Soccer  

Son Heung-Min to lead South Korea at FIFA World Cup despite recent injury worry

Son Heung-Min has been included in South Korea’s 26-man squad for this month’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar despite suffering a fractured eye socket playing for Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League earlier this month.

Head coach Paulo Bento included Son in his squad after the 30-year-old declared himself fit to feature for the Koreans, who will be making their 10th consecutive appearance at the World Cup finals.

– 2022 World Cup: All squad lists for Qatar

“We are in contact with him, with the Tottenham medical department, but about the exact time, the exact day he can train with the team we don’t have that information yet,” Bento told reporters after unveiling his squad on Saturday.

“So we need to wait, we need to analyse day-by-day his situation. We have time to decide and the most important is he recovers as well as possible, he feels comfortable and then we will take the final decision.”

Son, who underwent an operation to repair the injury, has said he would wear a protective mask to play in Qatar if required.

Bento said his selection of Mallorca playmaker Lee Kang-In was not intended as cover for Son should last season’s joint-leading scorer in the Premier League be unable to play.

South Korea will travel to the World Cup looking to qualify for the knockout rounds for the first time since 2010, when they were eliminated in the Round of 16 by Uruguay.

“Even competing with a high-level performance from our side we are going to feel many difficulties because on the other side are very good and strong teams,” said Bento.

Bento’s team will begin their World Cup campaign against Uruguay in Group H on Nov. 24 before facing Ghana on Nov. 28 and Portugal on Dec. 2.

Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-Gyu, Jo Hyeon-Woo, Song Bum-Keun

Defenders: Kim Min-Jae, Kim Young-Gwon, Kwon Kyung-Won, Cho Yu-Min, Kim Moon-Hwan, Yoon Jong-Gyu, Kim Tae-Hwan, Kim Jin-Su, Hong Chul

Midfielders: Jung Woo-Young, Son Jun-Ho, Paik Seung-Ho, Hwang In-Beom, Lee Jae-Sung, Kwon Chang-Hoon, Jeong Woo-Yeong, Lee Kang-In, Son Heung-Min, Hwang Hee-Chan, Na Sang-Ho, Song Min-Kyu.

Forwards: Hwang Ui-Jo, Cho Gue-Sung.