Ghana head coach Otto Addo hopes to get the better of his former player Son Heung-min when his side take on Group H rivals South Korea on Monday.
Former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Addo worked with Son in his first coaching role at Hamburg and predicted a golden future for the Tottenham forward, who started out in Europe at the German club.
Addo said: “I had the pleasure of having him as a coach when I was under-19s coach at Hamburg.
Lolo and Sonny share the points in their World Cup Opener! 🤝 pic.twitter.com/dY8AtFondf— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 24, 2022
“He’s a very good character first of all, a hard-working player. I really like his character. He’s very disciplined and became so good because he worked so hard for it.”
Son moved on from Hamburg to Bayer Leverkusen in 2013 before sealing a reported £22million move to Tottenham in 2015.
Addo, whose side lost 3-2 to Portugal in their opening group game, said: “This is what I hoped for him and what I expected. You can’t predict everything, especially in youth players.
“But I saw something in him and proposed him to our first-team squad and he did well there. So far he’s had a great career.”
Son had been doubtful for the World Cup after fracturing an eye socket in Tottenham’s 2-1 Champions League win at Marseille at the start of the month.
He played the full 90 minutes while wearing a face mask on his return to action in South Korea’s opening-game 0-0 draw against Uruguay.
“I always wish him all the best, except tomorrow,” Addo said. “I’m happy for him that he’s healthy again, or can play at least.
“We will try and stop him together, always as a team. It’s always about closing gaps, picking up runs and closing spaces and this we do as a team.”
South Korea head coach Paulo Bento believes Son can have a bigger impact in his side’s second group game.
Bento said: “As far as Son is concerned, because he was recently injured, he was adapting and trying to feel comfortable with the face mask.
“He needed to feel at ease with his team-mates and then the opponents and I think this second game will be different.
“He’s already been able to play the full 90 minutes and as a team we need to do our best so he can take advantage of his skills.”