11 June 2024

Son Heung-min, who even thought of “retirement” because he saved it, has no change in his mind… “I will do my best to be proud of Korean soccer.”

By pestfood.com

No retirement will take place. Son plans to do his best for the Korean national soccer team until the moment when he feels empowered.

The South Korean national soccer team (23rd in FIFA ranking), led by interim coach Kim Do-hoon, will face China (88th in FIFA ranking) in the sixth Group C match of the 2026 FIFA Canada-Mexico-U.S. World Cup Asian qualifying round at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul at 8 p.m. on the 11th.

If Son plays against China, he will play a total of 127 A matches. Son Heung-min (126 matches), who is currently ranked fifth, will join Lee Young-pyo (127 matches) in the fourth place for the most appearances in Korea. On top of Son, Cha Bum-keun (136 matches), Hong Myung-bo (136 matches), and Lee Woon-jae (133 matches).

Son Heung-min, who is making history in every game, considered retiring the national team once in January. Son drew fans’ concerns by leaving a comment that seemed to hint at his retirement after his shocking elimination from the semifinals at the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup.

At the time, Son said, “I think I need to think about whether I can continue playing for the national team. The coach may not think about me. I don’t know the future.” He directly mentioned the possibility of retirement.

Such remarks have been hard to understand given Son’s attitude toward the national team. Immediately after the end of the A-match in March last year, Son even took pride in his social media channel, saying, “Playing for my country is always a pride and an honor to wear the uniform of the Korean national soccer team.”

In other words, some argued that the possible retirement remarks indirectly expressed a problem with the way the current national team operates. It was not an emotional statement for one moment. Son Heung-min spoke again about his retirement remarks after a showdown with Fulham in March. At the time, he spoke with such difficulty that he couldn’t speak properly.

It is natural for any soccer player to retire after making their debut. I hate to imagine, but one day Son Heung-min will drop his national flag and retire from a professional team. However, everyone just hopes that the timing will be delayed.

Fortunately, Son made up his mind. “If I had just my personal thoughts, that would have been enough,” Son said honestly after the third leg of the 2026 FIFA North Korea-China World Cup Asian regional qualifying match, which took place in March.

“That kind of feeling is right around my corner. I asked a lot of questions and talked to many retired players, and I asked them a lot of advice. I talked a lot with (Park) Ji-sung, (Ki) Sung-yong, and (Ja) Durie. I also asked my father,” he said. “As long as I can be fit, as Min-jae said, as long as the Korean national team needs me, I will put my head to the ground.”

Fortunately, three months later, Son’s mind has not changed. “I talked about the national team’s position from the beginning, but I think it’s a place where we demand a lot. It’s a place everyone dreams of and wants. I tried hard to get it, but I think it’s harder to maintain it. It’s a great honor and I think playing for my country is not enough even if I give up even one body, so I’m so grateful for giving this honor and I think people around me are helping me a lot,” Son said humbly. 메이저사이트

Son Heung-min had the wrong idea once, but his affection for the national team remained. “We are now in the last second qualifying round. There have been many changes in the national team during that time, but my mindset has never changed. From our debut, the importance and responsibility of the national team, and the seniors around us have shown us well. I told you that it is difficult to keep these things consistently, but there were many good seniors around me, so I recognized them well and I took over well because there were seniors who showed me in action,” he said.

Lastly, he concluded the press conference by saying, “I have been making efforts every moment since my debut in the national team in the beginning. I don’t think it will change over time. I am trying to do so. I am not sure how much I will be able to play for the national team, but I will always do my best to be a great soccer team with pride in Korea and soccer during the national team.”