|One day in Incheon International Airport - due to Korean Republic Soccer Team early exit from 2014 World Cup Brazil, Son Heung-min and his team mates were humiliated by their own supporters by pelting toffees against them. That's why Heung-min cried.|
Son Heung-min (Hangul/Hanja: 손흥민/孫興慜; born 8 July 1992 in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province) is a South Korean footballer who plays for Tottenham Hotspur FC in the English Premier League. As "a pacey, two-footed second striker, Son can play a number of attacking positions, and has consistently shown that he is a lethal finisher in front of goal." He is a member of Miryang Son Clan (밀양 손씨/密陽孫氏), a clan which is originated from Miryang City, Southern Gyeongsang Province - Home of Miryang Arirang.
Son's father, Son Woong-jeong is a retired football player turned manager who also once played for the South Korea national football team. Son Heung-min was FC Seoul U-18 team player. He was a ball boy in Seoul World Cup Stadium during FC Seoul home matches. At that time, after watching a play by Lee Chung-yong (former FC Seoul star player), he dreamt of someday becoming a professional player. It was announced on July 28, 2014, and was soon denied by DreamT Entertainment, that he began dating Girls Day's Minah. The company then confirmed that the two are in fact dating.
Son is known as a versatile attacker due to his ability to use both feet equally well; although he often played the role of a second striker with Hamburg, he can play either as a second striker as well as even a first striker. Son has confirmed this, saying, "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. What the coach says, I'll do. I don't have a favorite position. I'll be anywhere and always on the throttle." Other strengths of Son include his explosive pace, dribbling abilities, composure in front of goal, and hard-working nature.
In 2008, Son dropped out of FC Seoul U-18 Team - Dongbuk High School and joined Hamburg's youth academy at the age of 16. He was impressive in the 2010–11 preseason, leading the team with nine goals and signed his first professional contract on his 18th birthday. After scoring against Chelsea in August, he was injured for two months due to a foot injury. He came back on 30 October 2010 scoring his first league goal against 1. FC Köln in the 24th minute. The goal made Son the youngest HSV player to have scored a goal in Bundesliga at 18 years, thus breaking the previous 39-year record held by Manfred Kaltz.
Son signed a new deal with Hamburg, which would keep him at the club until 2014. It was stated, that Son had what it takes to become the next Cha Bum-kun (차범근), a legendary Bundesliga forward and Cha Duri's father, who is of the same nationality as Son.
During the 2011–12 pre-season, Son scored 18 goals in 9 games. After missing the opening game due to a fever, Son scored two goals within three games. Unfortunately, mirroring last season, Son picked up an ankle injury in the 4–3 loss to 1. FC Köln on 27 August and was initially projected to be out of action for four to six weeks. Fortunately, Son's recovery was quicker than expected, and he returned to action only three weeks later as a substitute in the 1–0 loss against Borussia Mönchengladbach on 17 September. Over the course of the 2011–12 season, Son made 30 appearances for Hamburg and scored 5 goals, including crucial goals against Hannover and Nurnberg at the end of the season to help ensure that Hamburg remained in the Bundesliga.
Following Hamburger SV's 2012–13 off-season moves, which saw the transfers of the team's strikers Mladen Petrić and Paolo Guerrero to Fulham and Corinthians respectively, manager Thorsten Fink chose to place Son in a starting role for the team. The 2012–13 season was a breakthrough season for Son as he scored two goals in the away fixture against Borussia Dortmund on 9 February 2013, helping his side to a 4–1 victory. Son was chosen Mann des Tages (Man of the Match) by Kicker.
On 14 April 2013, Son netted two goals in a 2–1 win against Mainz. He finished the season with 12 goals, becoming the fourth Asian footballer to achieve double-digits in goals in the 'Big 3' European football leagues.
On 13 June 2013, Bayer Leverkusen confirmed Son's transfer for reportedly 10 million euros, the highest transfer fee the club has ever paid in its history. Son agreed to a five-year deal with the team. Son adjusted quickly to his new club in the preseason, scoring three goals in his first three appearances for the team in exhibition matches (against 1860 Munich, Udinese, and KAS Eupen respectively).
Son has made multiple appearances for South Korea at the senior level, netting one goal in the process against India in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Former South Korea national team coach Cho Kwang-Rae acknowledged that Son had not been given enough chances at the international level and promised greater consideration for Son's role in future matches. After initially missing the first two games of South Korea's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign on 2 and 6 September 2011 due to an ankle injury, on 7 October Son played in a friendly against Poland, and was again featured in the 11 October World Cup qualifier against the United Arab Emirates. His selection for national team play was a point of concern for Son's father, however, who caused a stir by asking the Korea Football Association not to select his son for the national team in the immediate future so he can rest and mature more as a player. Cho Kwang-Rae (who was the South Korea coach at the time) responded by saying that he would continue to call up Son when needed.
Son turned down the opportunity to participate in the 2012 London Olympics, opting to concentrate on his club career at Hamburg. Son was quoted as saying, "In Korea, an Olympic appearance has a special meaning, but I want to speed up for Hamburg. What matters is to pour all my time into team training." Son did, however, play for the national team in the autumn of 2012 for two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon and Iran, and has become a regular call-up in friendlies and World Cup qualifying matches in 2013. In the World Cup qualifier against Qatar on 23 March 2013, Son came on as a substitute in the 81st minute and scored the winning goal in the 96th minute. In June 2014, Son was named in South Korea's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. On 22 June, he scored in a 4–2 defeat to Algeria in the team's second group match.