Heung-Min Son (손흥민)

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By the end of the video Son's dad appears, he's apparently following everywhere Son goes. Heard that ppl at Leverkusen didnt really like him as they felt he's interfering the communication btwn Son and the club. There are several cases of famous 'soccer daddies'(no i didnt want to use THAT word :pocheyes:) for S. Korean players: fathers of Park Jisung or Ki Seungyong are very famous(notorious, to some people, especially journalists) and Son's is another famous daddy.

The dad is a football coach and well understands that S. Korean football is all about factionalism. Apparently he didnt want his son to play in the system so sent him to Germany when he was very young. He also had controversies with the national team several times, requesting the Korean FA to not call up his son.

I reserve my judgement on him as his strict management of his son might have brought the player this far, but I guess the dad wouldnt be fan's favorite here. We'll see.

Korean fan born and raised in NY here. I've been lurking on here ever since the rumors of Son to Tottenham first surfaced. Decided to finally sign up and wanted to reply to this. Son's father might be overbearing but he's the reason Son as we know him exists, with his current strengths and weaknesses. His father trained him relentlessly from a young age to perfect his shooting technique and to be ambidextrous. Son mentioned in previous interviews (can't bother digging them up right now) that he would spend days just practicing shooting over 1,000 times per day. That's why he can score goals at angles from which he has no business even taking a shot, right foot left foot both with aplomb.

On the other hand, his father also kept him from playing in too many matches as a youth as he felt it would enforce bad habits. This is where his weaknesses come into play, in that he can seem lost in buildup play even while being such a ruthless finisher. Obviously he's been getting better these past several seasons but you'll see what I'm talking about.

Of course we've all seen the highlight reels and goal compilations, but sometimes watching a 'ball-touch' vid can be more helpful to get an idea of what his overall game is like.

This match against Uruguay he was wearing the number 9 with pink boots. He's not hard to spot lol. When he's on form and has space to run at defenders he's an absolute terror to the opposition. When he's on his A-game you'd swear he was CR7 in FIFA. But when he's low on form/confidence he can go missing in matches. Thus far he's always bounced back with purple patches of goals but I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a hat trick one week then be anonymous the next. All the English-speaking Korean soccer fans I speak to would say this is his biggest weakness: consistency. I guess at 23 years old we can't complain too much.

There's been plenty said about his Bundesliga goal-scoring record so nothing more to say there. But I didn't see his Champion's League stats mentioned, because in his first season at Bayer he scored 0 goals and looked pretty innocuous. Then in his second season (last year) he scored 5 of Bayer's overall 15 UCL goals. So he is certainly still developing and sometimes we forget that he's been in the Bundesliga scoring goals since he was a teenager.

As for the military issue, since someone asked for a recap, basically Son is stuck in a sh!tty confluence of factors working against him. He was born too late to exploit a loophole for middle school dropouts which Lee Chung-Yong (formerly at Bolton, now at Crystal Palace) used to gain exemption. Now that loophole is apparently reopening but is only open to people born after 1996. He missed exemption with the 2012 Olympic squad (sorry for knocking out Team GB) that won Bronze and then missed it again in 2014 when Korea won Gold in the Asian Games. That one hurt especially, since not only was it one of his last chances to gain exemption, the Korean FA told Leverkusen that Son only had to show up for the Final. Basically they were willing to make a farce of the competition in order to get Son his exemption. Bayer refused to release him for that single game, his future be damned. Now he only has the 2016 Olympics and the 2018 Asian Games, unless Korea makes some serious noise in the 2018 World Cup. Given how crap we were in Brazil 2014, I wouldn't be banking on that option..

As for deferring service based on residency or fabricating a medical loophole, there is a long string of celebrities/pop stars/etc. who have destroyed their careers by attempting such things. Son would effectively become persona non grata. The question remains if Son can become a big enough star to force the issue and sway public opinion if the time comes for him to report for duty and he hasn't gained exemption. It would pretty much take an Act of Congress (sorry, don't know what the Korean equivalent term is) to get him an exemption by fiat. Even then there would be very vocal opposition, regardless of how big a star Son might be.

