As the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the first 'Middle East World Cup' and 'Winter World Cup', enters the second round of the group stage, topics such as 'Asian Rebellion' and 'Rainbow Armband' are emerging inside and outside the stadium.
In the midst of this, one of the things that came to mind is the mask that players wear to protect their faces.
Son Heung-min (Tottenham), one of the most noteworthy players in this World Cup, is a representative of 'Mask Man'.
Son Heung-min started wearing a mask after undergoing surgery after suffering an orbital fracture in a collision with an opponent in a UEFA Champions League match earlier this month.
Son Heung-min, who entered Doha with a black carbon mask and continued to adapt, actually wore it in the first group H match against Uruguay held the other day (24th) and played full-time, helping Korea draw 0-0 with Uruguay, a South American powerhouse. gave strength to it.
To give strength to Son Heung-min, fans who bought masks at the shopping mall or made similar-looking masks with a 3D printer appeared at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, where the game against Uruguay was held.
In addition to Son Heung-min, several 'mask men' are on the ground in this competition.
It started when Tunisia's midfielder Ellies Skiri (Cologne), who injured his cheekbone in a UEFA Europa Conference League match at the end of last month, wore a face shield in the first leg of Group D against Denmark on the 22nd.
In the first leg of Group F between Croatia and Morocco held the very next day, Croatia defender Joshko Gbardiol (Leipzig) played full-time with a mask.
Gbardiol suffered a cracked nose bone and swelling around his eyes in a collision with a teammate in a German Bundesliga match on the 11th, but fortunately, he recovered without going through surgery and played his first World Cup match wearing a mask.
Belgian midfielder Thomas Meunir (Dortmund), who belongs to Group F, also played the first match against Canada while wearing a mask due to a broken cheekbone injury during a cup match in his team.
Japanese defender Shogo Taniguchi (Kawasaki Frontale) also had to wear a face shield after suffering a fractured nose bone during the J-League season, and was called 'Batman' in Japan.
However, Taniguchi kept the bench in the first leg of Group E against Germany.
Some players were injured during World Cup matches and suddenly wore masks.
Iran's first-choice goalkeeper Alireza Beyranvand (Persepolis) slammed his face head-on into his fellow defender's head during the Group B first leg against England on the 21st, fracturing his nasal bone.
He stood in front of the goal again even after the injury scene and was eventually replaced by Hossein Hosseini (Este Gral) according to the concussion protocol, after which he was captured training wearing a mask to protect the injured area.
Yesterday (25th), Beiranvand could not play in the second leg between Iran and Wales, but he was happy to watch Hosseini and his teammates jointly win 2-0 from the stands wearing a mask.
In the Iranian media, there is also a prospect that Beiranvand will play in the final third game against the United States.
(Photo = Yonhap News)