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(World Cup) Healthy at last, defender ready to sacrifice for country

All News 22:49 November 26, 2022

By Yoo Jee-ho

DOHA, Nov. 26 (Yonhap) -- Now that he is finally healthy after dealing with some hamstring issues, South Korean defender Yoon Jong-gyu said Saturday he is ready to take one for the team.

"It doesn't matter how many minutes I'll get to play. Once I am on the field, I will be competing hard, just like my teammates have done," Yoon told reporters before a training session at Al Egla Training Site in Doha. "I will be ready to make sacrifices for the nation."

South Korean defender Yoon Jong-gyu speaks at a press conference before a training session for the FIFA World Cup at Al Egla Training Site in Doha on Nov. 26, 2022. (Yonhap)

South Korean defender Yoon Jong-gyu speaks at a press conference before a training session for the FIFA World Cup at Al Egla Training Site in Doha on Nov. 26, 2022. (Yonhap)

Yoon, 24, is one of the least experienced players on South Korea's 26-man FIFA World Cup squad here, with only four caps to his credit. And Yoon earned three of those caps in the last four months as a new option at the right fullback position.

With head coach Paulo Bento having started Yoon in some recent matches, he would have been a logical choice in the starting lineup against Uruguay in South Korea's first Group H match Thursday, if not for a hamstring injury.

South Korean defender Yoon Jong-gyu speaks at a press conference before a training session for the FIFA World Cup at Al Egla Training Site in Doha on Nov. 26, 2022. (Yonhap)

South Korean defender Yoon Jong-gyu speaks at a press conference before a training session for the FIFA World Cup at Al Egla Training Site in Doha on Nov. 26, 2022. (Yonhap)

Kim Moon-hwan earned the starting nod at the right fullback position and played the entire match there.

"I finally got to train with the rest of the team yesterday," Yoon said. "Obviously, watching my teammates play against Uruguay, I also wanted to be out there with them."

In this file photo, South Korean defender Yoon Jong-gyu trains for the FIFA World Cup at Al Egla Training Site in Doha on Nov. 17, 2022. (Yonhap)

In this file photo, South Korean defender Yoon Jong-gyu trains for the FIFA World Cup at Al Egla Training Site in Doha on Nov. 17, 2022. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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