Son Heung-min’s ‘happy golden shoe’ hailed by South Korean president

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Seoul (AFP) – Son Heung-min has been praised by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol for winning the Premier League Golden Boot, as his club Tottenham Hotspur announced on Tuesday that they will play a pre-season friendly against Sevilla in Suwon on July 16.

Son on Sunday became the first Asian footballer to be top scorer in the English top flight with 23 goals, with chairman Yoon calling it a “joyful occasion to be celebrated by the entire Asian football community”.

“I believe this award is the result of your passion after dedicating yourself and working tirelessly for your team all season,” Yoon said in a message to Son, posted on Facebook.

Son’s achievement was “a message of hope” for South Koreans during the Covid-19 pandemic, Yoon said, adding he was looking forward to seeing Son lead South Korea at the World Cup in Qatar in November and December.

Tottenham’s final game of the season against Norwich on Sunday was broadcast live in South Korea, starting at midnight and ending at 2:00 a.m. on Monday.

But fans said Son’s 22nd and 23rd league goals of the season in Tottenham’s 5-0 win, which saw him share the honors with Liverpool’s Mo Salah, were worth it.

“I was too happy and excited even when I was lying in bed so I couldn’t sleep,” one posted online.

“This season’s Son Heung-min uniform will be our family treasure from today,” added another.

Tottenham enjoy a large fan base in South Korea and the club will play two matches in the country during a pre-season tour of Asia in July.

Tottenham will face the K-League All-Stars in Seoul on July 13 and Sevilla FC three days later in Suwon, 45 kilometers south of Seoul.

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