It might be the holiday season in many countries but for South Korea and the other nations taking part in the Asian Cup in January 2019, it is business as usual. This was seen with South Korea announcing Uslan as their Asian Cup training camp base. It could be a big tournament for Bento and his team with the Koreans have a very real chance of becoming champions of Asia.
Kim Jin-Su back in the side
The first bit of news to come out leading up to the training camp is that Paulo Bento will have Kim Jin-Su back to call upon. The 26-year-old has not played for his country since damaging knee ligaments in his countries defeat to Northern Ireland in March.
This meant that the Jeonbuk Motors defender missed his second World Cup in a row having lost out on the 2014 World Cup because of an injury to his ankle. Meanwhile, the leftback made his return to club football at the end of October when he returned as an 88th-minute substitute in his clubs 2-0 win over Suwon Bluewings.
After his long injury lay off he returned to his goal-scoring ways when he scored in a 3-1 win for his club against Uslan. Then despite his long lay off it looks like the attacking defender could be back to full strength. This seems to have convinced Paulo Bento to include him in his provisional Asian Cup squad as the player looks to add to his 34 caps.
As his long-term goal is to play at a World Cup, this was clear as the player said recently "I can't get hurt again," he said. "I'll do my best to play in the one in Qatar because it will be my last chance to do so, as I'll be close to 30 by that time."
The 23-man squad that will be heading to the UAE will then be announced on the 20th December. With the team then heading to the UAE on the 23rd December. The tournament will then take place between the 5th January and the 1st February. For those looking to watch this leave us a comment and will tell you how best to catch the action in your region.
While it is understood that the Pohang Steelers attacker Kim Seung-dae will miss out on the Asian Cup through injury. This is slightly ironic for the poor man as he played every minute for his club during the K League 1 season.
The first name on the teamsheet for many Son Heung-min will be part of the squad but will join up with the team later due to club commitments. The rest of the team will then be heading to Uslan next week to prepare for the Asian Cup.
With South Korea is looking strong under Bento and every right to be confident having gone six games undefeated under the Portuguese coach. We will have our first chance to see how he will do when South Korea kick off the Asian Cup campaign against the Philippines on the 7th of January.