BABEWATCH: North Korean Footballer Jong Tae-se

June 22nd, 2010 | 11 comments | Posted by Jen

Name: Jong Tae-se

Age: 26

Hails from: Japan

Occupation: Striker for North Korea’s 2010 World Cup Team

Y’all, I’m not gonna front. I am not a fan of The Other Football. It’s not that I don’t enjoy watching a soccer match, it’s just that I don’t feel compelled to. I didn’t grow up watching soccer in Texas–soccer was the sport you played at my high school if you were too small for football, basketball, baseball, swimming and even, trust me on this one, tennis–so I’ve never bothered to learn its nuances. I realize that this is considered by most of the world to be a personality defect, and I accept that.

But you don’t need to know much about the game to be intrigued by Jong Tae-se, star striker for North Korea’s 2010 World Cup team, who got pummeled 7-0 by Portugal yesterday, which got TIME magazine wondering if the loss was “A Fatal Loss of Face?” Jong was born and plays professionally in Japan, is third-generation South Korean, but attended North Korean sponsored-schools in Japan, and has chosen to represent North Korea in its first World Cup since 1966.

North Korea’s 44 year-absence from the tournament may explain why Jong bawled his eyes out during the playing of the North Korean national anthem before its match with Brazil. A show of emotion that got him named to “The 10 least sexy World Cup players” by GlobalPost. Which seems pretty unforgiving, given the complicated snarl that is Jong’s nationality, and the rabid nationalism that the World Cup brings out in pretty much everyone globally. (Also: Weren’t sports and international competition invented so that grown men would have a safe place to cry? I mean, really.)

And while I don’t know much about soccer, I do know that this…

…and this…

…are not making me love the sport less, by any means.

[LA Times: North Korea's star at the World Cup]

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11 Responses to “BABEWATCH: North Korean Footballer Jong Tae-se”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jasminedavila, 박수형. 박수형 said: yeeee!!! RT @disgrasian: BABEWATCH: North Korean Footballer Jong Tae-se [...]

  2. Cindy says:

    Jen, give it time. I have faith you can overcome the lack of soccer in your Texas upbringing just as I have. I’m a total world cup whore at this point. I don’t know of any other sport that has so many hot bodies everywhere or where you can get a penalty for over acting. What’s not to love?

  3. erikakharada says:

    I’m annoyed that there are no Asian guys in any of the “top sexiest footballers of World Cup” lists out there :P

  4. Jen says:

    @Cindy You said it, sister. The thing that is bringing me around to “footie” IS the realization that, yes, the sport does boast the hawtest athletes in the world. And, yes, that means I am really slow for not realizing that sooner!

    @erikakharada I know–it’s heresy.

  5. Cindy says:

    @erikakharada the lack of an Asian player on the “sexiest” list is shameful. The Japanese team alone could easily occupy half the list!

  6. rowenaro says:

    I have been trying my hardest for the past year NOT to log in, you two are always so smart, witty, and effin’ hilarious that I knew I would always want to comment. But with this post and summer upon me in So. Cal, I caved. My husband was already sick of the shirtless surfers walking around our beach neighborhood and now with the World Cup, he has had it with hot, shirtless men. I love him, but I CANNOT help but LOOK. . . I just hope he never suggests moving to Alaska or disconnecting our cable.

  7. Jen says:

    @rowenaro So glad you did log in! If it takes hot, shirtless men to reel you in, I guess we’ll just have to post more of them.

  8. blue demon says:

    FYI Jen, soccer was invented by Kim ll-Sung to channel his son Kim Jong Il’s energy as he would frequently kick tigers into the moon.

    [The More You Know]

  9. jasmine says:

    @blue demon – bwahahahaha. Also, I had no idea.

  10. Jen says:

    @blue demon Why is this not in Wikipedia??? I am outraged:

  11. BlasianBytch says:

    meh, he’s a butterface for me.

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