Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min has allayed injury concerns and reassured fans that he will be fit enough to play in the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.
The South Korea captain was a doubt for the tournament after fracturing his left eye socket during Tottenham’s dramatic late win over Marseille in the Champions League on 1 November.
Son had surgery to stabilise the injury last Friday and although he then missed Spurs’ 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend, he has now confirmed that he will be able to represent his country at the World Cup.
“I won’t miss this for the world. I can’t wait to represent our beautiful country,” Son wrote on Instagram.
“I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you all for the messages of support I have received over the last week. I have read so many of them and truly, truly appreciate you all. In a tough time I received a lot of strength from you!
“Playing for your country at the World Cup is the dream of so many children growing up, just as it was one of mine too.”
Spurs manager Antonio Conte was confident Son would make the tournament, even as the player was initially disheartened following the injury.
“I sent him a message after the surgery and Sonny was really, really disappointed for this situation, but I hope for him he will recover very well and play in the World Cup,” Conte had said before Son’s update.
“I am confident, confident that he can come back quickly and play the World Cup for South Korea.”
Although he has had a difficult campaign so far with all three league goals coming in one game against Leicester City, Son was the joint Golden Boot winner in the Premier League last season with 23 and will carry his nation’s hopes squarely on his shoulders in Qatar.
It will be South Korea’s 11th appearance at the World Cup after a dominant qualifying campaign that saw them lose only once in 10 matches, winning seven, as they finished in second place behind Iran.
At 30 years of age Son has already earned 104 caps for his country and scored 35 goals – enough to place him fourth on the all-time list with Park Lee-chun only one strike ahead of him.
Qatar 2022 also gives Son the chance to become his country’s all-time top scorer at the World Cup – he needs only one more to surpass Ahn Jung-hwan and Park Ji-sung’s record of three goals.
South Korea’s tournament will begin against Uruguay on 24 November followed by fixtures against Ghana and then Portugal in what promises to be a tightly-contested Group H.