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The South Korean footballer emerged as the top scorer of the Premier League with a total of 23 goals

Son Heung-Min has made history as the first Asian football player to win the Premier League Golden Boot.

The 29-year-old, who is a member of Tottenham Hotspur, earned the award after scoring twice in the English football club’s 5-0 win at Norwich, helping his team qualify for the Champions League. He ended the season with a total of 23 goals, and notably, none of them were penalty kicks.

Son shares the honour with three-time Golden Boot winner Mohamed Salah, who scored once for Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers. With 23 goals each, the two beat out Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo as the top scorers of the 2021-22 Premier League.

Son expressed his excitement at his achievement, saying,“It’s incredible to have this award. I can’t believe it. I got really emotional. I dreamed of it as a child. Literally it’s in my hands. I can’t believe it.”

“Until my goal, I was really frustrated that I missed big chances. I told the players I missed the easiest chances and scored one of the toughest ones. I didn’t give up. I wanted to score today. The team helped me a lot at half-time. They wanted to help me, you could see it today,” he continued.

Read more: Exclusive: Tottenham Hotspur Footballer Son Heung-Min Shares His Sporting Goals for 2022

Prior to winning the Golden Boot, which is awarded to the leading goalscorer (or goalscorers, in this year’s case), Son was already known for his outstanding club record. Since joining the Spurs for GBP £22 million in 2015—making him the most expensive Asian footballer in history—Son has scored 70 goals for the team’s 195 appearances, as of 2021.

He became the top Asian goalscorer in the Premier League and the Champions League, and notably, beat a record previously set by Cha Bum-kun for the most goals made by a Korean player in a European competition. He has also represented his home country at the 2014 and 2018 Olympics, leading the South Korean national team to win at the 2018 Asian Games.

A star in every sense of the word, Son has also been tapped as an ambassador for brands including Adidas, Tumi and, most recently, Tiger Beer.

In an illuminating interview with Tatler, the footballer shared his hopes for 2022:

“For the year of the tiger, I want to inspire others by showing what can be achieved by setting aside your fears and dreaming big,” he said. “If your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough.”

Tatler Asia
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