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Picking up 106th cap Ki Sung-yueng says captaincy should pass to Tottenham star

3 years ago

Tottenham striker Son Heung Min should be the next captain of South Korea.

That is the view of Newcastle midfielder Ki Sung-yueng.

The pair helped their country beat Costa Rica earlier on Friday, the Newcastle star playing the opening 45 minutes.

A goal in each half won the game but Son Heung Min missed a first half penalty that Ki helped win.

Today was Ki’s 106th international cap and after the match he once again repeated that he thinking of international retirement, especially with the fact that he has stayed in the Premier League by signing for Newcastle.

It is the AFC Asian Cup in January and Newcastle could potentially lose the player then for a number of matches. Ki says he will stay on playing for South Korea for the time being and then just ahead of the AFC Asian Cup decide whether he will take part, or retire and miss the competition.

Today was also the first game in charge for new head coach Paulo Bento, appointed after the World Cup finals in Russia where South Korea went out in the group stages.

Ki Sung-yueng:

“My mind hasn’t changed (about potentially retiring from international football) and I expressed my thoughts to the new head coach.

“Playing with a foreign club (Newcastle), I do feel pressure traveling to my home country.

“It’s not only about my physical condition. I had doubts whether I can devote myself 100% to the national team.

“(New head coach) Bento first told me to stay with the national team.

“If the team needs me, I think it’s right for me to play with my teammates until the Asian Cup.

“I actually feel relieved (after giving up the captaincy).

“I already told the coach that Son is the right man to be the captain. The national team captain needs to be served by a player who can best represent the country. I just need to help him along the way.

“We were playing the match (2-0 v Costa Rica) with good form, plus, when a new coach comes, all the players work hard.

“It’s important for us to keep up this level of play.”


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