International football begins its summer season when Spain begins preparations for the 2016 European Championships facing South Korea in a friendly match that will stream live for free and legally from Austria on Wednesday. The two nations most famously met in the 2002 World Cup hosted by South Korea, when Spain suffered a highly controversial defeat on penalty kicks.
Otherwise, however, Spain have dominated the Asian powerhouse, winning three of their five all-time meetings, with a draw thrown in there as well. But the two teams have not squared off since a 4-1 Spain win in May of 2012.
— MARCA in English (@MARCAinENGLISH) May 31, 2016
Nonetheless, South Korea insists that they will not just be a punching bag for Spain, who will be looking to set an all-time record by securing their third consecutive European title at the 2016 Euros which open June 10 in France. Spain is currently ranked sixth on the FIFA world table — while South Korea stands at 54th in the world.
“We are not going there to be their sparring partners,” said South Korea Coach and former West German international — from the era before the unification of Germany — Uli Stielike, as he prepared to leave with his team from Incheon International Airport on Sunday.
“We will show that we are competitive opponents. It’s important to keep our philosophy of football and mindset. Spain could show better techniques than us on the pitch, but we should not be cowered before the match.”
South Korea has been on a tear since falling to Australia in the 2015 Asian Cup Final, winning 13 of 16 international matches with no defeats. But they have not faced an opponent with the quality of the defending back-to-back European champions.
S. Korea are not sparring partners for Spain, Czech Republic: coach https://t.co/tfioGPZohD
— Yonhap News Agency (@YonhapNews) May 29, 2016
Watch highlights of the 2012 Spain victory over South Korea in the video below.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the Spain vs. South Korea international friendly match, legally and for free, see the streaming link in the final paragraph of this article. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Central European Summer Time at Red Bull Arena in Salzburg, Austria, on Wednesday, June 1.
Fans in the United States can log in to the live stream at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 7:30 a.m. Pacific.
The match also features a reunion of two former teammates on Spanish giant Real Madrid. Stielike played for the legendary La Liga club fro 1977 to 1984. Spain Manager Vicente Del Bosque was his teammate for that whole period. Del Bosque was a member of the Real Madrid organization from 1968 to 1984.
Real Madrid enjoyed three league titles and two Spanish Copa Del Rey championships while both were on the team.
Preview: Spain vs. South Korea – Sports Mole https://t.co/NTQjTvr2IR
— Visiting Spain (@visiting_spain) May 31, 2016
“I’m meeting him after a long time,” Stielike said. “It’s going to be a special reunion.”
Though their 2014 World Cup title defense ended in disaster, as Spain went out in the group stage after losing two of three matches, La Roja have now gone 10 consecutive international matches without suffering defeat heading into the friendly against South Korea on Wednesday.
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ESPN3, the online-only network of sports giant ESPN, will carry the Spain Vs. South Korea International Friendly match live online, with streaming video from Red Bull Arena in Salzburg, Austria. Click on this link to watch the matchup of the sixth and 54th-ranked international football sides in the world — legally and for free — on a computer or on mobile and set-top devices with ESPN3 on the WatchESPN app. ESPN3 is free to subscribers of almost any major internet service provider and dozens of smaller ISPs. For a complete list, check this link, or try the instructions at this link if you do not have an account with an ISP that carries ESPN3.
[Featured Photo By Jasper Juinen/Getty Images]