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Worries over Son’s heavy schedule

Posted September. 10, 2018 08:06,   

Updated September. 10, 2018 08:06


“90min,” a British football website, has reported Tottenham fans’ worries over Son Heung-min’s suffocating schedule. As he played 83 minutes of a friendly match with Costa Rica on Friday. Tottenham fans tweeted to express their worries over Son’s fatigue. Some said they were so worried that they will even want to request that the Korean National team let Son have some rest.

As foreign media and Tottenham fans have pointed out, Son has played according to an excruciatingly tough schedule since the 2018 World Cup Russia began. After playing the last game of the 2017-18 England Premier League, he returned to Korea to join training sessions for the upcoming World Cup. After warm-up games with Honduras, and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he flew to a training camp in Austria. During the World Cup in Russia, he led good offence in all the three qualification matches.

He only took a short break in Korea after returning from Russia on June 29. He went back to Britain on July 16, joining Tottenham’s pre-season training sessions. After playing pre-season games in several places, from the United States to Spain, he returned to Britain for the opening game with Newcastle in the 2018-19 EPL. His schedule did not end here. Later, he headed to the Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang in Indonesia, contributing to Korea’s gold medal. Even with frequent leg cramps, he played a total of six matches during the Asian Games, including qualification ones every two days, the round of 16, and the final. He said in an interview that it was his first time to play too much since his school days, adding that he tried his best to show an example as a team leader as he was concerned that his complaints could discourage his colleagues. After returning victorious from Indonesia, he joined the Paulo Bento-led Korean National Team for a friendly match with Costa Rica.

For 118 days, Son played as many as 20 matches from with Leicester City on May 13 to with Costa Rica, which means that he played a game every 5.9 days with a total play time of 1,409 minutes (additional time exempted). Surprisingly, he crossed the borders 10 times, only increasing his fatigue and exhaustion. After a match with Chile on Tuesday, he stands to go back to Tottenham to compete fiercely with his colleagues over a key player position.

Nevertheless, the South Korean “Super Sonny” always puts doing his best above anything else. “I don’t want to disappoint our fans. What matters most is not giving up on every match,” he said.

Yun-Cheol Jeong trigger@donga.com