Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur expressed excitement over his return to the national football team after a yearlong disruption to international matches due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Son is in Korea ahead of a series of matches in the second round of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar this weekend and in the coming weeks.

“We had not been able to play together as a team for a long time, making it difficult to prepare for the run-up to the qualifiers,” Son said in a virtual interview on Thursday. “I also eagerly missed [Korean] fans.”

Son Heung-min gives a livestreamed interview on YouTube on Thursday. /Newsis

Korea is set to face Turkmenistan on Saturday, Sri Lanka on June 9 and Lebanon on June 13. All of the matches will be held in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province and some 3,500 advance tickets for Saturday’s match sold out.

The match against Turkmenistan will be Son’s 90th appearance in international matches. He has scored 26 goals in 89 matches since his national team debut in a friendly against Syria in December 2010 when he was playing for Hamburger SV in Germany’s Bundesliga.

His last appearances for the country were in friendlies against Mexico and Qatar in Austria in November last year.

“I will do my best to help Korea win all three matches.”

When asked if there is a possibility he will join the Olympic football team consisting of under-23 players as a wildcard player to participate in the Tokyo Olympics in July, he said, “There is no reason not to join if I could be of any help. But I may also have to talk with my current team. Even if I can’t make it, I will cheer for the team.”

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