Son Heung-min departs Korea for London following World Cup

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Son Heung-min departs Korea for London following World Cup

Son Heung-min waves to fans at the Incheon International Airport as he leaves for London on Tuesday. [YONHAP]

Son Heung-min waves to fans at the Incheon International Airport as he leaves for London on Tuesday. [YONHAP]

 
Korean national football team captain Son Heung-min left Korea for London Tuesday.
 
Son had jetted into Korea from Qatar on the afternoon of Dec. 7 after Korea ended their 2022 World Cup run with a 4-1 loss against Brazil in the round of 16. He now returns to London to resume playing in the Premier League.
 
Son had served as captain of the Taeguk Warriors in Qatar, playing all of Korea’s four matches at the World Cup.
 
Son had sustained one or multiple orbital fractures ahead of the World Cup during a Champions League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Marseille.
 
He underwent surgery on Nov. 4 and, despite worries that he would not be able to play, arrived in Qatar with a carbon mask that he has worn for all four matches.
 
Son assisted Hwang Hee-chan’s goal against Portugal in the final match of the group stage, advancing Korea into the round of 16 for the first time in 12 years. Although Korea lost to Brazil 4-1, Son and the Taeguk Warriors were able to come back home with their heads held high after defying all odds to reach the round of 16.
 
President Yoon Suk-yeol also invited the national team and head coach Paulo Bento to a banquet at the presidential office to congratulate them on having reached the round of 16 and for their overall performance.
 
Son plays for Tottenham Hotspur on the Premier League, which has been on a midseason break for the World Cup. The World Cup will come to an end this Sunday.
 
Spurs will face Brentford on Dec. 26. Whether Son will be fit enough to play that match after his injury and the World Cup is yet to be determined.
 
Many Korean fans were present at the departure gates to see Son off at Incheon International Airport on Tuesday, and Son hung around for half an hour signing autographs and taking photos with fans before departing for London.

BY LIM JEONG-WON [lim.jeongwon@joongang.co.kr]
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