May 24, 2024

‘I like Messi’: What North Koreans think of soccer beyond their borders

The country’s relative openness to sports allows DPRK fans to follow superstars and take inspiration from their feats

Soccer fans across North Korea have tuned into state TV over the past week and a half for repeated replays of the World Cup final, watching Lionel Messi lead Argentina to victory in a thrilling penalty shootout over defending champions France.

And if state propaganda is to be believed, many North Koreans likely celebrated the storybook ending to the Argentine superstar’s World Cup saga.

Become a member for less than $4 per week.

  • Unlimited access to all of NK News: reporting, investigations, analysis
  • The NK News Daily Update, an email newsletter to keep you in the loop
  • Searchable archive of all content, photo galleries, special columns
  • Contact NK News reporters with tips or requests for reporting
Get unlimited access to all NK News content, including original reporting, investigations, and analyses by our team of DPRK experts.
Subscribe now

All major cards accepted. No commitments – you can cancel any time.