Overload issue Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae, Hwang Hee-chan, etc. to be called up
Mentioned intention to utilize Lee Kang-in to reach his full potential
“The goal is to win the Asian Cup, and the media and fans must believe in us”
South Korea men’s national soccer team head coach Jürgen Klinsmann has revealed that he will utilize the
likes of Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) and Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) in the October A match.
Klinsmann will convene the national team for the October A match at the Paju National Training Center (NFC) on the afternoon of the 9th.
The team will face Tunisia at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on the 13th and Vietnam at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on the 17th.
Earlier in the day, coach Klinsmann held a press conference to explain his plans for the two matches in October.
“I hope that the gold medal at the Asian Games will lead to a good performance at the Asian Cup,”
Klinsmann said, congratulating the age-group soccer teams led by Hwang Sun-hong, who won the top
spot at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on July 7.
Asked if there was a particular player he had his eye on, he said: “Before I talk about a specific player, I
watched a lot of age-group national team matches. I watched the qualifiers and training camps of the
U20 and U22 national teams. I also talked to coach Hwang Sun-hong about recruiting players,” he said. “I
mainly watched the A-match roster. I focused on us rather than the new players.”
“After this October call-up, it’s November. We have to go to Qatar for the Asian Cup and do well. It’s very
important how we organize the players when we call them up.”
One of Klinsmann’s favorite players at the Asian Games is Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), who was the top scorer with eight goals.
“I have a lot of praise for him, and I talk a lot about the juniors. Son Heung-min is a junior at Tottenham,
Kim Min-jae is a junior at Munich. Jung Woo-young is also a junior at Stuttgart. I get a lot of calls from
clubs. I’m happy that they told me a lot of good stories.”
“He didn’t get a lot of playing time in Freiburg. He went through a difficult time and moved to Stuttgart. I
think it was a good move. He’s smiling a lot more after the move. I hope he can continue his goal-scoring streak to the national team.”
“I read a lot of local newspapers in Stuttgart, and thanks to Jung Woo-young, there are a lot of local
stories about military issues and military exemptions. A lot of Germans have gotten to know us, and he played a big role in that.”
Klinsmann also pointed out that in order to achieve the goal of winning the Asian Cup, the team will need
to field a top-notch squad, including Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae and Hwang Hee-chan
(Wolverhampton), who have been facing overload issues due to long-distance travel and constant matches.
“There is bound to be fatigue for overseas players. They’re tired and jet-lagged,” Klinsmann said,
acknowledging the difficulties faced by international players.
“If you talk to the players, no one wants to take a day off. The national team is the highest honor you can
have as an athlete. We will control (fitness, condition, etc.), but we will not rotate or drop players.”
As for Son, who is still dealing with the aftermath of a groin injury, he added: “I’ll be less tired this season.
Tottenham are not playing in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) this season,” he said.
“Tottenham will want Son to do well with the national team and then return to the team. I want Son to
play well and then come back to the national team. You need to be interested and considerate. That’s why
I travel abroad a lot. I talk to club officials and managers to build a relationship with them, how to take
care of them, how to keep them healthy,” he explains.
Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain) will also be utilized heavily.
Klinsmann said: “I will give him a lot of time. He still has to fight for a place at PSG. He will be hungry for
playing time. I don’t want to get rid of him, I want to help him in the national team. He’s an important
player at the start of his career and we’ll take advantage of this call-up.”
Klinsmann emphasized that the team is improving with each call-up and that the goal is to win the Asian Cup.
“We talked to the coaches about conceding fewer set pieces, and we didn’t concede a set piece against
Wales and Saudi Arabia in the September A matches. We’re improving in a lot of areas,” said Klinsmann.
“It would be nice to play a strong team every time, but with qualifiers and tournaments on different
continents, we don’t always get the opponents we want,” he said. “Tunisia is a strong team. They beat
Japan last year, and they beat France in the World Cup. I’m not saying they’re a strong opponent, I’m
saying we have to be well prepared, and it’s important to take advantage of this trial (the last before the November qualifiers).”
Klinsmann is also aware of the negative publicity directed at him. Aside from a late first win in Saudi
Arabia, he has been criticized for traveling abroad more than staying at home, which has led to a lack of support from home fans.
“I’m listening to it through the federation’s media office,” Klinsmann said. “I think the job of a national
team coach should be international. If I’m a K League coach, I have to be there. The role of the national team is different.”
“I will continue to run the national team the way I do. I don’t look at the K League. I watch the Asian
Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League and the K League.” “The national team has to play
international matches. It’s important to have an international perspective and analyze how players from competing countries are performing.”
“Our slogan is Moving Forward. We have to move forward. One way to do that is to open an office in
London or Europe. 70% of the national team is international,” he said, adding, “Wherever I am, as long as I have a laptop, that’s my office.”
Appearing as a panelist on international media outlets such as ESPN is an extension of that, he said.
“You’re learning about modern soccer,”
Klinsmann said. As a national coach, you have to be up to speed on the international scene. If there’s a
soccer talk show on Korean TV, I’ll be there,” he said.
Contrary to the outside world, Klinsmann emphasized that he has no problem with the composition of the team for the Asian Cup.
“We experimented in June, but before a major tournament, it’s important to have continuity and
continuity. We have a picture in mind. We’re hoping that the eight players who are the backbone will stay healthy. It’s not going to change,” he said.
“We know which players can come off the bench or in the second half and contribute to the team. But the
door is open. It’s open to players who haven’t been called up, to young players,” he said, adding, “It’s a
time when you can’t help but think about things other than the technical aspects of soccer in this call-up.
We’ll keep an eye on them, but it’s a time for continuity and continuity,” he said, indicating that he is sticking to his plan.
Klinsmann also expressed his desire to meet ‘rivals‘ Japan in the final.
“I know the rivalry between Korea and Japan. “It’s been tough this year with the schedule, but I’d like to
see us play two or three games against Japan every year,” he said, “and hopefully in the Asian Cup final.
It’s a developmental factor for both countries to keep the rivalry alive through matchups.”
He also addressed the fans and media. He emphasized that the players, coaches, and everyone must be united to reach the top of the Asian Cup.
“I believe we will win the Asian Cup,” Klinsmann said. Not only the players and coaches, but also the
media and fans should believe in us,” he said, adding, “If you believe in us and support us a lot, we can draw a picture of a good performance together.” 스포츠토토링크