The year 2018 definitely was a strenuous but a rewarding year for Korea’s football star, Son Heung Min. Son not only made numerous achievements but also made the Tottenham Hotspur Fans delighted with the gold medal from the Asian Games. Every season, Son demonstrated improvements until he became worthy of the “World Star” title. However, Son had a fatal weakness compared to his rivals: the “Military Service.” Although the scouts of big clubs eyed on him, whether they should really have him was not an easy decision as he might have to go back to Korea to serve in the military. As the prime time of a football player usually comes at his late 20s, serving at the military for two years during that period could ruin the career of the player. The two years could significantly affect the player both physically and mentally, leading to an end his or her career at worst. Most Korean sports players, as a result, try their best to avoid the military service, to continue their career without interruption.
At the 2017-2018 Season, Son played 53 games, the UEFA Championship League and the English Premier League combined. During the season, Son pulled spectacular results by scoring 18 goals and 11 assists. In addition, Son played 14 A-Matches during this season, bringing the total number of games he played up to 67 games. The season ended at May, and the entire two-month vacation was crucial for Son to recharge himself for the next season. However, Son played for Korea in the 2018 Russia World Cup over the summer. As the key player of Korea, Son played full 90 minutes for all three group stage games but unfortunately failed to make it to the tournament. After all this killing schedule, he only had 15 days to rest before he joined the Tottenham’s Pre-Season U.S Tour. The 2018-2019 season started as soon as the team got back from its pre-season tour. Son participated in the opening match of the season and flew straight to Indonesia to play in the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games.
The 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games was a game for U-23 players, and it was not mandatory for Son to participate as a Wild-Card Player. However, the 2018 Asian Games was the last chance for Son to get “legally” exempted for the military service, and Son had to join for the success of his career. Son tried his best for the Gold Medal, playing six games in 20 days. This wasn’t it. Son had to join Korea’s National Football Team immediately after the Asian Games and had to play against Costa-Rica, and Chile as team captain.
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2018 Asian Game Winner 우리 팀원들 코칭스태프 또 우리 지원스태프 너무 감사하고 사랑하고 또 부족한 저를 정말로 빛나게 해줘서 너무 고맙습니다 주장으로써 처음으로 나간 국제 대회에서 이런 좋은성적을 낼수 있게 해줘서 너무나도 영광입니다 너무 많이 고생했고 진짜로 정말 진심으로 감사합니다 그리고 정말 저를 응원해주시는 팬분들 또는 전세계 축구팬분들 뭐라고 말씀을 드려야 할지 모르겠습니다 너무 많은 성원 너무많은 응원을 받아서 정말 많은 책임감 느끼고 감사하게 생각합니다 정말로 팬분들 덕분에 제가 금메달이라는거를 목에 걸수 있었습니다 저한테 평생 잊지 못할 추억 만들어주셔서 감사합니다 앞으로 대한민국을 위해서 대한민국 축구를 위해서 또 저 손흥민을 위해서 최선을 다해서 발전된 모습 보이도록 노력 정말 많이 하겠습니다! 감사하고 사랑합니다❤️ 금메달은 국민의 것입니다🥇
Starting from the A-Match against Honduras on May 28th, 2018 to the game against Costa-Rica, for 2017 days, Son crossed nine borders, played 1,373 minutes, and flew 87,287 km in distance which is longer than circling the Earth two times. That Son must have been exhausted and that the fatigue might lead to an injury worried football fans worldwide. However, during every interview, Son told that he enjoyed the schedule since he is still “Young and Healthy.” He even joked about him playing “Battleground” in his free time. The schedule that Son went through is impossible for many people, but it was possible for Son as he is “made of Steel.”