Sorry for the long post but just had to add my 2 cents.

edit: I managed to sneak the first half against Everton on Saturday while on vacation with my family. It looked like Everton were leaving huge swaths of space behind their line from what I saw. Perfect conditions for Son to absolutely wreak havoc...:baletroll:
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Chelsea are planning an audacious swoop for South Korean star Heung-Min Son in the summer, with the Blues ready to pay around £80 million to sign the Asian star. The Tottenham player, who has been in insatiable form this campaign, is seen by many as one of the best players in the Premier League.

Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich has been sufficiently impressed and is now ready to open his cheque book to lure the player to the club.

Chelsea plan swoop for Heung-Min Son
Levy walking in to get his wallet, then hears on the TV of the South Korea score.


And you can tell everybody
This is our Son
It might be quite simple but
Now that he's come

I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is
That Son plays for Spurs

PS. If you fuck this up Levy I will charge you for the time it took to come up with that
Serious point here: Son excels when he's confident and happy.

He now has the weight of national duty lifted from his shoulders, which will have been on him his entire playing career up to this point.

I think we'll be getting Son 2.0 when he returns to England, to be honest. Actual Sonaldo form.


Seoulite Yidette / TTID COYS
Meeting the other self of Son: the agent Thies Bliemeister

“He’s one in a million talent for S. Korea. Also he got this sense of language and sociability."

Son’s German agent, Thies Bliemeister(38) was very calm. He tried to keep his objectivity when praising Son, almost made it easy to forget that he’s Son’s agent. Bliemeister was always with Son from the player’s first year of career: Son was selected for ‘Studying Abroad Programme for Elite Football Youngsters’ to join Hamburg in 2008.

Ilgan Sports interviewed Bliemeister in London, who is referred as the other self of Son. This is his first time to have in-depth interview with S. Korean media. Calling himself ‘older Sonny’, he explained the reason that Son headed to Spurs, Son’s life back in Germany and how he’s adapting to the new life in England. He also had advices for Son, while being happy for the player’s consecutive scorings. “I knew that Son was always perfect for the PL. There’s nothing happier than playing the favorite type of football in the favorite league.” he said.

◇Heung-Min is my Son

-What was the reaction of Son’s family against his PL debut goal?

“They gone speechless, being too happy for the goal. It was like myself scoring that goal. Mauricio Pochettino must have this eye for players.”

-Have you imagined this when Son first played for Hamburg Youth?

“There was this vague expectation that he’ll be a big player. Otherwise I wouldn’t have brought him to Germany at the first stage. When I first saw him I instantly knew that he’s got something different; his personality and mental strength. His techniques were completed in Germany. Any player who first met him doesn’t need a long time to get along with him. Everyone likes him and this is a huge advantage. Plus, he’s working really hard, train much harder than average player. Those realized my expectations. There are some lucky players to play in the PL, but Heung-min brought himself this far only with his own ability."

-You must be very proud of him.

“Son is like my son. It’s been almost a decade since we got to know each other: I was staying with him in his first two years in Germany without his family. Someone has to take care of 16 years old boy who just arrived to a totally different place. I was with him everyday, everywhere; eating food, playing ping-pong etc. So I know almost everything about him. Like every daddy, I hope he’d be happy. I feel great that he can play his game now.”

-It might be harder to see him for you as he moved to London.

“Not at all. From Hamburg where I live, Leverkusen and Dusseldorf (where Son used to live) both takes an hour by car. To London also takes an hour by plane. I and Heung-min’s dad followed Leverkusen's every CL game last season and S. Korea’s matches held in Australia earlier this year. I’ll visit England every week to watch him play.

◇Now I can reveal the truth

There were rumors on the procedure of transfer from Leverkusen. As he moved to London after the new season started, some people doubted his relationships with the head coach or players.

-Is that true that he had uncomfortable relationship with the head coach?

“Roger Schmidt always included Son in his starting 11 week in week out, there’s no reason for bad relationship. Son just chose to play in England, where he always dreamed of."

-What about him skipping trainings without a word?

“(Laughs) I’m not a kidnapper. Would I leave for England with the player without the club’s approval? The club emailed me allowing his medical in London."

-Why Tottenham, why now?

