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World Cup: Why does Son Heung-min wear a mask for South Korea?

Son Heung-min wears a mask at the World Cup in Qatar as South Korea looks to advance from Group H.

The Tottenham striker won the battle to stay fit for the tournament despite suffering a fracture around his left eye during the Champions League match against Marseille.

The 30-year-old was forced to sustain an injury in the first half of a 2-1 win over OM on 1 November and subsequently required surgery.

The incident occurred after Chancel Mbemba was hit in the face with his shoulder.

But after three weeks, Son was allowed to join the Asian Tigers.

Son joined his teammates last Saturday and will wear a black face mask while manager Paulo Bento will impose a gag order on the team while discussing his star player’s health in the opener against Uruguay.

“We should check and analyze day by day, let it come,” said Bento. “We have time to make the right decisions and the best decisions for all of us.”

The son was determined to compete at the World Cup for his country, adding in preparation for Qatar 2022: “I will not miss this for the world. Can’t wait to represent our beautiful country.

“Just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the messages of support I’ve received over the past week. I have read so many of them and I really, really appreciate all of you. I received a lot of strength from you during a difficult time!

Son Heung-min training in South Korea

(AFP via Getty Images)

“Playing for your country at the World Cup is a dream for many growing up children, just like it was one of mine.”

Should Son need a few games to regain his focus, the Taegeuk Warriors can rely on Hwang Hee-Chan, Hwang Ui-Jo and Lee Jae-Sung to secure a final third position.

But South Korea is hoping Son will make a difference as he competes against Portugal, Uruguay and Ghana in Group H.


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