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Son matches Cha Bum-kun’s record for Korean scoring mark in Europe

Son matches Cha Bum-kun’s record for Korean scoring mark in Europe

Posted October. 24, 2019 07:33,   

Updated October. 24, 2019 07:33


Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur has matched the South Korean scoring record in Europe set by Cha Bum-kun, a legendary football player and former coach of South Korea’s national football team.

Son led his team’s 5-0 victory by scoring two goals in a home game against Red Star Belgrade in the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League, which was held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Tuesday (local time).

With a total of 121 goals in his 10th season after his pro debut in Hamburger SV in the German Bundesliga at the age of 18, Son has equaled the South Korean scoring mark in European football, which was set by Cha in 1989. Just three months into the 2019-2020 season, Son’s next goals will write a new chapter in the South Korean football history.

After netting two goals at the 16th-minute and 44th-minute marks in the first half of the game, the 27-year-old tried a sharp right-footed shot 18 minutes into the second half. As it missed the net by a small margin, Son did not score a hat-trick. His next to chance to break the South Korean record will be at the 10th-round away game against Liverpool F.C., No. 1 team of the English Premier League, to be held at 1:30 a.m. on Monday.

The South Korean player did not lose his humility. “Every time when I am compared to Cha, I feel embarrassed as well as very honored,” he said during an interview after the match. “I will try harder to make sure that I deserve such a compliment.” Son also praised his team members regarding the atmosphere of the team. “There has been some subpar performance lately, but Tottenham has maintained outstanding records for the past five years,” Son said. “As our team members try their best, we will be able to maintain a momentum like today’s.”

Foreign media highly praised Son’s performance on Tuesday. “South Korean Son is a high-class performer who is at home on the elite stage and he was the catalyst for this vastly-improved performance,” the BBC reported selecting Son as the Man of the Match. Football. London, a U.K.-based media specialized in football, also credited Son’s active play from the beginning of the match for leading Tottenham’s great victory. Major U.K. sports media, including Football. London and Sky Sports, gave the average score of nine for the South Korean player’s performance during the Tuesday match, which is the highest among all team members.

Won-Joo Lee takeoff@donga.com