South Korea manager Jurgen Klinsmann says captain Son Heung-min will “definitely be with us in the future.”
Klinsmann’s side suffered a shock defeat to Jordan in the Asian Cup semi-final earlier this week after looking unconvincing throughout the tournament.
However, the American coach dispelled rumours that the 31-year-old Tottenham Hotspur forward may have played his final international game for his country.
He said: “I just texted back and forth with Sonny. For a player like him, our captain and leader, it’s even more emotional to take the fact we didn’t win the title, we didn’t bring it home to Korea which he badly wanted.
“I understand his feelings; ‘Should I, should I not’, but there’s no doubt Sonny comes back in March. He’s one of the best strikers in the world and the next goal for us is the World Cup in America. He will be definitely with us in the future.”
After South Korea’s shock elimination, questions around Klinsmann’s future have begun to rise. The German, who previously managed the German national team, Bayern Munich, and the USMNT, first took charge of the Asian nation in February 2023.
The 59-year-old confirmed that he would continue in his role as national team coach, saying, “I very much enjoy coaching this team. We badly wanted to win the Asian Cup, we were on a good track until we hit Jordan in this game and they were the better team and deserved to win.
“Overall we played a very good tournament, we were 13 games unbeaten, the year since I’m here was very successful. There are a lot of positives to take out the tournament, I’m looking forward to restarting for World Cup qualifying.”
Son is due to return to Tottenham on Thursday and is in line to feature for Ange Postecoglou’s side against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
Humiliation for South Korea at Asian Cup as Klinsmann’s ‘zombie football’ runs out of lives