July 02, 2018 11:23
National football team captain Ki Sung-yueng returned to Korea from the FIFA World Cup in Russia on Sunday, two days later than the rest of the team.
He first stopped by the U.K. to sign a two-year contract with Newcastle United in the English Premier League. Ki spent the past six years with Swansea City in the same league.
Based at St. James' Park in the northern city, Newcastle have a rich history including four league titles and six FA Cups.
Ki hinted at his retirement from the national team on Sunday. "I am close to a decision. I will make an announcement at a suitable time," he said.
"Korean football needs a new long-term plan. I have thought a lot about whether I can contribute further to the national team. I feel I have not fulfilled my duty as captain over the last four years. The national team has gone through a tough time with many managers, and this added to my burden as captain."
Ki said the possibility of retiring from the national team played a part in his decision to sign with Newcastle. "Until now, my priority was finding a team where I could get as much playing time as possible because of my commitment to the national team. At Newcastle, I face tougher competition within the club for a starting position, but with the World Cup behind us that's not an issue," he said.
"It was quite emotional playing my last World Cup. As a captain, I am thankful to my teammates who fought until the final whistle blew without giving up."
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