|League Name||K League|
|Number of Teams||12 (K League 1) 11 (K League 2)|
|Most Championships||Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (9)|
|Most Appearances||Pohang Steelers (40)|
|Link to Official Site||http://www.kleague.com/|
The K League is a professional men’s football competition in South Korea. It has two divisions, with the top tier being K League 1. There are 12 clubs in this league, and the competition has two phases. The regular season takes place through 33 rounds, and the teams play each other three times. The teams are then divided into two groups – Final A and Final B – with six teams in each. The clubs play each other one more time to determine the final standings.
The first two teams earn direct qualification to the AFC Champions League, while the third-placed club gets a spot in the playoff round of that competition. The last team in the K League table get relegated to K League 2, while 10th and 11th qualify for relegation playoffs.
The current rules allow three foreign players to be in the lineup of a K League team. Additionally, they can have one Southeast Asian and one AFC player.
The first edition of the Korean Super League took place in 1983. It featured five clubs, and only two were professional. Hallelujah FC won the first title.
As the country wanted to popularize the sport before the 2002 FIFA World Cup in this country, the government decided to move several clubs away from Seoul. The decentralization approach failed, and the authorities gave up on it three years later.
It was in 1999 that the Korean Football Association changed the top competition’s name to the K League. It only had one tier until 2011, which is when the Korean League Cup started. The second K League division was added in 2013.
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors have won the last five editions of the K League. They are aiming for six in a row in 2022. They only won their first title in 2009, but they’re still the most successful team in South Korea.
Here are some other interesting facts about K League clubs:
If we observe the number of MVP awards, Lee Dong-gook is the best player ever to feature in the K League. The forward won four MVP titles playing for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. He is also the best scorer in the league’s history, with 228 goals.
Here are some other interesting statistics about the K League: