Son Heung-min has revealed that his Tottenham teammates, as well as Antonio Conte, were desperate to see him take home the Premier League Golden Boot and also the racist abuse he suffered at a teenager when he was in Germany.
Son shared the Golden Boot with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah after the pair finished with 23 goals each in the Premier League during the 2022/23 campaign.
The South Korean became the first Asian player to win the award and what made the achievement particularly special was the fact that none of his goals came from the penalty spot, with Harry Kane being Tottenham’s designated spot-kick taker.
The 29-year-old netted a brace in Tottenham’s final game of the season away at Carrow Road to clinch the award.
For large parts of the encounter, it looked as though it was not going to be Son’s day, with both of the forward’s goals coming late in the game.
Son was mobbed by his teammates when he did get his goals against the Canaries, and he has now admitted that they were as excited as he was about the award.
The Spurs star told Yonhap News Agency about winning the Golden Boot: “It was such a happy moment. My teammates supported me a great deal, and they were so excited like they’d won the Golden Boot themselves.
“Honestly, I felt I was in a rush because I wasn’t getting scoring opportunities. When we went up 2-0 in the first half, I started to lose my focus.
“Then (Lucas) Moura came on (as a substitute) and told me, ‘I’ll help you win the Golden Boot.’ And (Steven) Bergwijn entered the match and said, ‘I’ll help you get one more goal’. Even head coach (Antonio Conte) said it’d be nice if the lads could help Sonny win the Golden Boot.”
“Every time I scored, Dier would tell me, ‘The Golden Boot is yours’. I was too far behind Salah at the time. And I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ But then as I started closing the gap, my teammates said they were getting excited too.”
Son Heung-min Racist Abuse.
Tottenham star Son Heung-min has revealed he faced racism as a teenage footballer in Germany and was happy to get ‘revenge’ when South Korea knocked Germany out of 2018 World Cup.
Son shared in public for the first time his experiences of racism, while speaking to fans at an event in Seoul on Monday
‘I moved to Germany when I was young, and went through so many really difficult, unimaginable moments,’ said Son, who left Hamburg in 2013 for Bayer Leverkusen.
‘I faced a lot of racism. And while going through such a really difficult time, I had a lot of thoughts on my mind I should get my revenge one day.’
Son, who scored the second goal in injury time to seal Germany’s early exit, said he had little sympathy.
‘When people cry, I’d (usually) want to comfort them and give them a hug,’ he said.
‘But watching German people cry, (I felt) I was able to take revenge by doing something I like,’ he added.
Son enjoyed two years at Leverkusen before Tottenham came calling, snapping him up for £22 million in 2015. And despite becoming fan’s favourite at Premier League, the forward has also faced racism in England.
Last year, eight men suspected of tweeting racist abuse at Son were arrested at addresses across England and Wales.
Son will join up with his Tottenham team-mates when they arrive in South Korea for pre-season games against the K-League All-Stars in Seoul on July 13 and Sevilla three days later in Suwon, 45 kilometres south of Seoul.