Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Son Heung-min Biography

In this Son Heung-min biography, we delve into the journey of a young football enthusiast from South Korea who has become a world-class forward in the English Premier League. Son Heung-min, currently playing for Tottenham Hotspur, is recognized as one of the most successful and popular football players in the world. He possesses unparalleled speed, dazzling dribbling skills, impeccable finishing, and remarkable versatility on the pitch. Throughout his career, Son has earned numerous awards and accolades, including the Asian Footballer of the Year, the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year, the Premier League Player of the Month, and the FIFA Puskás Award.

Everything to Know about Son Heung-min

Son Heung-min was not only inspired by his father, who was also a professional footballer, but also motivated by his love for the game. At the age of six, he began playing football and trained at the FC Seoul youth academy in 2008. However, he soon left for Germany to join the Hamburger SV youth academy.

Son Heung-min
Credit: Khel Now

Outside of football, Son enjoys listening to Korean pop music, with BTS being his favorite K-pop group. In fact, he has had the opportunity to meet some BTS members in person and even swap jerseys with them.

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into Son Heung-min’s fascinating life story.

Son Heung-min Information

In this section, we will provide you with an overview of Son Heung-min’s general information.

  • Full Name: Son Heung-min
  • Nickname: Sonaldo
  • Profession: Professional Football Player

Physical Stats

  • Weight: 76 kilograms
  • Height: 1.83 meters
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Hair Color: Black

Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: July 8, 1992
  • Birth Place: Chuncheon-si, South Korea
  • Nationality: South Korean

Football Information

  • Position: Forward
  • Jersey Number: 7
  • Professional Debut: 2010

Read More: Bayer 04 Leverkusen – all about the club

Son Heung-min Early Life

Son Heung-min was born on July 8, 1992, in Chuncheon, South Korea. His parents, Son Woong-jung and Eun Ja Kil, provided a supportive environment for their two sons. Son’s father, a former professional footballer who represented the South Korea national team in the 1980s, ignited his passion for the sport.

At a very young age, Son demonstrated a keen interest in football. When he was three years old, he even participated in an exchange program where he spent a year in New Zealand to learn English. After returning to South Korea, he attended Dongbuk Elementary School, where he played football with his schoolmates and teachers. Son also enrolled in the youth academy of FC Seoul, one of the country’s top clubs, and worked as a ball boy during their matches. He looked up to Lee Chung-yong, a former Crystal Palace player who also graduated from FC Seoul.

When Son turned 16, he made a life-changing decision to join Hamburger SV in Germany through the Korean FA Youth Project. His abilities shone bright, and he became the youngest player to score a goal in the Bundesliga at that time.

Son Heung-min
Credit: SportMob

Son Heung-min Profile

Son Heung-min is a South Korean forward who currently represents Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League and the South Korea national team. Born in 1992 in Chuncheon, South Korea, Son embarked on his professional career at the age of 16 when he joined Hamburger SV in Germany. He quickly made a name for himself, becoming the youngest player to score in the Bundesliga. Son later transferred to Bayer Leverkusen before finally joining Tottenham Hotspur. Renowned for his speed, dribbling skills, finishing, and versatility, Son has become an integral part of the team.

Read More: Tottenham Hotspur History – All about the Club

Son Heung-min Football Career

In this section, we dig deep into Son Heung-min’s illustrious professional career.

Hamburger SV

Son joined Hamburger SV’s youth academy at the age of 16 in 2008. He made his debut in the Bundesliga, the top division of German football, on October 30, 2010, and scored his first goal in a 3-1 victory over FC Köln. At just 18 years and 135 days old, he became the youngest player to score a goal in the Bundesliga for Hamburger SV. Son played for the club for three seasons, from 2010 to 2013, scoring 20 goals in 78 appearances across all competitions. In the 2012-13 season, he was awarded the Hamburger SV Player of the Season for his impressive performance, scoring 12 goals in 34 matches. His explosive speed, finishing prowess, two-footedness, and ability to link play made him a standout player.

