“My wish is to see my wife play football again…”

“My wife said her wish was to see me play soccer again….”

Son Jun-ho, who returned to the K League 1 pitch after three years and seven months, choked up during the interview. His eyes filled with tears as he gazed at the mountains.

On the 22nd, 15 minutes into the second half of the 18th round of the Hana Bank K League 1 2024 (0-3 loss) against Seoul, 25,157 Suwon FC away fans and FC Seoul home fans chanted “Son Junho!” and applauded in unison when Son Junho, wearing Suwon FC’s No. 28 jersey, entered the field. He took the field one year and one month after being detained by Chinese police after the Shandong Taishan-Chengdu match on May 10, last year, and three years and seven months after the Jeonbuk-Daejeon match on November 1, 2020.

“It’s hard to put into words how happy I am to be back,” said Son Junho in the post-match mixer zone. “I didn’t give up on my dream of playing soccer (when I was detained in China), and I was rewarded for my efforts. I don’t consider it a failure, but a trial. The people and soccer fans have been worried and supportive, and I will repay them on the field,” he said. “I am grateful to the fans for their warm welcome. I was very nervous to be back in front of so many people after a year,” he admitted. “When I entered the stadium, I felt like I was going to cry, but I tried to hold it in. I thought I owed it to the fans to show them a good performance on the field,” he said, adding, “I also want to be a good father to my wife and child.”

Suwon FC head coach Kim Eun-joong welcomed Junho, as did his former coach at Pohang, Kim Ki-dong of FC Seoul. After the game, Kim said, “We played the last 30 minutes today, but we didn’t have much trouble, and Junho came in and did a good job of linking up. We had some good shots. I think we need to improve our physical condition as we increase our playing time.” Coach Kim Ki-dong said, “I didn’t even pay attention to my opponent,” but also 사설토토 added, “I had a lot of difficulties for a long time and I had the will to stand in this position again. He was in the team with Junho, but he is a player who is serious about soccer, and he is always sincere in rehabilitation and training.” “He will find his form for sure. Today, Junho came in and didn’t play much, so it was a big help,” he laughed.

“I think it will be important to see how quickly I can improve my match fitness,” said Son, “I’m disappointed with the result today. After July, I’ll be back to 80-90% or more. The coach gave me a chance from the first game, and I will do my best to repay his expectations.” “Even though we lost today, we will definitely make a scene in front of our fans at the home game against Gwangju on the 25th to greet them with a smile after winning,” he promised.

When asked what ‘ground’ means to him, he replied, “It was an ordinary day, and I thought a lot about whether that day would come back to me. Today is an unforgettable day because I came back and realized my dream,” he said. “I will try to show my old self again. I will be the most useful player for the team among the players who joined this summer so that Suwon FC can reach a higher position,” he reiterated.

When asked about his national team dream, he said, “I can’t think about the national team. I’m just grateful for the smallest things. I’m just happy to be back on the field,” he said. “I think the national team is a reward if I show good form one day at a time. I will try to do well for the team,” he added.

When asked about the people who helped him get back on the field and what they said to him that sticks out in his mind, he thinks of his family, whom he misses and cherishes. “There were so many people who encouraged and supported me,” he says, “especially my family. My wife told me that her wish was to see me play soccer again…” he choked up. “I’m grateful and happy,” he said, and left the Mix Zone.

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