Ahn's winning goal that cost him his job

Ahn's winning goal that cost him his job
Ahn celebrates his famous goal against Italy

"I have no intention of paying a salary to someone who has ruined Italian soccer."

In one of the strangest coincidences, South Korean forward Ahn Jung-hwan had his contract terminated by his Italian club, Perugia, after he had ironically scored the goal that eliminated Italy from the 2002 World Cup hosted in Japan and South Korea.

Stranger than fiction it was, as Ahn had missed a penalty in regular time,only to pop up and score the golden goal winner in the 116th minute, a result that saw the South Koreans win this round of 16 game 2-1.

South Korea would eventually reach the semifinal.


Perugia Chairman Luciano Gaucci was quoted in Italian media, saying, “That gentleman will never set foot in Perugia again."

"He was a phenomenon only when he played against Italy. I am a nationalist and I regard such behaviour not only as an affront to Italian pride but also an offence to a country which two years ago opened its doors to him," Gaucci was quoted as saying.

"I have no intention of paying a salary to someone who has ruined Italian soccer."

Ahn joined Perugia on loan from the South Korean team Pusan I.cons in the summer of 2000. He scored five goals in 29 appearances.

A Perugia spokesman would later clarify that the club had virtually decided to release Ahn even before the World Cup tie.