Son’s outstanding performances attracted interest from several European clubs, including Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. However, he opted to join Bayer Leverkusen, another German club, on June 13, 2013. The transfer fee was €10 million, which could rise to €12.5 million based on his performance.

Bayer Leverkusen

Son’s move to Bayer Leverkusen in June 2013 shattered the club’s transfer record, as they paid €10 million to acquire his services. He signed a five-year contract and quickly adapted to his new team, making an immediate impact by scoring three goals in his first three friendly matches. He also left a lasting impression on his former club, Hamburger SV, by bagging a hat-trick in a thrilling 5-3 victory. That season, Son displayed his goal-scoring ability, including a crucial winner against Borussia Dortmund that kept Bayer Leverkusen in the title race. In total, he scored 12 goals in 43 matches during his first season at the club.

The following season, Son continued to shine, scoring another hat-trick against VfL Wolfsburg in a memorable 4-5 defeat. Despite his team trailing 0-3, Son’s heroics almost inspired a remarkable comeback. He went on to score 17 goals in 42 matches that season.

Son started the 2015-16 season with Bayer Leverkusen before making a move to Tottenham Hotspur.

Tottenham Hotspur

Son Heung-min joined Tottenham Hotspur from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015 and has since established himself as one of the most prolific and beloved players in the club’s history. With 145 goals in 372 appearances, he ranks sixth among Tottenham’s all-time top scorers.

Son has earned numerous individual awards during his time at Tottenham Hotspur. His most notable achievements include winning the FIFA Puskas Award in 2019 for his breathtaking solo goal against Burnley. He also made history as the first Asian player to win the Premier League Golden Boot, jointly with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, after scoring 23 goals in the 2021/22 season.

Son’s contributions extend beyond personal accolades. He played a vital role in helping Tottenham Hotspur reach the Champions League final in 2019, scoring crucial goals throughout the competition. Additionally, he scored the first Premier League and Champions League goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which opened in 2019. Son played a crucial role as Tottenham Hotspur finished second in the Premier League in the 2016/17 season and secured four consecutive Champions League qualifications from 2016 to 2020.

2022-23: Injury-Plagued Season

Son Heung-min faced a challenging start to the 2022-23 season, as he struggled to find the back of the net in the first eight games, providing only one assist. However, he ended his goal drought by scoring a remarkable hat-trick in just 13 minutes as a substitute during a 6-2 victory over Leicester City on September 17. Unfortunately, on November 1, Son suffered an orbital fracture in his left eye following a collision with Marseille’s Chancel Mbemba during a UEFA Champions League group stage match. Despite the injury, he bravely declared himself fit and represented South Korea in the 2022 World Cup.

Despite having an injury-plagued season, Son reached a significant milestone by scoring his 100th Premier League goal on April 8, 2023, in a 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion. He became the first Asian player to achieve this feat. Eventually, Son underwent surgery to address a hernia issue after Tottenham’s last league game of the season against Leeds United on May 29. In an interview with TV Chosun, Son revealed that he had been playing with the injury for 8-9 months, which limited his performance to just 60% of his normal ability.

2023-24: The Spurs’ Captain

On August 12, 2023, Son was appointed as Tottenham’s new captain, succeeding Hugo Lloris. He wasted no time making an impact in his new role, scoring his first hat-trick as the club’s captain in a resounding 5-2 victory over Burnley on September 2. Son continued to showcase his brilliance by scoring two equalizers in a thrilling 2-2 draw against Arsenal in the North London derby on September 24. By achieving these milestones, Son became the sixth player in Tottenham’s history to score 150 goals.

International Career

Son Heung-min
Credit: Sports Illustrated

Son Heung-min’s impact extends to the international stage, where he represents the South Korea national football team. With 113 appearances and 37 goals, he holds the record for the most caps and is the joint top scorer for the national team. Son made his debut for the senior team in 2010 at the age of 18 and scored his first goal in a friendly match against India. Since then, he has been a vital player for South Korea, participating in three FIFA World Cups and four AFC Asian Cups.

