Son is now training with a face mask.

Son is now training with a face mask. © AP

National coach Paulo Bento is confident that his star player Son Heung-Min will be ready to play on Thursday for South Korea’s opening match against Uruguay at the World Cup in Qatar.

Jeroen DePauwSource: BELGA

The Tottenham attacker suffered a broken eye socket in the Champions League match against Marseille at the beginning of November, which seemed to jeopardize his World Cup participation.

Nevertheless, Bento called him in and resumed training with a mask to prevent the injury from getting worse. Bento believes that Son will make a full recovery, despite playing always involves a risk. “We will see how it goes. We hope he will feel comfortable and we will use the best possible strategy for that.”

Dueling with Luis Suarez

Son is joint World Cup top scorer for South Korea with three goals. He hopes to become the nation’s second player after Ji-Sung Park to score in three different World Cups.

Bento realizes that Uruguay has other world-class players besides Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Darwin Nunez. “Federico Valverde is a fantastic player. Together with Kevin De Bruyne, he is one of the best midfielders in the world.”

“Uruguay has a strong collective. We will have to deal with their collective strength and individual qualities,” Bento concluded.

Son (l) and his coach Paul Bento at a training in Qatar. © EPA-EFE

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