October 08, 2019 09:59
Footballers gathered for training in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, ahead of their upcoming second round of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
South Korea will play a match against Sri Lanka in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province later this week and North Korea in Pyongyang next week.
The pitch at Kim Il-sung Stadium, where the match in Pyongyang will take place, is made of artificial turf -- a surface that is unfamiliar to most professional footballers, who usually play on natural grass fields. Artificial turf also carries a relatively high risk of injury, as it is harder than grass.
"I haven't played on artificial turf since I was on the youth team of Hamburger SV," said captain Son Heung-min. "But when will I ever have a chance to play there again? I want to make it memorable."
Also included in the roster for South Korea is Nam Tae-hee of Qatari side Al-Sadd, who is set to make a return about a year after missing the Asian Cup last year due to an injury. "I'm happy to join the national team again earlier than I expected," Nam said. "I eagerly hope that Korea will make it to the World Cup in Qatar, and if that happens, I will never miss another opportunity."
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