quarter-finals in 1966 and were rewarded with Group G ties against Brazil, Ivory Coast and Portugal.
Few pundits give the Chollima a chance in South Africa but An, who was an ever-present in the team’s qualification campaign, feels that North Korea can shine despite their tough tests.
“It goes without saying that in terms of skill and organization that Brazil are at the highest level and they know how to win World Cups,” An told reporters at the team’s Switzerland training camp.
“Portugal have one of the best players in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo and Ivory Coast have players who play for some of the best clubs in Europe. It will not be easy but there are no easy games at the World Cup.
“Whoever we play, we will do our best and can get good results.It is true that we lack international experience but right until the start of the tournament we are trying to supplement our experience with a number of friendly matches.”
The team’s friendly with DR Congo was cancelled leaving just one more warm-up game – against Nigeria on June 6 in Johannesburg.