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Son Heung-min 'honored' to have learned from Brazil in friendly loss

All News 23:23 June 02, 2022

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) -- Even from a demoralizing 5-1 loss to Brazil in a men's football friendly match Thursday, South Korean captain Son Heung-min has a positive takeaway.

Son, the joint Golden Boot winner in the Premier League this past season, was held without a goal at Seoul World Cup Stadium as another international star, Neymar, had a brace of penalties in the victory.

Brazil relied on their superior skills to take advantage of shoddy South Korean defense, and Son said it was an important learning experience for himself and his team.

Son Heung-min of South Korea salutes the crowd after a 5-1 loss to Brazil in a men's football friendly match at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul on June 2, 2022. (Yonhap)

"It was an honor to be able to learn from such a world-class team," Son said of Brazil, No. 1 in the FIFA rankings. "It was an extremely difficult match for us, but it was also an opportunity to learn a great deal."

Son gave credit where credit is due, saying the Selecao put on a clinic, both with players' individual skills and their overall organization.

"They are the kind of players that can exploit even small mistakes, and we have to improve in that aspect," Son said. "Most of the five goals they scored were the results of our miscues. On the other hand, I think it was encouraging for us to create scoring chances against such a powerful team."

Son Heung-min of South Korea reacts to a goal by Gabriel Jesus of Brazil during a men's football friendly match at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul on June 2, 2022. (Yonhap)

Son thanked 64,000-plus fans for their support, and he also apologized for sending them home disappointed.

"It probably wasn't the result our fans wanted, and we're disappointed as well," Son said. "We understand we have a long ways to go. But we will do our best until the World Cup and give our fans something to smile about."

South Korea will play three more friendlies this month as part of preparation for the World Cup, which kicks off in Qatar in November. Up next is Chile on Monday, followed by Paraguay on June 10 and Egypt on June 14.

Son Heung-min of South Korea (R) high-fives Neymar of Brazil after Brazil's 5-1 victory in a men's football friendly match at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul on June 2, 2022. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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