Son has scored numerous memorable goals for South Korea, including the goal that knocked defending champions Germany out of the 2018 World Cup and the goal that secured the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games, saving him from mandatory military service. He has also recorded hat-tricks against Laos and Qatar in World Cup qualifiers and against Lebanon in the Asian Cup.

Son took on the responsibility of leading the national team as captain in 2019, succeeding Ki Sung-yueng. Widely regarded as the best Asian footballer of his generation, Son has won several individual awards for his performances, including the AFC Asian International Player of the Year and the Best Footballer in Asia. He has been recognized as the Asian Footballer of the Year on three occasions.

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Son Heung-min’s Playing Style

Son Heung-min
Credit: The Times of India

Son Heung-min’s playing style is a testament to his immense talent and versatility. Not only does he excel as a forward, but he is also capable of playing as an attacking midfielder or a wing-back when required. Son has expressed his willingness to play in any position, stating, “I don’t care where I play. The main thing is I’m in the game. I can play as a second striker or behind. Whatever the coach says, I’ll do. I don’t have a favorite position. I’ll be anywhere and always on the throttle.”

His exceptional skills include ambidexterity, explosive speed, positional awareness, movement, close control, and clinical finishing. These qualities make him a lethal threat on the counter-attack. Furthermore, Son is lauded for his selfless work rate, defensive contributions, and ability to create chances for his teammates in addition to scoring goals himself.

Read More: Best Asian Forwards of All Time

Son Heung-min Honors and Achievements

Son Heung-min
Credit: The Athletic

Throughout his illustrious career, Son Heung-min has accumulated a plethora of honors and achievements. Let’s take a glance at some of his notable accomplishments:

Club Level:

  • Played for Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, and Tottenham Hotspur, scoring over 200 goals in total.
  • Became the top Asian goal scorer in both the Premier League and Champions League history.
  • Won the Premier League Golden Boot award in the 2021-22 season, becoming the first Asian player to achieve this feat.
  • Reached the UEFA Champions League final in 2019 with Tottenham Hotspur, becoming only the second Asian player to reach this milestone after Park Ji-sung.

International Level:

  • Represented South Korea in four FIFA World Cups (2014, 2018, 2022) and three AFC Asian Cups (2011, 2015, 2019).
  • Joint top scorer at FIFA World Cups for South Korea, alongside Park Ji-sung and Ahn Jung-hwan.
  • Won the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games with South Korea U23, exempting him from mandatory military service.
  • Captain of the South Korea national team, with 113 appearances and 37 goals.

Individual Level:

  • Seven-time Korean Footballer of the Year (2013, 2014, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022).
  • Four-time Best Footballer in Asia (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018).
  • Three-time Asian Footballer of the Year (2014, 2015, 2017).
  • FIFA Puskas Award winner in 2020 for his sensational solo goal against Burnley.
  • Regularly listed in Forbes Korea Power Celebrity 40 since 2019, ranking second in 2023.

Son Heung-min Personal Life

Son Heung-min
Credit: Sportskeeda

While Son Heung-min has been romantically linked to K-pop singers Bang Min-ah and Yoo So-young in the past, he is currently not in a relationship.

During the hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Son fulfilled his mandatory military service obligation in South Korea. Although he was exempted from military service due to winning a gold medal at the Asian Games, he completed basic military training in the Republic of Korea Marine Corps in Jeju from April to May 2020. Impressively, he finished among the top five out of 157 trainees.

Son is an avid gamer, finding enjoyment in playing the popular video game League of Legends.

Son’s generosity extends beyond the pitch. In 2019, he donated approximately £100,000 to the victims of the Goseong Fire, which caused immense destruction in Goseong County, Gangwon, South Korea. In 2020, he donated £65,000 to aid in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in his home country.