My dream 5-a-side: Raymond An / by Justin Salhani


Raymond An recently moved to Koreatown, Los Angeles from the DMV to pursue his passion of being a creator. His favorite club is FC Barcelona mainly due to Ronaldinho's influence, which also led him to study abroad there for a semester during Pep Guardiola's last season in charge. His football experiences include attending the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, El Clasico, a UCL semi, and in a couple months he’ll also follow the Korean team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

A notable footballing memory - he once snuck into the Spanish national team's bus in DC when they were at a nightclub. He slipped his way into an after-party but was caught by a bouncer and expelled. He said Pedro and David Villa were very nice and Sergio Ramos was pulling girls left and right.

I picked this team because well, I'm Korean and they're all legendary players for Korean standards! If my life depended on it I definitely won't pick this team and would probably look completely different. But I wanted to use this opportunity to shed some light on the Korean players that will probably never gain much, if any, recognition.

GK Oliver Kahn
Kahn is the one non-Korean player in my side. He is not my favorite keeper nor do I think he was the best of all time, but I enjoyed his badass attitude and sometimes you need that. Can you imagine him throwing it down on a 5v5 pitch where the players have no room to run away? And plus, there is not one Korean keeper that I really like.

Def Hong MyungBo (captain)
MyungBo was the dependable figure of Korean football during the 90s and 2002 World Cup when he lead the back line. If there was a penalty kick situation, you could count on him. I remember the penalty he took against Spain in the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. Youtube it. Cool like a Pirlo Panenka? Nah. Calm and cool like a Hong PK.

Mid Jisung Park
Park, probably the most important Asian and Korean player to play the game, was a model to a lot of Asian footballers you see today. His success was set the standard. Park will never stop running on a full pitch, you think he'll get tired on a 5v5?

Fwd Cha Bum-kun
Cha made a name for himself in the Bundesliga back in the 80s while playing for Bayer Leverkusen. He scored over 50 goals. That was the first for an Asian player.

Fwd Ahn Jungh-hwan
Ahn is one of the most prolific strikers in modern Korean football. He was the one who scored the golden goal against Italy in the 2002 round of 16 knockout match. His Italian club at the time, Perugia, terminated his contract for scoring that goal. Cha and Ahn will be the ones scoring all the goals for us both in quantity and in clutch moments.

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Subs Lee Young Pyo and Son HeungMin
Lee played for PSV and Tottenham. Asian players generally not flashy, but Lee had one heck of a step over and was not afraid to use it. Not even during his EPL debut with the Spurs.  A little trickery to unsettle the opposition in a 5v5 might be necessary.

Son, who we all know, is tearing it up for Spurs this season. Recent fans of Son might not be aware, but he was tearing it up in Bundesliga with both Hamburg and Leverkusen. The man knows how to score and if Cha and Ahn can't bring it, you know my Son will. Only reason why he's not staring is because in Korean culture, you respect your elders and it is probably smart to just let them play first.

Raymond An is a Creative Director for Guerrilla FC and check out his store RAYSBEACHCLUB for exclusive football street wear.

Words Adrian Kidaman - captain of Guerrilla Football Club
Edits Justin Salhani - founder and brand lead at Guerrilla FC