“We were in contact with Spurs from 2 and half years ago. Pochettino was after him for the last 3 years and the club also wanted him. Heung-min, his dad and me all thought this is the right time to move to Tottenham. While dealing with transfer, there are those final negotiations going on forever; this was the case and had to wait for a long time to finalize the deal, which didn’t make the deal before the start of season. The deal wasn’t made all of sudden: it has been a long-term plan."

-Did the player’s will influence the transfer?

“Of course. The last decision was made by us three, the player, the dad and me, but Heung-min was the first person to brought out the issue. He said “Can I move to Tottenham? I trust Pochettino and I want to play with him. I want to play for Spurs.” I respected him. It’s not daddy’s decision either. Of course his father is an important person for me, since he understands football better than anyone. More than anything, we all are family, staying 7-8 years together. We know what is the best way for Son, so we always make decisions together. Tottenham is the best place for Son to start in the PL."

-There were rumors of him to move to Liverpool.

“They watched him for a long time and wanted him. Actually Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg also wanted him. But those two are German sides; he wanted to play in the PL."

-Then why not Liverpool?

“Pochettino was the biggest reason to choose Spurs. He’s the best manager for Son for now. He’s got great personality, and very talented to improve young players. He constantly communicates with players, cares and brings out their potentials. He will make great synergy with Son.

◇Hung-min is respected by team mates

-Is that the manager’s idea to play him in various positions?

“Poch is allowing various roles to Son; as seen in the match against Qarabaq, Son scored 2 goals as the role of no. 9. People think he’s a winger, especially a left winger; it’s wrong. He used to play as no. 9 in Hamburg. As he can use both feet freely, he can play at both wings, up front, everywhere. This kind of player need experiences in various positions. I regret that he didn’t have a chance to play as no. 9 in Leverkusen. Poch has this different eye to see a player. Haha."

-Son always said that CL is the best stage to play in. But Spurs plays in Europa League.

“It is true that Son thinks playing in the CL is important: but I want him to improve step by step. There are players who move from German clubs to English clubs that can compete in the CL. But there are so many examples that they had to come back to Germany right away. At his age, playing week in week out is the most important thing. Spurs is great that he can improve while playing. They may not be compete in the Cl, but Europa is enough for him for now."

-Do you think that the PL is the better league than Bundesliga?

“I think so. I’ve been watching the games of those two. The PL plays faster and stronger games. I won’t comment more, I’m a German myself!(Laughs)”

-The Atmosphere is good for now.

“This is a big challenge for Son. Everything’s new to him. Against Sunderland he seemed a bit nervous. But he seemed happy then - to play in the PL."

-Is he adapting well to the life in London?

“I had dinner with him and his family yesterday, everyone seemed happy. Recently he got his place to live with his parents, a house with beautiful garden. He seemed happier ever to find a Korean grocery nearby(Laughs). It’s important to be with his parents, since his father is an important advisor. Whatever other people think about it, I think his father is crucial to him, witnessing his improvement. But I once again make this clear: his father does not make the decisions."

-What kind of player will he be in Spurs?

“Tottenham is a very attractive side with very young players. Including Son, important players like Kane and Erikssen are all in their early 20s. It’s hard to find any other team in the PL like this. This trio will be a tremendous one, will be very exciting to watch. Have you seen when Son scored in the Europa and the league? Every Spurs player ran to him and celebrated the goal. Since being away for the national team games, Son only spent 1-2 weeks at Spurs. It’s hard to be like this, when you spent that little time with the new team. Is it because Heung-min’s sense of humor? No, it’s that the players are respecting him."

[창간특집-단독인터뷰] 손흥민의 ‘분신’ 블리마이스터를 만나다

the news article is in korean but its basically an interview with sons agent. Apparently, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, & Wolfsburg were interested in Son but he chose spurs
I don’t think I could admire professional footballers any more than I admire this current team.
Dier’s interview with the Times in his thread, Eriksen larking about with his Danish Chums in his thread, Harry Kane, Jan V, Big Victor in their threads etc etc.
But this young man deserves a special mention. So grounded, humble & talented.
We are truly lucky to have this bunch in a world of cunts like Carragher, Terry, Rooney & their ilk.

