Spurs/Football fans know Son Heung-Min as an incredibly easy-going person who is always laughing and always has a smile on his face.
Son considered to be the best Asian footballer of all time, says it took hard work for him to get to where he is now and appreciates his father’s role in his development.
Son Woong-Jung, who was a former professional footballer in South Korea started to coach his son at an early age, making it his mission to guide him to the top of football. Son said “When I was 10 or 12, he came in to coach my school team and we were training, 15 or 20 players, The programme was for us all to keep the balls up for 40 minutes. When someone dropped the ball, my father would not say anything. But as soon as I dropped it, he made us all start over from the beginning.”
Sonny’s father was tough, but the South Korean star recognizes that those intense training methods helped him become the player he is today. “Yeah, he was strict. Scary, as well. My father was thinking of what I needed all the time. He has done everything for me and without him, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. As a player, you need some help. It’s also important to meet a great manager and then there’s luck, too. Everything has come together for me.”.”
Son Heung-Min father didn’t just teach him skills of football, he also taught him respect and other important values that apply to life, “My father told me when I was young that if I was through on goal but an opponent fell and hurt themselves, I should put the ball out and check on the opponent. Because if you’re a good footballer but don’t know how to respect others, you’re nobody. He is still saying that to me. Sometimes it’s difficult but we are humans before we are footballers. We should respect each other. On the pitch, off the pitch – why should it be different?”
In Korean society, a father’s word tends to be law. Son has followed and embraced it, respecting his father’s words; Son is currently single and he is delaying dreams of family life until after football “My father says this and I agree, as well,” Son says. “When you marry, the number one will be family, wife, and kids, and then football. I want to make sure that while I play at the top level, football can be number one. You don’t know how long you can play at the top level. When you retire, or when you are 33 or 34, you can still have a long life with your family.”
Heung-min Son who has netted 14 times in his last 23 appearances for Tottenham, is looking to become “great as a footballer” and he is aware that the right mental attitude is as important as any physical attributes “It’s like my idol, Cristiano Ronaldo, who actually works more than the talent he has. I see many players who don’t have the mentality, who think that talent is enough. But it’s not.”
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