Son declares himself fit for World Cup after eye socket fracture

South Korean star Son Heung-min allayed fears he could miss the World Cup on Wednesday as he told fans he "can't wait to represent our beautiful country" in Qatar.

The Tottenham forward had to have surgery on an eye socket fracture suffered in Spurs' 2-1 Champions League win over Marseille last week.

South Korea begin their World Cup campaign against Uruguay on November 24 before also facing Ghana and Portugal in Group H.

"Hi everyone. I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you all for the messages of support I have received over the last week. I have read so many of them and truly, truly appreciate you all. In a tough time I received a lot of strength from you!" Son posted on his Instagram page.

"Playing for your country at the World Cup is the dream of so many children growing up, just as it was one of mine too. I won’t miss this for the world. I can’t wait to represent our beautiful country, see you soon."

Son's exploits for club and country have made him a national hero and captain of his country.

He has 35 goals in 106 international appearances, including nine in his last 14.

Marseille defender Chancel Mbema was subjected to racist abuse online from Korean fans for the collision which injured the 30-year-old.

The gold medal Son won at the Asian Games in 2018 secured him an exemption from national service.

In October last year he came 11th in the voting for the Ballon d’Or, the prestigious award for the world's best player, and last season jointly won the English Premier League's Golden Boot for most goals scored.

Son is expected to miss Tottenham's two remaining games before the World Cup against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup and Leeds in the Premier League.

kca/dmc