Bursting with pride that we have players like Son in our ranks. You just know that a lad like him won’t ever be in the media for the wrong reasons. If we win fuck all ever again in my lifetime, I will still remember this current crop as a fine bunch of footballers & human beings.

Except for Rose. He can fuck off.


Not enough likes for your post Guido 🇺🇦 Guido 🇺🇦 I have posted the full article...

How Son Heung-min became destroyer from decorator – and grew up for good at Tottenham

The Spurs star hasn't changed his playing style since arriving from the Bundesliga, so just how did he evolve into one of the Premier League's best players? Seb Stafford-Bloor investigates...

Seb Stafford-Bloor

7 February 2019

What a difference three years can make. Straight off the plane from the Asian Cup and battling jet-lag, Son Heung-min has reinserted himself back into Tottenham’s season at just the right time. He provided the energy in the come-from-behind win over Watford just days after returning and, 72 hours later, was the difference against Newcastle, shimmying on the edge of the box and driving a violent shot through Martin Dubravka to settle a one-goal game.

Within that sequence lay nothing new; nothing which hasn’t been seen before. Son has always been able to knot up a defender and shoot with power. The difference, it seems, lies in his appetite for that kind of situation and this growing propensity to be at his very best when the anxiety around him is at its thickest. It’s not a situation which many would have foreseen, particularly given how his career in England began.


In May 2016, he was among the worst of a rotten bunch at St James’ Park. Tottenham would lose 5-1 to an already-relegated Newcastle United on the final day of the season, allowing Woolwich to slip ahead of them during the season’s final act and condemn the fanbase to a summer of ridicule.


Son was dreadful. He was substituted at half-time after a disengaged and detached 45 minutes, and replaced by Josh Onomah. It might even have been the epitaph to his Tottenham career. In the summer of 2016, discouraged by his initial failure to adapt, he had wanted to leave. A German club had offered quick passage back to the Bundesliga and just 10 months after arriving from Bayer Leverkusen, he was eager to return to this comfort zone.

In hindsight, it was hardly a surprise. Son had joined Spurs in the last days of the summer transfer window in 2015, without the benefit of a pre-season. As subsequent events have shown, Mauricio Pochettino makes players earn his trust: a big transfer fee and a famous name don't offer a quick entry to his first team. Moussa Sissoko has learned that lesson, while Lucas Moura is still learning it now.


Son’s early Tottenham career offers the clearest explanation for why that is. In those days, despite his talent and abundant ability, he was the out-of-tune instrument in the orchestra. While his soloist tendencies occasionally produced spectacle, those contributions weren’t always for the greater good and, at their worst, actually weakened the buttressing structure at the core of the Pochettino brand. He was a fantastic player with the ball at his feet, certainly, but one still prone to long periods of anonymity and, against the very best teams, liable to have his defensive shortcomings exposed.

There were more abstract criticisms, too. Maybe it was distrust bred by something illusory, and Son seemed initially to be a fair-weather player. He would be the decoration on a fine performance, but rarely the reason for it – and that helped to perpetuate pre-existing assumptions about foreign players adapting to English football. The British game is enslaved to its own primacy, that will always be true, but it remains very distrustful of anyone who enters from outside mainland Europe.

Much of Son’s footballing education was actually traditionally European. He arrived in Hamburg as a 16-year-old and graduated into professionalism from inside the Bundesliga system. But Asian players have always had an uneasy relationship with the Premier League. Park Ji-sung was extremely successful at Manchester United and Shinji Okazaki won a league championship with Leicester City, but in the competition’s 27-year history there have been few authentic stars. For each Park or Okazaki, there was a Junichi Inamoto, a Li Tie and a Kazayuki Toda. The game may now be becoming more globally homogenised, meaning that regional stereotypes are often assumptive and wrong, but for a long time the tenets of the sport in Britain and Asia were significantly and problematically different.


Even with those precedents, though, Son’s case is still unique. He’s certainly the most dynamic footballer the region has produced and, over time, has also proven himself to be the most destructive. He wasn’t purchased primarily for commercial reasons and he wasn’t sought out for his neat skill or his industriousness. None of those antiquated cliches applied to him. Instead, and unlike any Asian player to move to this country before, he was purchased to be an incendiary headliner.

