‘Captain SON’ returns to training…Klinsmann trains with ‘full strength’ for first time

Klinsmann’s team held its first training session with a full squad following the return of Son Heung-min to the squad for the upcoming friendlies against Tunisia and Vietnam.

Klinsmann’s squad will play Tunisia at Seoul World Cup Stadium on October 13 at 8 p.m. in an October A friendly. On the 17th, they will play their final match of October against Vietnam at Suwon World Cup Stadium at 8pm.

A day before the Tunisia match, the team held its final pre-match training session at the Paju National Training Center (NFC). The return of Son Heung-min to training after a brief injury layoff allowed the team to practice as a full squad for the first time since his call-up.

The team earned its first win under Klinsmann in a friendly against Saudi Arabia in September. The team will look to win back-to-back games to keep the momentum high ahead of the 2026 North American World Cup Asia qualifiers in November and the Asian Cup in Qatar next January.

As such, it has called up a number of players who have been performing well for their clubs, including Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton Wanderers) and Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), as well as a number of players who have been in good form, including Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) and Chung Woo-young (Stuttgart), who won gold medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Tunisia was one of the teams that represented Africa at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar last year. They were knocked out in the group stage and failed to advance to the round of 16, but kept their pride alive with a 1-0 victory over eventual runners-up France in the third round.

Vietnam is arguably the best team in Southeast Asia, but it’s also one of the worst teams South Korea has hosted for an exhibition in recent decades. It’s been 32 years since South Korea has played a friendly at home against a Southeast Asian nation, dating back to 1991 when they hosted Indonesia in the Presidential Cup.

However, the quality of the opponents this time around has led to criticism that there is not much to be gained from the A-match. Nevertheless, the consensus within the squad is that a win in each of the two games would put the team in the best possible mood ahead of the crucial schedule.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference at the Paju National Training Center (NFC) on Wednesday, a day before the Tunisia match, Klinsmann said, “This is the last friendly (before the big games). We have two games left and we want to finish with a good result, and we want to use this as an opportunity to grow before the Asian Cup. With a good performance, we will prepare for the upcoming World Cup second qualifier and Asian Cup.”

Son Heung-min added, “It’s important for us to continue our winning streak in the upcoming matches. We’re a young team, so it’s all about the atmosphere, and no one can make that happen for us. You have to earn it through results. I hope we can continue this good momentum and start the World Cup qualifiers and the Asian Cup,” he said, emphasizing the importance of gaining confidence through victories.

On this day, Heung-min participated in team training for the first time since being called up to the national team. “I think I should check my physical condition during training,” said Son, who had been focusing on recovery training after being called up due to a thigh muscle problem.

During the training, he focused on getting in sync with the players through light stretching and ball spinning (rondo) drills. In addition to Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae, Lee Kang-in, Hwang Hee-chan, Cho Kyu-sung, Oh Hyun-kyu, and Jung Woo-young were all in good spirits.안전놀이터

Lee Kang-in trained with Hong Hyun-seok, who traveled to the Asian Games with him, while Kim Min-jae, Hwang Hee-chan, and Cho Kyu-sung trained in the same group.

Klinsmann will use today’s training to check the physical condition of the players before deciding on the best 11 for the match against Tunisia.

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