Cover Photo: Tiger Beer

Son Heung-Min is the highest-scoring Asian player in the UEFA Champions League and has been playing for Tottenham since 2015. It’s no surprise then, that he was named one of Tiger Beer’s ambassadors this year. He speaks to Tatler all about it

Last week, Tiger Beer announced that it teamed up with football icon Son Heung-min to launch a global movement to encourage people to set aside their fears and achieve bold ambitions in 2022.

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Son, who plays as a forward for English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the South Korea national team, has been inspiring millions through his sporting journey.

The spunky footballer started his sporting career being trained by his father who, like him, was very invested in the sport. By the time he was 16, he was talented enough to move to Germany to join the German Bundesliga club Hamburger SV.

Three years after he graduated from the German league, the star ended up signing on to Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a German professional football club. He continued to rise through the ranks and in 2015, Tottenham signed Son for £22 million (SG$40 million).

This propelled him to become the most expensive Asian footballer in history.

By 2017, Son played so well that he became the Asian player with the most goals in the English Premier League, which explains why Son continues to play for Tottenham Hotspur today.

Recently, the star signed a four-year contract extension that will keep him with the Premier League club till June 2025.

Through dreaming big and never giving up, Son overcame challenges with courage and determination which makes him the perfect partner for Tiger Beer’s mission to help people uncage their inner tiger this year. 

Son is inspiring fans everywhere to dream big through an Instagram campaign where followers will be asked to share their bold goals by responding to Son through the ‘My Year, My Goals’ prompt on the “Add Yours” story sticker feature on Instagram.

“Tiger believes that we are all born with a tiger inside us, a version of ourselves that knows no limits to what is possible. But we often succumb to the status quo because unlike a tiger, we fear failure. The year of the tiger is the perfect opportunity to set aside our fears and achieve our boldest ambitions,” shared Sean O’Donnell, global brand director of Tiger Beer.

In honour of the campaign, Tatler spoke to Son over email to find out what his big dreams are for 2022 as well as his thoughts on being chosen to front this incredible movement.

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What was it like being chosen to be a brand ambassador for Tiger Beer?

Son Heung-min (SHM): I’m really happy to be working with Tiger Beer to create a movement that will inspire people everywhere to make 2022 their year.

Tigers are strong, they never back down from a challenge, they’re always bold and determined. I’ve always tried to have the courage to never give up on my dreams–even in the most difficult times. The Year of the Tiger is the perfect opportunity for all of us to dream big and focus on uncaging our true selves. 

How do you think you align personally with the values and vision of Tiger Beer?

SHM: Tiger Beer believes that we are all born with a Tiger inside us, a version of ourselves that knows no limits to what is possible. This really resonates with me, and also speaks a lot to my journey of moving from South Korea with just a dream, to now playing on the world’s biggest stage. 

You are doing an Instagram campaign encouraging fans to share their dreams and goals. What do you hope to achieve with this campaign?

SHM: I want to use this platform to inspire people everywhere to set aside their fears and achieve their boldest ambitions. The more people we can inspire to dream big, the happier I will be.

What was your greatest achievement in 2021?

SHM: Last year was a difficult time for everyone due to the ongoing pandemic. However, I’m really happy with a lot of what I achieved in 2021, both on and off the football pitch.

I think the past year has allowed us to appreciate more what we have like life, health and family. So, in 2022 I hope we can all appreciate the simple things and work hard to achieve our ambitions.

What are your 2022 goals?

SHM: In the past, I’ve always kept my dreams to myself. But 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. 

If your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough. With the World Cup this year, I hope that South Korea can have an amazing run and make the whole country proud.

How do you conquer your fears?

SHM: For me, confidence and courage are a big part of overcoming our fear and achieving our goals—both in life and in football. If we always have the courage and determination to overcome these obstacles, I believe we can really become our true selves.

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