South Korea national soccer team head coach Jürgen Klinsmann (GER) said Son Heung-min (Tottenham) is “still a question mark” for the team’s upcoming friendly against Vietnam on Sunday.
“We are looking forward to the game as it is the last exhibition match before the start of the second round of World Cup qualifying,” Klinsmann said at the official press conference for the Hana Bank Invitational Friendly against Vietnam at the Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, on Saturday. “It is important to maintain the positive form we have been showing.”
South Korea and Vietnam will play an exhibition match at the Suwon World Cup Stadium at 8 p.m. on July 17.
After the match, the Klinsmanns will begin the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in November.
On the availability of Son Heung-min and Hwang In-beom (Zvezda), who missed the friendly against Tunisia on the 13th due to leg muscle problems, Son explained, “We need to check their physical condition during training today.” “It’s still a question mark, and we will decide after judging how much they can play,” he said.
“It’s important for the players and staff to stay together in the national team before big games like the Asian Cup and World Cup qualifiers,” he said, adding that “even players who are not 100 percent healthy need to be called up and spend time together at critical times.”
“I don’t think it’s a weak opponent,” Klinsmann said of the 26th-ranked South Koreans taking on the 95th-ranked Vietnamese. “It’s an opponent we might face in the Asian Cup or World Cup qualifiers, so we’ll do our best.”
An official from the KFA said, “We have been promoting evaluation matches with Southeast Asian teams in preparation for the second round of qualifiers starting in November,” and explained the background of playing Vietnam by saying, “Coach Klinsmann worked as the head of the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG) at the World Cup in Qatar last year, but he did not have the opportunity to analyze Southeast Asian teams.”
After the match, Klinsmann said he plans to travel abroad to watch Singapore compete in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.
Korea will most likely face Singapore as their first opponent in the second round of World Cup qualifying in November.
“If things go well in the first half tomorrow, I can play up to six substitutions in the second half, so I plan to play players who haven’t had many chances and give them a chance,” Klinsmann said on Sunday. “It’s important to have continuity in the national team, but it’s also important to give new players a chance,” he added.
Regarding the decision to give the captaincy to Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) against Tunisia on Sept. 13 in Son Heung-min’s absence, Klinsmann said, “Even if Lee Jae-sung (on the sidelines) or Kim Seung-kyu (who captained the team last time Son Heung-min was absent) wore the captain’s armband, the team atmosphere would not be much different.” “Kim Min-jae is a player who has shown incredible growth in recent years, and he also has leadership qualities,” he said.
“It’s important for the experienced players to help the younger players grow,” Klinsmann said, adding, “It’s important for the team to improve as a whole, not who is captaining.”
Meanwhile, only 15 minutes of the 4 p.m. training session was open to the media. Son Heung-min joined the rest of the team for stretches and light running. 토토사이트