Tokyo, Jan 30 (IANS) Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng on Wednesday announced his retirement from the South Korean national team.
In a letter to the Korea Football Association, Ki said it had been a “big honour and responsibility” playing with the national team for the past 11 years. The 30-year-old also thanked his fans for their love and support, reports Efe news.
The midfielder had hinted at retirement after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia but decided to compete in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, currently being held in the United Arab Emirates, at the insistence of the new national team coach Paulo Bento.
Ki only played in the opening match against the Philippines on January 7 before a hamstring injury ruled him out of the rest of the tournament.
“The national team is having a difficult time after we failed to meet fans’ expectations at the Asian Cup, but I believe our players will overcome the difficulties under Bento’s guidance,” Ki wrote in the letter.
“Now, I will be one of the football fans who support the national team and will wish the best for South Korean football,” he added.
Despite retiring from international soccer, Ki said he would continue working hard to give his best with English Premier League club Newcastle United, who he signed for in June.