Seoul (AFP) – Brazil midfielder Bruno Guimaraes said Tuesday his number-one ranked team should brace for a difficult match against hosts South Korea, with joint Premier League Golden Boot winner Son Heung-min looming large over the visiting South Americans.
The five-time World Cup winners take on South Korea Thursday in a friendly match in Seoul.
It will be the sides’ seventh meeting, with Brazil having prevailed in five of the six previous matches.
But Newcastle United midfielder Guimaraes had a first-hand look at the kind of damage Son can inflict upon opponents on April 3, when the South Korean netted once and set up another in Tottenham Hotspur’s 5-1 victory over the Magpies.
It was one of 23 goals Son scored last season, as he shared the Golden Boot with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
“I remember Son Heung-min very well. I think he’s a tremendous player,” Guimaraes said through an interpreter at a press conference at Goyang Stadium, just northwest of Seoul, where Brazil had opened a training session to the media.
“We will try to keep him in check as much as we can, so that we can win the match.”
Guimaraes called South Korea “a technically sound team” and said Brazil had come prepared.
“Even though this is a friendly match, we will do the best we can,” the 24-year-old said. “South Korean players are quite talented and it won’t be an easy match for us.”
Guimaraes and several others, including Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar, arrived in South Korea last Thursday, a full week ahead of the match. The players were seen at tourist attractions in and around Seoul over the weekend.
They were joined Tuesday by a half-dozen team-mates from Real Madrid and Liverpool, who faced each other in the Champions League final in Paris on Saturday.
“Because of jetlag, we are all tired, and some of the guys arrived here today,” Guimaraes said. “We’re trying to rest as much as we can.”
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