Heung-Min Son has confirmed his suitability for the World Cup with South Korea after surgery for a fracture around his eye.
The Tottenham forward wrote on Instagram: “Hello everyone. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for the messages of support I’ve received over the past week. I’ve read so many and really appreciate you all. I got a lot of strength from you!
“Playing for your country at the World Cup is the dream of so many kids growing up, just like it was one of mine. I won’t miss this for the world. Can’t wait to represent our beautiful country, you see you soon.”
Son underwent surgery last Friday to stabilize a fracture around his left eye after sustaining the injury in Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Marseille in the Champions League that week.
It sparked fears in South Korea that their star player could miss the tournament in Qatar, their eleventh appearance at the World Cup.
Son thrived in their convincing qualifying campaign, as they won seven and lost only one of their 10 matches, finishing second behind Iran.
Son scored 23 goals last season and became the first Asian player to win the Premier League Golden Boot, which he shared with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
The achievement only cemented his ‘divine’ status in South Korea when he was hailed as a hero in the summer when Antonio Conte’s team traveled to South Korea to prepare for the season.
He is likely to receive the same fanfare in Qatar as he heads to the Middle East at the age of 30 as one of the tournament’s elite players in the prime of his career.
Qatar 2022 also gives Son the chance to become the country’s all-time top goalscorer at World Cups – he needs just one goal to surpass the record three goals set by Ahn Jung-Hwan and Park Ji-Sung.
But Son, who has scored 35 goals in 104 appearances for South Korea, still has a way to go to become their leading goalscorer as he is 23 goals behind Cha Bum-Kun.
However, Son’s goal is to lead his squad past the group stage for the third time in their history.
Program World Cup group H in South Korea
Uruguay vs South Korea, Thursday, November 24; kick-off 1:00 PM
South Korea vs Ghana, Monday, November 28; kick-off 1:00 PM
South Korea vs Portugal, Friday November 2; kick off at 3 p.m