Understanding the Korean Professional Football League

What kind of sports do you like? You can enjoy sports by participating in your own sports or watching professional sports. Personally, I like soccer very much. There is a legend of Korean soccer called Park Ji-sung who played for Manchester United, and there are many world-famous and respected players in Korea, including Son Heung-min, a key player in Tottenham Hotspur, and Cha Bum-keun, an Asian player in Germany’s Bundesliga. But I don’t think you know much about the professional soccer league in Korea. Let’s take a look at professional soccer in Korea and look at history, major clubs, and major players.


The K-League is the top professional football league under the Korean Professional Football Federation. It was launched in 1983 under the name Super League and has produced the most winning teams in the AFC Champions League. In fact, Korea’s professional sports were launched during the military dictatorship of President Chun Doo-hwan and were created as a means for the dictatorship of political forces by allowing the people to immerse themselves in sports. But recently, there are various professional sports leagues and they are loved a lot. In particular, thanks to the success of the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup in Korea, many players went abroad, and the K-League also received attention and gained a lot of popularity. K-League was a single league until 2012 when the promotion system was introduced. After the promotion system was introduced, K-League 1 and K-League 2 divisions are divided into divisions. K-League is also compared to Japan’s J-League, a country close to Korea, and J-League’s performance is better by recruiting many famous foreign mercenaries with its economic power. Also, I have to admit that having a strong fan base is an advantage over the K-League. Recently, it has attracted many fans with various events and improved levels of games, and Ki Sung-yong and Lee Chung-yong, who played in the English Premier League, are leading the box office with their return.

K-League1 Club

Ulsan Hyundai
Jeonbuk Hyundai
Sangju Sangmu
Pohang Steelers
Daegu FC
Gangwon FC
Seongnam FC
FC Seoul
Gwangju FC
Busan I’Park
Suwon Samsung BlueWings
Incheon United

There are a total of 12 teams in K-League 1, and Ulsan Hyundai is currently ranked first in the 2020 season. Last season’s winner is Jeonbuk Hyundai, which has won several times in recent years, leading the Korean soccer league. The bottom two teams will be demoted to K-League 2 for the next season.

K-League2 Club

Jeju Utd
Suwon FC
Daejeon Citizen
Gyeongnam FC
Seoul E-Land
Jeonnam Dragons
Bucheon FC 1995
FC Anyang
Asan FC, South Chungcheong Province
Ansan Greeners

There are a total of 10 teams in K-League 2, and Jeju Utd is currently in first place in the 2020 season. Last season’s winner is Gwangju FC, currently in K-League 1, and the runner-up is Busan I’Park and the 2020 season is in the league of the first division. Among them, the top 2 teams will be promoted to K-League 1 next season and will proceed with the league.

The K-League is not as old as the professional football leagues in other countries, and the league level is not as high as the English Premier League. However, it is a soccer league of a country with a new history in the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, and I hope many people around the world will be interested and enjoy the K-League. If you have a chance, why don’t you visit a nearby stadium and experience Korean soccer closely when you have a K-League schedule, such as visiting a soccer field in England?

Written by Tweety Papa

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