North Korean 2010 World Cup Team Inspires Chinese Netizens

Jong Tae-Se crying during flag raising ceremony at 2010 South Africa World Cup in match against Brazil.

From Tianya:

Zheng Dashi’s face covered in tears has made us think/remember very much, very much.

Beijing time June 16 early morning, 2010 South Africa World Cup Group G first round second match, world champions Brazil against new Asian powerhouse North Korea, the first time these two teams have met on the World Cup pitch. The ultimate winner was the powerful Brazil team, the 2:1 score not surprising anyone. However, what shocked hundreds of millions of football [soccer] fans was not necessarily this match’s result, but rather North Korean team member Zheng Dashi’s face covered in tears. Before the match, during the two sides’ flag-raising and national anthem singing, Zheng Dashi [Jong Tae-Se, Jeong Dae-Se, Chong Tese], known by North Korea as “The People’s Rooney” was so moved that his face was covered in tears, crying so hard he could not sing.  This rare scene, truly made us think of so much, so much, and perhaps Zheng Dashi has also become the person who has cried the hardest during the flag-raising and national anthem singing throughout the World Cup’s 70 years of history. This stirring image will forever be etched on the World Cup.

More similar popular posts about Jong Tae-Se and the North Korean World Cup team on Mop and Tiexue.

North Korea shoots a goal against Brazil in 2010 World Cup.

North Korea versus Brazil in 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Comments from Tianya:


Chinese players only have greed and money in their eyes!

They simply cannot compare to that football team [North Korea] that must wear their uniforms N times [because they cannot afford new ones]!

[Jong Tae-Se’s] tears reflect China’s football team’s essence: Garbage!!!


Dammit, I cried too, proud North Koreans!


Ah! Proud? Proud of what? The Great Leader? Ideology? Military-first politics? Empty belly revolution, preparing to liberate the whole world? I don’t understand! None of us understand! Only this kind of deformed world can produce this kind of deformed people.


Jong Tae-Se has shown a faith/conviction that I have not seen in a long time.
He actually had a choice, because he has nationality of a country richer than North Korea but he chooses to serve the motherland in his heart, even with North Korea having in such a sorry state, with no one respecting their team.
We can not understand him, but we must respect him.


North Korea’s is unlucky…in the same group as Brazil and Portugal…such a tragedy…
While Korea and Japan’s group is relatively easy..sigh…


No matter what, we all need to cheer for the North Korean team. Their performance was incredible!


North Korea plays good football, but there is nothing for them to be proud of, an inhuman country. All of the people made fools, unable to even eat enough, no freedom, so what spirit is there to talk of? So sad.


Jong Tae-se being so moved crying tears is because he has never suffered under his own country.


Thinking of Brazil vs. China in 2002, in comparison, Chinese men [men’s team], tell me just what good is there about you guys?! Don’t mix in politics or patriotism whatever, just look at their [lack of] professional ethics and professionalism.


I bet when the New China first attended the Olympics and got its first Olympic gold medal, foreigners also saw us curiously as if they were seeing their first panda. Haha.


Hehe…North Korean only knows how to bullshit/boast, didn’t they say before the match that they were going to take down Brazil? I hate those who talk bullshit…that whole country is like that…

Second, why did Jong Tae-se cry? The domestic media all analyzes it this way, saying that it was because he was moved by pride playing for his country…is that really the reason????
Pride for what?


After watching this match, I was very moved, truly very moved. Each of them looking like they were malnourished, I was very pained. Their clothes were neither Adidas nor Nike. They also aren’t rich like our national team, but they had an unwavering spirit! Proud for North Korea! The spirit they had on the pitch deeply, deeply moved me. North Korea has already sufficiently told the world, told those people who look down upon them — We are worthy of respect!


Last night I did not stay up to watch the game.
Waking up this morning,
The first thing I did was look for videos.
North Korea vs. Brazil.
The moment I saw Jong Tae-Se cry,
I was truly moved.
Just as people have said,
Brazil excels in technique/skill,
North Korean excels in spirit.
[As for] China’s football team,
there’s truly nothing to say.
The money spent supporting them would have been better invested in the Hope Project.
Looking at North Korea, South Korea, and Japan,
I simply want to ask: 1.3 billion people, picking just one out of every hundred million, and we still can’t pick [out a good football team]?
Are our financial investments not enough? Our material investments?
Men of the Chinese national football team,
if you have any self-respect, then do some self-reflection.
So embarrassing.


This is what Chinese people are like, worshiping money. TMD how come no one says the American president swearing on the Bible when taking office is absurd and ignorant? North Korea has some of their own beliefs. Chinese people, after just having walked a few steps out of that time period themselves, begin to ridicule others. Chinese people…


As a Chinese person, every time the World Cup comes around I feel like this is simply TMD cupware!


Seeing the scene of tears covering his face, I could think of these things:

1. North Korean football. [Against] powerful Brazil, no one can guarantee a victory, [but] getting a goal shows their strength and ambition.
2. Chinese football. What has Chinese football gained from the World Cup?
3. Spirit: Football requires a kind of spirit, a kind of fighting will. Otherwise, how could one fight for another goal near the end? This too is one of football’s charms.
4. Patriotic spirit. We have no right to underestimate or slander his patriotic spirit, just like a son’s love for his poor, lowly, ugly mother. A son would never think his mother ugly!
5. Why do people live? For money? For faith? We trust that in Japan and Korea he in had the opportunity to choose what we believe is better [but he didn’t].
6. Our choice. I do not approve of your opinion, but I will fight to the death for your right to express your different opinion. Everyone has their own choice.


