At 36 years old, Korean national team goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae is showing that he still has what it takes to compete at a high level. He has include as one of 35 players for South Korea training camps in South Africa and Spain next month. The 2002 semi-finalists has been drawn into Group B of the 2010 World Cup along with Argentina, Nigeria and Greece.
On last game, Lee was in net for Korea's 0-0 draw with Denmark and made several key saves, against the best team Korea has faced in some time.
It was also Lee's 123rd cap with the national team, which moved him past Yoo Sang-chul into second all-time in national team appearances. He now trails only Hong Myung-bo, the current manager of the Korean Olympic team, who played in 135 matches over his career.
With Lee still on top of his game, he's on pace to break the record. Lee does have an advantage as a goalkeeper, as players at his position can typically play at a high level later into their careers, more so than players at other positions.
He has been good enough to earn the trust of national team manager Huh Jung-moo, who used him in every qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup. And even against Northern European powerhouse Denmark, Lee was sharp. On one play, Lee rushed out of his net to cut down the angle on a one-on-one with a Danish player.
If Lee hopes to break the record, he will need to be named to the roster for next year's World Cup in South Africa, something which should be all but assured as long as he stays healthy and maintains his physical conditioning and stamina.