Newcastle United's Ki Sung-yueng reveals the REAL reason he quit international football
Ki Sung-yueng has quit international football with South Korea – after losing his place at Newcastle United.
The midfielder is fit after recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered at the Asian Cup last month.
However, the 30-year-old – who had been playing week in, week out before his Boxing Day departure for the tournament – didn't even make the squad for the club's Premier League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux last week.
Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden have impressed in the absence of Ki, Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame.
And Ki, like fit-again Diame, must now wait for another chance.
It's a familiar scenario for Ki, who joined Newcastle last summer after leaving Swansea City on the expiry of his contract at the Liberty Stadium.
"It's time for me to concentrate on Newcastle," said the 30-year-old. "I have played a lot of games for Korea, and travelled back and forth for 10 years or so.
"That's difficult, such as this time. You're playing well in the team, and have to leave. By the time you come back, someone else has your place. That has happened a lot of times in my career because of the national team."
Longstaff, 21, has been a revelation in midfield alongside Hayden.
"I have seen Sean in training – I knew he had quality," Ki told the Daily Mail. "We have very good competition now. For me, I have to wait for my chance again.
"First of all, I need to be as fit as before. I need to do extra training. I had to do this in the first period of the season, wait and work hard, and I will do it again."