Nov 12 (Reuters) – Son Heung-min was included in South Korea’s 26-man squad for the World Cup final in Qatar despite suffering a broken eye socket while playing for Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League at the beginning of the month.
Head coach Paulo Bento has included Son in his squad after the 30-year-old declared himself fit to play for the Koreans, who will make their 10th successive World Cup final appearance.
“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,” said Bento to reporters after revealing his team on Saturday.
“So we have to wait, we have to analyze his situation day by day. We have time to decide and the most important thing is that he recovers as well as possible, that he feels comfortable and then we will take the final decision. .”
Son, who underwent surgery to repair the injury, said he would wear a protective mask to play in Qatar if necessary.
Bento said his selection of Mallorca playmaker Lee Kang-in was not meant to cover Son if last season’s co-top scorer in the Premier League couldn’t play.
South Korea will travel to the World Cup to advance to the round of 16 for the first time since 2010, when they were knocked out in the round of 16 by Uruguay.
“Even competing with a top performance from our side, we are going to feel a lot of difficulties because on the other side there are very good and strong teams,” Bento said.
The Koreans open their Group H campaign against Uruguay on November 24 before facing Ghana on November 28 and Portugal on December 2.
Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu (Al Shabab), Jo Hyeon-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Song Bum-keun (Jeonbuk Motors)
Defenders: Kim Min-jae (Napoli), Kim Jin-su (Jeonbuk Motors), Hong Chul (Daegu FC), Kim Moon-hwan (Jeonbuk Motors), Yoon Jong-gyu (FC Seoul), Kim Young-gwon (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Tae-hwan (Ulsan Hyundai), Kwon Kyung-won (Gamba Osaka), Cho Yu-min (Daejon Citizen)
Midfielders: Jung Woo-young (Al Sadd), Na Sang-ho (FC Seoul), Paik Seung-ho (Jeonbuk Motors), Son Jun-ho (Shandong Taishan), Song Min-kyu (Jeonbuk Motors), Kwon Chang-hoon (Gimcheon Sangmu), Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Lee Jae-sung (Mainz), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Hwang In-beom (Olympiacos), Jeong Woo-yeong (Fribourg), Lee Kang-in (Real Mallorca)
Forwards: Hwang Ui-jo (Olympiacos), Cho Gue-sung (Jeonbuk Motors)
Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, editing by Peter Rutherford
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