■”We need support and encouragement”
National soccer team captain Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham) asked for support in response to fans’ unfavorable views toward coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Son Heung-min shared his thoughts on the recent negative public opinion toward the national team in an interview with TV Chosun at Paju NFC on the 11th.
Coach Klinsmann is being criticized for being negligent in discovering domestic players due to his frequent overseas business trips.
In response, Son Heung-min recalled his time as former coach Paulo Bento, saying, “I understand the fans’ position regarding the coach.”
During his tenure, Coach Bento received strong criticism from fans, including the series of ‘Korea-Japan defeats’ and the ‘appointment of Lee Kang-in’ issue.
Son Heung-min said, “It was really difficult under Coach Bento, and just as the players asked us to trust the coach, Coach Klinsmann also needs encouragement and support as he prepares for the Asian Cup.”
We also did not forget the premise that it is natural for leaders and players to be criticized.
However, he emphasized, “You may think that the current result is important, but the process is important, and the result in January (when the Asian Cup is held) is important.”
Facing the fans, he once again expressed confidence, saying, “If you give good love and energy, the players will definitely do their best to show that value,” and “I can confidently say that.”
■Isn’t it a ‘privilege’ to take time off from the national team?
Son Heung-min was excluded from national team training for three consecutive days until the 11th.
As his team played around 70 minutes in three consecutive games, there are opinions that the national team also needs proper management.
While his participation in the match against Tunisia on the 13th was uncertain, Son Heung-min smiled and said, “It’s nothing compared to last year. It’s getting better.”
Son Heung-min had a difficult season last year due to sports hernia and orbital fracture injuries.
Son Heung-min, who is said to be watching the situation day by day, is well aware of the public opinion towards him that the national team needs ‘management’ for his long career as a player.
Son Heung-min said, “I think it’s an occupational disease, but the players really want to keep running without resting. They don’t want to miss it because they enjoy it so much and are happy to endure the pain.”
At the same time, he raised his voice and said that being called up to the national team was a privilege.
He said, “Receiving an opportunity is a privilege, and ‘having to take a break’ is also a privilege,” and pledged not to overdo it, saying that he has the know-how to take care of his body accumulated during his long career as a player.
■The story behind the captain’s appointment… “I really didn’t know.”
His expression was bright when talking about his team, Tottenham.
While Tottenham is ranked first in the Premier League this season, Son Heung-min is also performing well in his personal performance, scoring seven goals and ranking second in scoring.
Son Heung-min smiled and said, “I feel refreshed because I can play the games I normally play.”
We were also able to hear a vivid story about the situation at the time of his surprise appointment as captain ahead of this season.
It was expected that there would have been a tip from coach Postekoglou or the club, but Son Heung-min learned of his appointment as captain as soon as the coach called his name.
Son Heung-min, who waved his hand when asked about his expectations for being selected as captain, recalled the situation at the time, saying, “The way the coach looked at me during the meeting was unusual. I was nervous about something, but he called me over and told me to come up in front and say something, but I was so nervous.”
He then laughed and said, “I think I just stood still and clapped 20 times, but the players all made fun of me for that.”
■”I will give you 120% enjoyment in the A-match”
He also expressed his determination ahead of the two-game A-match in October.
The national team holds evaluation matches against Tunisia and Vietnam, and some say that Vietnam is a ‘weak team’.
Son Heung-min emphasized, “I don’t think there is a weak team in the world. There is no game that can be won for free.”
He continued, “I gave everything in the stadium and gave 100% to the fans.
The national soccer team will have an A-match evaluation match against Tunisia (Seoul World Cup Stadium) on the 13th and Vietnam (Suwon World Cup Stadium) on the 17th.
■Next is an interview with Son Heung-min
Q. This season is off to a great start.
A. I feel refreshed because I can play like I normally do. Last year, I had a hard time not being able to show my performance for various reasons, but seeing how I am improving these aspects makes the team atmosphere good.
Q. The clothes seem to fit the striker position well.
A. It is important for the team that a player always listens to the coach’s requests, no matter what position he plays. The plays we play start with pressure from a fairly high position and the fast players always prefer to play from above. The coach prefers the plays I like, so I think I will be a good fit for any position the coach asks me to play.
Q. You became the captain, did you have any expectations?
A: No. I didn’t expect that at all (laughs). There are many world-class players, and although they are young, there are many players who are more capable than me. It never occurred to me that he would even make a claim. As revealed in the meeting video, that was the first time I found out about it.
There was no prior notice, but the way the director looked at me was unusual. They called me and told me to come up in front and say something, but I was so nervous because I suddenly had to say something in front of the players who were always joking around and making noise. I think I just stood still and clapped 20 times, but the players made fun of me.
Q. I can feel the trust of the players.
A: No. I don’t think I trust it. My attitude is the most important, so I just try to show that attitude to the players and maintain a good atmosphere.
Q. The Tottenham goal in September was also an award winner, but the volley against Liverpool was really a waste.
A. I think it would be very unfortunate to miss a chance in every game. I think it was a good save because world-class goalkeepers always try very hard to prevent me from scoring just as I try to score. I thought I might not have been able to stop it if I had kicked on a slightly better course, so I analyzed the game again.
Q. Let’s talk about the national team. I’m just doing recovery training.
A. It’s getting better. The situation changes day by day, but we are watching. It’s not a big enough issue to worry about. I think you can just think of it as resting because you want to (smile).
Q.Have you thought about taking a break?
A. As a player, I think it’s a bit of an ‘occupational disease’. All athletes really want to keep running without resting. I don’t want to miss out on enduring pain because I love it and it makes me happy.안전놀이터
I know very well that many people are talking about this.
In fact, receiving opportunities and ‘having to take a break’ are also privileges. The director obviously thinks in a good direction, so rather than looking at it too negatively, I hope that you don’t worry because I have the know-how and will be able to control it well.
Q. Is there pain in the thigh?
A. The pain is nothing compared to last year. Since it is a different pain than that, I think it is better not to overdo it rather than to be in a lot of pain.
In soccer, the game is the most important. Training is important, but games are also important, so we focus most on that.
Q. There is negative public opinion toward the national team.
A. It is natural to experience criticism. It is the fans’ freedom to criticize. It is the players’ role to accept that and change it for the better. I also understand the fans’ position toward the director.
It was really difficult during Coach Bento’s time, and as I told him to trust me, now is the time when I need the most support.
The process is important and the results are important in January.
I can confidently say that if you give love and energy to the players, just as you did in the last World Cup, they will do their best.
Q. Your resolution to your fans.
A. First of all, this two-game international match is important. There is no weak team in the world. There is no game you can win for free. That’s why you can’t win unless you show more than 100% of what you have.
I hope I can give my all in the stadium and give the fans 100% and 120% enjoyment.