South Korea and Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min has revealed he was on the verge of retiring from the national team.

On Thursday, the 31-year-old scored in the Taegeuk Warriors’ 1-1 draw against Thailand in the World Cup qualifiers. After the tie, he was speaking to the local media and his quotes are relayed by Chosun.

The outlet claims the Tottenham forward found it difficult to speak when specifically asked about ending his time with the national team. When responding to that, Son confessed he came close to announcing his international retirement.

“It’s a difficult question. I’ve never taken the national team for granted. I’ve always felt grateful and honoured. If I really thought about it personally, I would quit. I was almost there,” he said.

Neither Son nor the report have mentioned when the forward wanted to end his time with South Korea. However, he has revealed consulting a few former players over his international future and is grateful for their “sincere advice”.

The Tottenham man made his debut for South Korea in 2010 and has played 124 matches for them so far, managing 45 goals and 20 assists in the process. He claims the fans are one of the reasons why he decided to continue with the national team.

“I don’t think there are many footballers who are loved as much as I am, and I never take it for granted. They were the first thing that came to mind, and I also thought about whether I could leave all the burdens on my teammates in such a difficult situation,” Son explained.

The Tottenham forward has further explained that he wants to play as long as it’s physically possible and that he’s needed for South Korea. Son has also thanked his family and fans for supporting him.

“The support of my family and many fans has been a great help. It’s a promise between me and the football fans. I want to keep it, and I hope I can grow into a strong person so that I will never have such weak thoughts again,” the Spurs attacker concluded.