S. Korea taking breather on opening day

DOHA– After six consecutive days of training in Qatar for the FIFA World Cup, South Korea will take a breather Sunday, the opening day of the quadrennial tournament.

Coached by Paulo Bento, the South Korean players have trained every day since landing in Doha on Monday, including two sessions on both Thursday and Saturday. Along the way, Bento moved a morning session to late afternoon, after players demanded the switch to avoid the stifling conditions of the Gulf nation.
The coach has also held extensive film studies and strategic meetings with the players and his staff before training sessions.

But Sunday will be a full off day for the players, who will get to relax and recharge their batteries for another full week ahead. Their first Group H match against Uruguay is Thursday.

As far as maintaining a healthy diet is concerned, Sunday may just be a cheat day of sorts for the players. The Korea Football Association (KFA) brought two national team chefs to help prepare nutritious Korean lunches and dinners throughout the tournament. For Sunday, the players will be able to go out in town for something different.

At Saturday’s press conference, forward Cho Gue-sung said players hadn’t ventured out much so far in Qatar, choosing instead to play board games or table tennis at the team hotel.

They will go back to the grind Monday, when a tour of Education City Stadium, the venue for all three group matches for South Korea, has been scheduled.

After Uruguay, South Korea will play Ghana on Nov. 28 and then Portugal on Dec. 2 at the stadium located in Al Rayyan, just west of Doha.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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