The picture surprises: Heung-min Sonthe South Korean crack, entered the Education City stadium, in Doha, with a facial mask that covers the main bones of the face and eyes. Like Czech goalkeeper Peter Cech, the talented Tottenham Hotspur footballer wore this protection to avoid problems in contact with rivals. Strictly speaking, an eye socket injury during a match against Marseille put his participation in the World Cup in doubt. And he scared the millions of fans of his country. It was this protective “mask” or nothing. Luckily for South Korea, their captain said present. And he plays in the debut against Uruguay.” class=”com-link” data-reactroot=””>And he plays in the debut against Uruguay.
The injury match was played on November 1st. They are collided very hard with Chancel Mbemba, Congolese defender from Marseille with a past in Newcastle and Porto, from Portugal. Barely 29 minutes had passed after the meeting at the Stade Velodrome, in the French coastal city, and the South Korean asked for the change. The medical services of Tottenham, his club in the Premier League, confirmed the fracture in the eye sac, which required surgery. And they did not confirm the recovery time. Paulo Bento, the Portuguese who directs the South Korean team, began to worry. The possibility of losing their captain, the most decisive Asian player, was certain. are is the active player with more games in the selected (more than 100 official participations) and also the top scorer, with 35 conquests. Losing him would have been almost a knockout blow for the Portuguese coach.
“World Cup, here we go”, Son’s post with the protective mask
Son underwent surgery on November 4 and the Korean Federation confirmed that the operation had been successful a day later. After four days, on the 9th of this month, the 30-year-old soccer player wrote on his Instagram profile that he would not miss the World Cup “for anything in the world.” In the same post, but in Korean, the soccer player gave more information about the protection that he would use in Qatar to avoid problems in the operated area. “Compared to the masks we have had to wear for the last two years (referring to chinstraps to avoid contagion from coronavirus), the one I will wear at the World Cup will be nothing.” The mask does not reduce peripheral vision and is tailor-made for the footballer.
A source from the Korean Federation confirmed to the Seoul newspaper JoongAng Ilbo that the best footballer of the team would wear special protection during the ecumenical event in Doha. “He is wearing a mask made by his club, Tottenham, to the World Cup,” the source said. The ocular fracture was sealed with a piece of metal, so the protective helmet will serve to prevent the injured area from suffering any contact with a rival or an eventual head clash. The material of the helmet is carbon fiber and according to the English press it costs between 50 and 60 pounds sterling (between 60 and 72 dollars).
Son is not the first South Korean footballer to play a World Cup wearing a face shield. In the 2002 World Cup, played in that country and Japan and won by Brazil, defender Kim Tae-young wore a nose mask: he had broken his septum in the round of 16 match against Italy. That earned him the name “Tiger Mask”. The protection was designed and produced by two Japanese, and according to the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, “it is likely that it was made of carbon fiber or very light plastic.” The media recalls that the footballer keeps that protection in a showcase in his house.