South Korea national soccer team “captain” Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham) has put injury fears to rest. He participated in the team’s training session on Wednesday, a day before the match against Tunisia, to improve his chances of playing.
At the pre-match press conference against Tunisia at the Paju NFC (National Football Team Training Center) on the afternoon of the 12th, Son said, “I’m continuing to recover, so I think there will be more talk (about playing). I’m sure you’re worried, but I’ll be training today,” he said, adding, “I’m in a much better condition than when I arrived, and I’ll check my physical condition while training.”
In reality, Son Heung-min was light on his feet. As the players warmed up before the start of training, Heung-min showed off his signature dribbling with the ball, moving freely around the field and exchanging passes with his teammates and coach Chaduri. Afterward, he stretched, ran, and trained like any other player. It’s unknown if he’ll start, but he’ll be available to play against Tunisia.
The biggest question heading into the October A match was whether Son Heung-min would be available. Recently, local media reported that Son was playing with a groin injury. In reality, Son hasn’t played full-time since last month. He played 72 minutes against Burnley, where he scored a hat-trick, and was subbed off after 75 minutes against Luton Town just before the A-Match.
Given his lack of form and the fact that he’s been playing such a demanding schedule for years, there have been many calls for Son to be left out of the October A-Match. Moreover, it was also pointed out that Son should be given a break as the opponents are Tunisia and Vietnam, which are rated below him.
In fact, after joining Paju NFC on the 9th, Son Heung-min was excluded from team training for three days and focused on his recovery by cycling. On the 11th, two days before the match against Tunisia, he also rode a bike and received a massage. Although his participation was uncertain, he joined the team training on the 12th, raising expectations.
Klinsmann’s team, which earned its first win against Saudi Arabia last month, will play Tunisia on Sept. 13 and Vietnam on Sept. 17 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. Captain Son Heung-min said, “I feel lighthearted to be back in Korea after getting the first win I was expecting,” but added, “I hope we can focus on the next two games and continue our winning streak with good performances. We need a lot of support from our fans. It’s been a long time since we’ve played in Korea, so we’ll do our best to put on a good show.”
Jürgen Klinsmann’s side will face lesser opponents in Tunisia and Vietnam, but they are determined to win in front of their home fans. “I hope we can start the World Cup qualifiers and the Asian Cup in a good mood,” said Son Heung-min.
South Korea will begin Asian qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup North and Central America next month. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, which Klinsmann has been calling for since his arrival, is just three months away. With such a big milestone ahead, it’s important to get results and keep the momentum going in this month’s two domestic matches. 먹튀검증