Son’s fathers big influence in his career

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Son Heung-min has been in terrific form this season and Tottenham fans should save some praise for the South Korean’s father.

Son Woong-Jung has played a major role in his son’s development helping him become Asia’s record scorer in the Premier League and, arguably, the best player the continent has produced.

Son senior was a also a professional player in the K-League in the eighties and, Son senior and junior have similar styles. Injury ended his (Son senior) career at 28, also used to display the sort of speed and technical excellence that Spurs fans have come to love in his offspring.

When he retired, Son [Senior] took to coaching. “I don’t think I was really satisfied as a player,” he told a recent Korean TV documentary. “But coaching players was different. He is my son but I am proud to say that his technique and basic ball skills are among the best.”

The 25-year-old was worked hard from an early age. “We raised him strictly.” added Son He took his boy out of school at the age of 16 to head to Germany and SV Hamburg, an unusual decision for young Korean prospects who traditionally join a professional club after university.”I wouldn’t have become the player I have without my father,” Son said, after leaving Hamburg for Bayer Leverkusen in 2013.

While the two may have similarities on the pitch, their personalities are very different of it. The article says that the father was something of a loner in the team environment, and not one to mix with his fellow players, however Son junior is a hugely popular figure at his club.
“On and off the pitch, he is very positive and optimistic and has been since the beginning, ” Park Yong-Soo, head of administration at the Korea Football Association, told AFP.

Son has already surpassed former Manchester United star Park Ji-Sung’s record to become the Premier League’s most prolific Asian player and last season he beat Bundesliga great Cha Bum-Kun’s Korean mark for goals in a European season.

“His smile disappeared in Germany for a time,” said Park. “But he has found it again in England. He is performing well and playing his best football.”

It goes on to say that his match winning displays in the Premier League and the Champions League have made Son Asia’s most popular player subsequently then named as Asia’s International Player of the Year by the Asian Football Confederation in 2017.

“There is pride all over Asia in Son,” Steve Kim, former head of competitions at the Asian Football Confederation, told AFP. “He is playing at the highest level and shows all Asians that it can be done. Especially in countries where the Premier League is very popular, Son is held in very high regard.”

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