(ATTN: ADDS presidential office's briefing in last 3 paras)
SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol on Tuesday gave words of encouragement for South Korean players and their coaches following their exit from the World Cup with a defeat by Brazil.
"Twenty-six players, including captain Son Heung-min, coach Bento and other coaching staff all worked so hard," Yoon said in a Facebook post after South Korea were hammered by Brazil 4-1 in the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup.
"Players who did their best despite their injuries, you did a great job," Yoon said.
"Our challenge will continue," Yoon said, expressing hope that South Korea will perform better at the 2026 World Cup.
This was South Korea's third trip to the knockout stage, after reaching the semifinals in 2002 and the round of 16 in 2010.
Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for press affairs, told reporters Yoon hopes to host a lunch for the South Korean team as early as Thursday when they return home.
Bento, Son and most other players are expected to attend the planned luncheon meeting.
"People will not forget the December gift from Qatar. This is the end of the national team's journey, but hope is from now on," Kim said.
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