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Newcastle United star announces retirement from international football with letter to his FA

2 years ago
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Out injured with Newcastle United at the minute, Ki Sung-yeung has now announced his international retirement.

The player was set to retire last year but was persuaded to stay on for the 2019 Asian Cup finals.

However, picking up a hamstring injury in the opening group game, Ki Sung-yeung didn’t play another minute in the tournament.

Returning home early to Tyneside for treatment after aggravating the injury when trying to train and return for the knockout stages.

South Korea were knocked out in the quarter-finals, whilst Japan and Newcastle’s Yoshinori Muto are through to Friday’s final where they face Qatar.

In a letter to the Korea Football Association (KFA), Ki Sung-yeung announced his decision to now retire:

“With the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup being my last event, I’m laying down the big honor and responsibility of the national team.

“In my football career, the national team was more valuable than anything else.

“I want to thank fans who have loved and supported me for all this time.

“The national team is having a difficult time after we failed to meet fans’ expectations at the Asian Cup, but I believe our players will overcome the difficulties under Bento’s guidance.

“Now, I will be one of the football fans who support the national team and will wish the best for South Korean football.”

The Korea Herald report:

‘Ki made his international debut on Sept. 5, 2008, in a friendly match against Jordan.

He went on to play 110 matches and score 10 goals for South Korea.

Ki ended his international career as the eighth-most capped South Korean player, behind Cha Bum-kun (136 matches), Hong Myung-bo (136), Lee Woon-jae (133), Lee Young-pyo (127), Yoo Sang-chul (124), Kim Ho-gon (124) and Cho Young-jeung (113).

Ki, 30, hinted at national team retirement after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

However, following persuasion from new head coach Paulo Bento, he decided to compete at the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as his last international event.

But Ki only played in the opening match against the Philippines on Jan. 7 and had to withdraw from his third continental tournament due to a hamstring injury.

South Korea were later eliminated in the quarterfinals in a loss to Qatar.’

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