Son Heung-min will maintain the captain’s system

Hwang Sun-hong, interim coach of the South Korean national soccer team, said he would continue to give Son Heung-min Tottenham Hotspur the captain’s armband.

The South Korean national soccer team, led by interim coach Hwang Sun-hong, convened at a hotel in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province on the afternoon of the 18th and held its first training session at Goyang Stadium at 4 p.m.

During the A-match period in March, Korea will play against Thailand in two consecutive rounds of qualifying matches for the second round in Asia for the 2026 North-Central America World Cup. The matches will be held at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Saturday and at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday. Korea, which is currently leading Group C with two wins six points in the second qualifying match, can confirm its advance to the final qualifying round early if it wins both consecutive matches against Thailand.

Seventeen of the 23 players who made the March call-up list participated in the training. Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae Bayern Munich, and Hwang In-beom Tsrvena Zvezda will join the national team after the training, while Lee Kang-in Paris Saint-Germain, Cho Kyu-sung Mitt Whelan, and Hong Hyun-seok Hent will join the national team on the 19th.

Is it because of the current situation that Korean soccer is facing? Usually, the mood on the first day of the national team’s call-up is rather upbeat, but the mood of the players on the day was calm.

Korean football suffered a severe setback at the 2023 Asian Football Confederation AFC Asian Cup. It failed to win the title for the first time in 64 years, and coach Jurgen Klinsmann was sacked amid fierce criticism from fans. Hwang Sun-hong, who was leading the Olympic team, temporarily assumed the helm of the A team. Public opinion is still high that Chung Mong-gyu, president of the Korea Football Association, should resign.

Above all, the aftermath of the “table tennis gate” incident, in which Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in collided during the tournament, remains. Lee Kang-in visited London, England, and apologized to Son Heung-min himself, and Son Heung-min also forgave Lee Kang-in. However, the cold gaze of soccer fans toward Lee Kang-in still remains. There was also a lot of public opinion that Lee Kang-in should be excluded from the call-up of the national team. However, interim coach Hwang Sun-hong decided to call Lee Kang-in to the national team. This national team call-up is a period of time to heal the wounds that Korean soccer suffered at the last Asian Cup.

Coach Hwang Sun-hong, who met with reporters before the training, said, “It was difficult to talk for a long time with the players because all the players have not been called up, and I have time to meet personally to listen to and communicate with them,” adding, “I told them to make it bright and pleasant when I come to the field, and I will talk about various things when all the players gather.”

The team only disclosed the training for 15 minutes. The training will be held in a closed room on Friday. Hwang believes that players should be relieved of the burden first. “I think we should do our best to make up for the disappointment. When I talk to the players, they feel very pressured and have a hard time,” Hwang said. “I hope that the people here and the soccer fans will help our players focus more on the game. I will do my best to repay them with all my heart.”

Son will continue to wear the captain’s armband. “The captain’s system will continue,” Hwang said firmly. He also expressed his desire to talk with Son. “It is important for me to talk, but I want to hear from him first. I want to hear what he has in mind and what he has in the future, and I want to talk about it a lot,” Hwang said. “I think we should think about what we should do as we all agree that we should actively address these issues when we talk with the players gathered here.”

Winning the match against Thailand is one of the ways to boost the sluggishness. If players win the match against Thailand and show harmony again, soccer fans’ cold eyes toward the national team may also be eased.

However, there is not enough time to work together. Some players from overseas join the team late, so there is not much time for actual training. “It is one of the most worrisome parts,” Hwang said. “As ordering many things from players can become complicated, I will prepare as simply and intensively as possible.”

When asked about Lee Kang-in’s use, he declined to comment. Lee Kang-in is showing off his good condition by scoring his fourth goal of the season with a fantastic mid-range shot against Montpellier. However, manager Hwang said, “I can’t talk about it now. It’s a matter of making a decision based on my face and condition.” 토토사이트

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