Old Zheng [Jong] must’ve known that the result of this match would not be good, and upon thinking of his future mining coal, he could not stop himself from crying.

CCTV Broadcast of the 2010 World Cup North Korea vs. Brazil game shows Chong Tese crying during the national anthem.

Chong Tese plays football for Japanese team.

From Tianya:

Saluting the North Korean football team

I’m not really a football fan, only watching several World Cup matches, simply joining the crowd.
Last night I watched the North Korea vs. Brazil match, and was deeply touched by the North Korean team’s spirit.
This morning watching the news, I saw the journalists’ discussion of the North Korean team, and had an indescribable feeling.
Putting aside politics, North Korea’s spirit is worth admiration.
This morning, I rushed to Johannesburg. Today is a South African national holiday, and fortunately Makro was open. I bought 10 cases of water, 20 cokes, 6 boxes of chocolate, 2 big boxes of Milo to give to the North Korean team.

The news said that the North Korean team are staying at the Midrand Protea hotel. It is not too hard to find, just a quick search on the GPS and I know how to get there.
Once I arrived at the hotel, I explained to the information desk my reason for coming. A manager received me, told me that the North Korean team was having a meeting at the time, and could not receive me…

Since I had delivered my [gesture of] affection and respect , I just told the manager: This is a tribute from a Chinese person who has been in South Africa for 18 years to the North Korean football team. I left a phone number, and with the things [I brought] the manager signed for, unloaded them from my car and then left.

Makro had two workers help me load up the car.

A South African Chinese with workers from Makro loading gifts to the North Korean football team.

Makro workers in South Africa help a Chinese load up his gifts to the North Korean World Cup football team.

10 boxes of water, 20 packs of Coke, 6 boxes of chocolate, and 2 big boxes of Milo.

Gifts to the North Korean national football team include a lot of coke, water, Kit Kat chocolate bars, and Milo.

Protea Hotel’s lobby.

Lobby area of the Midrand Protea Hotel in South Africa.

Lobby area of the Midrand Protea Hotel in South Africa.

Comments from Tianya:


Give my respects to the North Korean team…


Well done, lou zhu, a team like the North Koreans is worthy of people’s admiration!


Support the lou zhu!

An completely classic and clean game, with strong wills, superb skills, this kind of people are deserving of any person’s respect.

Some people should make less sarcastic remarks.

May the lou zhu please pass on that there are a large amount of people in China who support them, and wish them to continue jia you!


I also very much admire the North Korean team’s spirit!
I read on the internet that their monthly salary is only 12 kuai, the players’ food, clothing, and shelter expenses all being very tight, and I truly wanted to donate to them. If I were in South Africa, I probably would have done the same as the lou zhu. Because this to them is an expression of one’s own heart, I believe their will/determination has also infected many, many Chinese football fans like myself! I don’t know how many Chinese football fans are in South Africa, but I hope everyone can give such a courageous football team some more help and concern!


I ding the lou zhu.

North Korea has touched the world, Jong Tae-Se has touched the world.


Lou zhu, well done. Facing such deep problems but not giving up, a team that does not give up deserves respect!


Putting aside that garbage government and that garbage Kim family that has brought their country suffering and shame, the strength and athletic spirit that these people have shown are worthy of praise.

john_tao: (the original poster)

Everyone has their own beliefs, even if these beliefs are being deceived.
My actions today were purely motivated by the North Korean team’s fighting spirit, and definitely does not involve politics.

Sports has no borders.


This simply can’t be separated from politics.
If the domestic North Korean economy were good, your guys’ attitudes toward the North Korean team would be the same as those towards the South Korean team, and [you all] would have started yelling “bangzi” long ago.


I was up in the early morning sitting in front of the television waiting for North Korea to lose horribly, because they bragged that they would defeat Brazil, just like they boast about defeating South Korea, Japan, and America.

In the first half of the first half they actually had some offense, but basically unreliable/inconsistent, then on continuously being being pressured, basically unable to get pass midfield. However, in the second half, they had a rare counterattack and made a goal. Simply from a technical perspective, North Korea and Brazil and Portugal are completely not on the same level, and I’ve decided that North Korea won’t make it past this round.

My heart was a little complicated after watching. My thoughts of Brazil embarrassing them with a 3-0 blowout had been dashed, and was a little moved. After all, those who do not give up in the face of a stronger opponent and instead choose to fight as warriors are worthy of admiration. Their spirit of competition is laudable, without the unsportsmanlike behavior of before where they would fight when losing.

Even though I know they are just flattering Old Kim, I still wish them the best, hope they won’t be punished to coal mining if they play a bit better, that during their leisure time they can spend it with the colorful world and its colorful people, so that they will know that the people of other countries actually have good lives, and don’t need their liberation, that they should be more concerned with their own country’s suffering people.

Sigh, may patriotism and nationalism go to hell. What we need is “world-ism”.

Democratic People's Republic of Korea fan side by side with Republic of Korea fan at 2010 World Cup.

South Korea fan shows sign asking people to foreget politics for 90 minutes.

Korean girl holding up "Corea" sign.

“World-ism” begins here. chinaSMACK personals.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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