That necessitates a distinction: between adapting to a new league in a manner which allows a player to function, and in a way which allows him to actually conquer it. They are different processes, clearly, and also come with different timelines and difficulties; Son was signed to dominate markers and fracture defences, not just to fulfil a narrow, 15-games-a-season purpose. Living up to that billing would have been a trial and so, in retrospect, it’s easy to draw straight lines between his initially-peripheral involvement, his sporadic impact and that reflexive desire to head back to Germany.


But as a first-class Asian footballer, he is also a novelty. Although some very fine players have originated from the continent, few have existed in quite the same sphere of celebrity. Sungmo Lee, who reports on Son for Goal.com, explains the true dimensions of his fame: “Son is a national treasure. He's the biggest sports star in South Korea - although I would say his popularity exceeds the boundary of 'sports star' and he's now the nation's biggest celebrity.”

As Sungmo also explained, that’s particularly interesting because football is not the country’s most popular sport: it’s baseball. There’s evidence to suggest that the ratios are shifting and that sporting tastes are starting to become more influenced by the West, but football certainly doesn’t occupy the same societal place in Korea that it does in England.

Through that lens, Son’s first year at Tottenham would have been particularly troubling. All reports depict him as a humble and family-orientated man, but balancing reduced status with such concentrated local celebrity would have been an obvious mental challenge. It’s hard to describe exactly why, but it’s likely linked to the manner in which the game is consumed in South Korea.


Domestic coverage of Spurs’ games features a live stat line of his performance, recorded in a graphic more prominent than the score of the game itself. Around the Premier League also exists a network of Korean and Japanese journalists who track native players, reporting specifically on their progress; Maya Yoshida at Southampton, Okazaki at Leicester, and Yoshinori Muto at Newcastle are all followed by journalists assigned to them specifically.

Clearly, then, to be an Asian footballer in the Premier League is to be scrutinised. But to be an Asian footballing icon and to not be integral to a side would have been very trying indeed – and not because of ego, delicate pride, or any other traditional frailty. Famous English players who move abroad have certainly piqued interest in the past, but always in a relatively passive way. That’s the privilege of coming from a long and deep footballing culture. Son may not necessarily have been aware of it, but he hasn’t had that kind of protection, serving more as a general avatar for South Korean football. With that comes frenzy, pressure and, for a young adult, a greater stress on the need for maturity.



Those issues seem to tally with Sungmo’s own private observations. While anyone can detect technical refinement and growing efficiency, he traces Son’s improving performance to his adaptation to a new reality: “During those three years, Son became captain of the South Korea national team, and at the same time started to evolve into a leader at Tottenham. For both teams, he's showing more responsibility as a senior player than he did in his early 20s.

“I would say he's much more mature as a player and as a person,” says Sungmo. “He also became calmer than before, I feel.”

‘Calmer’ is a telling description. A reassuring one, too, which possibly has more than one root. Son has grown to become an accepted top-level player in England (at the time of writing he is well in contention for the Player of the Year award) and, by virtue of South Korea’s gold medal performance at the Asian Games, is now exempt from his national service. Most likely, it would have been deferred to the end of his career regardless, but under normal rules men are required to serve two years in the national military between the ages of 18 and 28. What effect that looming deadline had on him can only be speculated upon. What can be said, though, is that time pressure rarely helps a sporting career and, for Son, the need to accentuate the value of his prime years would have been especially pressing.

Collectively, these are just subliminal factors. In the present day, Son is the player he is because of myriad tactical issues and his value can be diagnosed with more traditional footballing assessment. His speed is both a tremendous asset to Tottenham’s counter-attack and a great influence upon it. His relationship with Harry Kane and Dele Alli is the basis for their attacking chemistry. Pochettino's trust in him has also grown exponentially and there are few players who the Argentine talks about with such obvious affection.

Nevertheless, Son the person seems to have evolved at the same rate as the player. From Tottenham’s perspective, with Kane limping around at the Super Bowl and Dele still recuperating thousands of miles away, it’s really just as well. Their out-of-tune instrument has become the rhythm of the orchestra itself, with Son setting the tone of this unlikely challenge to Liverpool and Manchester City.
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