Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) has thanked fans for their support after completing his 2023 national team schedule.
After the match against China, Son posted on social media, “I finished my last match for the 2023 national team in China. It was colder than ever at the November national team call-up, but I spent it warm and happy thanks to your love,” he said, adding, “I’m so happy that the sport of soccer can receive such great love.”
Son Heung-min thanked the fans for their support. He said, “I’m so happy that the sport of soccer can be loved so much. As long as I’m playing, I want to share the positive energy I have with many people,” he said. “I want to make many people happy and make them smile. I know it’s a lot of responsibility, but I can only be here because of your support. Thank you for making me feel important every time,” he added.
Son Heung-min is still carrying the heavy duties of captain and ace for this year’s revamped national team. After leading South Korea to the round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year through his leadership and injury struggles, Son is now in line with coach Jürgen Klinsmann as he sets his sights on the North American World Cup in four years.
Son is a big part of Klinsmann’s plans. Klinsmann uses the English Premier League’s top scorer as a frontline striker to capitalize on his goal-scoring prowess, at times playing him as a two-headed monster and deploying him closer to goal. This has helped him score more goals for his country than ever before.
He has scored six goals in eight A matches this year. After playing a key role in Klinsmann’s debut with a multi-goal performance against Colombia in March, Son missed the June call-up due to injury. After returning to full fitness, he has been on a scoring spree since October against Vietnam, including multi-goal performances in Singapore and recently against China.레모나토토 도메인
Especially in the match against China two days earlier, the team was determined to show the difference in level and showed a complete victory over China. Before the game, I gathered the players and said, “Let’s put our well-prepared minds on the field tomorrow. It’s our last game of the year, and we need to go out on a high note so that we can continue the good vibes when we get together for the Asian Cup, which is the most important event of the year.”
Son Heung-min, himself a fighter, was scary. He opened the scoring 10 minutes into the match with a calm penalty kick, and then exploded into a multi-goal performance before the half-time whistle when he headed home a Lee Kang-In (Paris Saint-Germain) corner kick. These are not usually considered Son’s strong points. His penalty kicks have often been unsuccessful, and headers have been a rarity throughout his career. It was his intensity that won the game for Klinsmann’s side, utilizing what could be considered a weakness.
Realizing his promise to “leave them breathless” on the pitch, Son extended his scoring streak to three consecutive A-Match matches. He also scored his 40th goal in 116 matches. With two more goals on the day to take his career tally to 41, Son ended 2023 ranked third on South Korea’s all-time A-Match scoring list.
Son Heung-min’s goal now is to win the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar in two months. It’s a momentous occasion for South Korea. South Korean soccer is the highest-ranked Asian nation at the World Cup, the world’s biggest stage, and has qualified for the knockout stages 11 times, but has yet to win the Asian Cup. South Korea has only won two Asian Cups, the inaugural edition in 1956 and the second edition in Seoul four years later.
They will need to complete their royal return at the Qatar Asian Cup if they want to be considered the best in Asia. The time is right to reclaim the top spot. Last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar saw a resurgence in Korean soccer, with the team reaching the round of 16, and with Europeans like Son Heung-min, Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Lee Jae-sung (Mainz), and Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart) playing better than ever.
Son Heung-min is also hungry for the Asian Cup. He has tried three times since the 2011 edition, but has failed to win. In 2015 in Australia, he scored a dramatic equalizer in the final, but was unable to lift the trophy. The 2023 edition will end on a triumphant note, raising expectations.
Son Heung-min echoed this sentiment, saying, “I was very happy with the national team in 2023. I’m grateful,” and vowed, “I hope we can laugh more and be happier together in 2024.”
Here is the full text of Son’s emotional speech.
I finished my last game with the 2023 national team in China. The November national team call-up was colder than ever, but we spent it warm and happy thanks to your love.
I am so happy that the sport of soccer can be loved so much. As long as I’m playing, I want to share the positive energy I have with as many of you as possible.
I want to make you happy and make you smile, but I know it comes with a lot of responsibility. Because of your support, I am here and all I can share is this little bit of happiness… this energy.
Thank you for making me feel important every time. 2023 National Team life, it made me so happy. Thank you and I hope in 2024 we can laugh more and be happy more together! I love you Korea❤