‘Tottenham Captain Return’ Son Heung-min Apologized Again and Again
Son Heung-min (32), who went from “Korean national soccer team captain” to “Tottenham captain,” once again apologized to fans.
Son Heung-min said on his social networking service (SNS) on the 8th, “The appreciation was too late because I was focusing only on the game while playing the Asian Cup tournament that many people had been looking forward to.”
“I felt heavy and sad coming back to London after the game, but I arrived safely. I think I wasn’t good enough as captain, and I didn’t lead the team well,” he said, looking back on the competition.
Son Heung-min said, “I was so proud to be a Korean soccer player because you gave me so much love and support despite this situation. Thank you and I’m sorry.”
The Korean national team, led by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, was defeated by Jordan 0-2 in the semi-final of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Alayyan, Qatar, on the 7th. South Korea, which sought to win the tournament for the first time in 64 years, failed to advance to the finals by giving Jordan, who is 64 steps behind in the FIFA rankings.
Korea was embarrassed by Jordan’s offensive throughout the game. Jordan continued to torment Korea from the beginning to the last minute. After finishing the first half without finding a way to attack, Korea suffered from offensives by giving up the lead in the second half as well. Jordan finally scored the first goal in the eighth minute of the second half. There was no “zombie soccer” that Korea showed in this year’s event. After losing the first goal, Korea shrank further and eventually collapsed by getting an additional goal in the 21st minute of the second half.
Son Heung-min also bowed his head to the shock of elimination. However, he embraced his teammates and remained captain until the very end. Son, who scored three goals including two penalty kicks (PK) and one free kick in the last group stage and tournament, finished the tournament without scoring a field goal.
“Soccer is a sport in which you win and lose repeatedly. However, it is true that the team lost due to lack of capacity. I think Jordan prepared so much today and should be praised for playing a good game,” Son said after the match. “It was a tournament where I felt that I was not good enough and that I was not good enough to lead the team. I am so sorry that I could not bring the desired result despite the sacrifice of many players. I am sorry to the people.”
When asked if he had any physical burden as he had to play two consecutive extra games until the match against Saudi Arabia in the round of 16 and Australia in the quarterfinals, he said, “Actually, this is a good answer to avoid the situation. However, I don’t think it could be a reason because he has maintained such a good atmosphere after winning the game. Since it is a semi-final match in a competition that is too big for me, I feel a little nervous and inexperienced. I hope that it was a helpful game for young players to grow up. I hope we can strengthen our team.” “Our team must be very disappointed and struggling due to the semifinal defeat. I would like to reprimand me and tell my players that they did a great job,” he said, taking care of his teammates.
On criticism against Klinsmann, Son also expressed his feelings honestly. “I think you must have been pressured because you had a bad view of him even before the tournament. I was very impressed that he overcame such a situation well and did not give up until the end without showing any signs of taking care of the players. I think the coach will become stronger through this opportunity,” Son said.
“Coach Klinsmann has been a member of the national team for about a year. I am sure he will analyze more when he returns to Korea. I think he will make a solid team by analyzing the games that he played well or not in this year’s event,” Klinsmann said.
Instead of his teammates who did their best, he stressed that he should be reprimanded. “Our players did their best. It is true that we did our best every single day to make the people and the soccer fans happy. Nevertheless, I hope you don’t be too sensitive about the results and mistakes of the soccer game. The players are truly innocent. When I get reprimanded, I think I deserve it. As a person who needs to take responsibility and lead this team further, I think we have collapsed here,” Son said.
“The fans must have watched the game with the expectation that they could go from the semifinals to the finals. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t meet the expectations. As a Korean citizen, I’m so proud, and I felt a lot of responsibility because I received such support. I will become a player who tries to make the fans more proud of me in the future,” he said.
Having returned to Tottenham Hotspur, Son will prepare for the 24th round home game of the 2023-2024 English Premier League (EPL) against Brighton at midnight on the 11th. Son is ranked fourth in scoring with 12 goals in the league. Son was in third place before participating in the Asian Cup, but Dominic Solanke of Bournemouth turned the tables. Son will enter the race for the top scorer.
Son Heung-min failed to keep his promise with coach Enze Postecoglou to “come back after winning the championship.” According to the British Football London on the 3rd, Postecoglou was asked a difficult question in a pre-press conference on the 23rd round, “Who do you want to win, Australia or South Korea in the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup? Australia is your country and South Korea is the country where captain Son Heung-min plays.”
Postecoglou said, “I am in a good situation no matter who wins. It is WIN-WIN. Of course, as an Australian citizen, it would be great if Australia goes up and Son Heung-min returns to Tottenham. But I hope Son wins the Asian Cup.”
Postecoglou understood Son’s aspiration to win the Asian Cup. He said, “I understand well what it means to Son to win the Asian Cup. They (the Korean national soccer team) value the Asian Cup very much. Son Heung-min does everything for soccer and his country.” He added, “It’s a shame if Australia is eliminated, but I hope Son goes all the way. It’s okay if he doesn’t play a few more games for Tottenham.” 메이저사이트