South Korean footballer Son Heung-min scored his 100th English Premier League (EPL) goal over the weekend, making him the first Asian athlete to reach the milestone.
The 30-year-old Tottenham Hotspur star made history after scoring the 100th goal during the 10-minute mark of his team’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Saturday.
Tottenham won 2-1 when Harry Kane scored a goal in the 79th minute, which secured the team’s No. 5 spot in the current EPL standings.
Speaking to BBC Match of the Day, Son said he could not have made it into the Premier League’s 100 club without the help of his teammates.
He also dedicated his latest achievement to his late grandfather.
This was something that I dreamed for. It is an amazing achievement which I wouldn’t have had without my teammates.
Scoring 100 goals in the Premier League is a massive thing. I was really emotional because I have had tough moments in the last few weeks. My grandad passed away and it was not easy. I want to send that goal to him.
I hope all the Asian players — especially in South Korea — look at this achievement and believe they can do it as well. It’s a good thing for Asia and I take a big responsibility to be a good example to help the young guys. I want them to believe an Asian player can do amazing things in the Premier League.
Son, who joined Tottenham after his time with German football club Bayer Leverkusen in 2015, is a source of inspiration for his Tottenham teammates.
“He always finds it easy to laugh and talk with people,” Son’s close friend and former Tottenham teammate, Moussa Sissoko, told BBC.
He tries to motivate everyone. When the dressing room is sad for some reason, he’s always there to make you smile again. Sometimes you come in after training, or after a game, when you’ve had a bad moment, and to have someone like him is very important. Sonny is this type of player. If you ask anyone, they’ll tell you the same. He’s a top man, a top player, a top human being.
Harry Winks, who is currently playing for Italian football club Unione Calcio Sampdoria on loan, also applauded Son’s dedication to his sport, saying, “It takes time to settle into the Premier League, as everybody knows, because it’s a lot more physical. You can see over the years how much he’s matured physically – how strong and powerful he is. That’s just credit to his work in the gym and on the pitch.”
Kane also shared that he is proud of what Son has achieved, telling Spurs Play:
Unbelievable, and what a goal to do it as well. Extremely proud of him, we’ve known each other for a long time now and I’ve been there to see all of his goals. Full credit to him. He works so hard behind the scenes, really good guy. That finish today was really, really special. He should be proud and we’re proud of him, and hopefully he celebrates it today.