Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min "cried all day long" after South Korea's elimination from the Rio Olympic Games.
Son, 24, was named as one of three overage players in the South Korea squad who went for gold in Rio, a dream that was ended by a quarter-final defeat to Honduras on Saturday 13 August.
The Spurs star scored twice to help his side qualify for the knock-out stages of the competition but missed a handful of scoring opportunities against Honduras, receiving heavy criticism in his homeland as a result after a 1-0 defeat.
But ahead of Son's return to Tottenham, South Korea's coach Shin Taeyong has leapt to the defence of his player, insisting his role within a very young team was vital.
"Son worked really hard and did his best. He joined the team after 36 hours of flying from Melbourne," Taeyong told the Korean FA's official website. "And he was busy to take care of younger players in the team. He was approachable to the players and devoted himself. He was also desperate in this tournament.
"As a member of the Olympic team he wanted to achieve a bigger dream like everyone else. He was just unlucky when it comes to scoring. Three wild card players were good examples to younger players. Son cried all day long after the Honduras game. He did not even eat. It was sad to see. I wish Son could develop more as a player with this experience."
Son travelled to Australia for Tottenham's pre-season tour before jetting into Rio for South Korea's campaign. The former Bayer Leverkusen star is not expected to return to first-team duties straight away following his summer campaign. Prior to his exploits in Brazil, Son apologised to his teammates for missing their opening Premier League game of the season against Everton.