Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 02:16:57 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Son thanks 'special' Spurs as Asian gold spares him military duty

photo by

By Agency
03rd-Sep-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Son Heung-min will rejoin his Tottenham Hotspur team-mates next week buzzing after his emotional rollercoaster ride at the Asian Games in Jakarta.
The decision by Spurs to release Son for a far-flung, under-23 tournament already looks like a shrewd piece of business after he led South Korea to a gold medal that spares him a career-threatening stint of military service.
One of three permitted over-age players in the Korean squad, the 26-year-old forward recently signed a new five-year deal with the London club and was quick to thank Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino after a 2-1 extra-time win over Japan on Saturday.
"I'm so grateful to Tottenham because they let me come here," Son told AFP, clutching his gold medal and grinning from ear to ear.
"Normally that's not an easy decision. I would have felt very sorry if I didn't win the gold medal," he added, after escaping almost two years of compulsory military service.
"I really want to say thank you to the coach, the players and fans of Spurs. They are so special."
Son's plight has captured the hearts of Spurs fans, who have taken to social media in their thousands to wish the player luck in Indonesia.
Nearly every able-bodied South Korean male is required to perform 21 months of military service before the age of 28, although the government rewards Asian Games gold medals and Olympic medals of any colour with an exemption.
"I'm so grateful for all the support," said Son, who will have missed at least three games at the start of the Premier League season to play the Asian Games.
"It means a lot to me. Now I'm looking forward to getting back to England and showing what I can do. I'll continue to work hard for Tottenham."
- Tears of joy -
Hugely popular at Spurs, Son joked before the final that he was upset team-mates Harry Kane and Dele Alli hadn't texted.
With the weight of the world lifted from his shoulders after overcoming Japan, he revealed that he was still waiting.
"Not yet, but it doesn't matter -- I know they're focused on the Premier League so no worries," smiled Son.
"The coaching staff from Tottenham have been watching me. I hope this makes them happy. It's the best present for my life."
Goals from Lee Seung-woo and Hwang Hee-chan in sweltering West Java will allow the South Korea pin-up to see out his new contract in London, although a late header from Ayase Ueda meant the defending champions had to survive a heart-stopping last few minutes.
Son, substituted in the dying seconds, sprinted from the bench to embrace World Cup goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo, sobbing tears of joy as they rolled on the turf together.
"I've got the gold medal around my neck but it really belongs to the Korean people," he said. "Without them we couldn't win this tournament."
Son's former club Bayer Leverkusen refused to release him for the 2014 Asian Games when the Koreans also scooped gold.
His tears after South Korea's quarter-final defeat by Honduras at the 2016 Rio Olympics moved a nation, and thousands offered to do double their own military service in an online petition if Son could be pardoned.
After his ordeal was finally over, the World Cup star complained his chunky winner's medal was "heavy".
But it was worth more than its weight in gold to him, his Korean team-mates -- and perhaps to Spurs.
"We were a hungry bunch of guys and that hunger got us through," said Son. "It's the best day in my life!"

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Maldives' people reject authoritarian rule and voted for democracy


MALDIVES strongman President Yameen Abdul Gayoom conceded that he lost Sunday's election to his challenger Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in a speech broadcast live on television Monday, according to the international media. Mr Yameen congratulated Solih and said, "I know I have to step down now."  The Election Commission said voter ...

Cricket »

'Rashid is best but not unplayable' says Mahmudullah


Mahmudullah Riyad sorted out a vigorous 74 against Afghanistan rescuing Bangladesh from a plausible downfall.Mahmudullah Riyad and Imrul Kayes stood tall in the middle when the team was languishing losing all five in the top order in a score of 87 on the board. The duo added 128 runs in ...

International »

Thousands attend funeral for Iran attack dead


AFP :Tens of thousands of mourners attended a funeral on Monday in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz for soldiers and civilians killed in an attack on a military parade.Four militants attacked the Saturday parade marking the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, spraying the crowd with gunfire and killing ...

International »

Hong Kong pro-independence party formally outlawed in first such move since handover


Reuters, Hong Kong  :Hong Kong authorities formally banned on Monday a group promoting independence from China - the first outlawing of a political organization since Britain handed its former colony back to Chinese rule in 1997.The city's Secretary for Security John Lee announced the ban on the Hong Kong National ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressing a reception accorded to her by the expatriate Bangladeshis at a hotel in New York on Sunday.


Entertainment »

Mehazabien, Apurba in Puja special play


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular pair of the small screen of present time Mehazabien Chowdhury and Ziaul Faruk Apurba worked together in a special play of Durga Puja for the first time. Title of the play is Priyo Tumi. Directed by Mahmudur Rahman Himi story of the play is written by ...

Editorial »

Attack on Iran`s elite guards


IRANIAN Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused US-backed Gulf Arab states of carrying out a shooting attack on a military parade that killed 25 people, almost half of them members of the country's elite Revolutionary Guards. Khamenei ordered security forces to bring to justice those responsible for one of the ...

Sports »

Bertens defeats Tomljanovic to secure Korea Open win


AFP, Seoul :Kiki Bertens defeated Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic in the Korea Open final on Sunday, securing her third WTA Tour singles title of the season to continue her career-best year.The second-seeded Bertens came back from break down in the deciding set to defeat the Australian in two hours and 22 ...

International »

World leaders gather at UN under threat from unilateralism


AP, United Nations :With rising unilateralism challenging its very existence, the United Nations convenes its annual meeting of world leaders Monday and will try once more to tackle problems together as a community of nations, addressing threats ranging from Mideast conflicts to the effects of global warming - and also ...

City »

National Professor Anisuzzaman seen among others at the cover unveiling ceremony of a book marking the 80th birthday of eminent writer Hasan Azizul Haq organised by Bangladesh Culture at Jatiya Press Club yesterday.


Entertainment »

Nazira Mou to debut in film with Indraneil


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Viewers’ choice popular actress Nazira Mou has been acting in small screen for many days. She got many offers for acting in big screen. But she did not agree to act due to disliking stories and her roles in those works. When Mou got the proposal from ...

Editorial »

CPJ reveals weakness of journalists by appealing to President


THE Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in a letter to the Bangladesh President has expressed deep concern about the Digital Security Act 2018, which was passed by the Parliament on September 18, and urged him to return it to Parliament for a review afresh.   If this legislation was allowed to ...

International »

Modi faces calls for resignation over French jet deal


Reuters, New delhi :Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced calls for his resignation over allegations of corruption in a military jet deal with France after former French president Francois Hollande was quoted as saying New Delhi had influenced the choice of a local partner.Indian political parties have been gunning for ...

International »

US official in Russia probe suggested taping Trump: Report


Reuters, Washington: The US official who oversees the federal investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election suggested secretly recording President Donald Trump last year and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke a constitutional amendment to remove him from the White House, the New York Times reported on Friday.Deputy Attorney ...

Football »

Tabarez renews with Uruguay until Qatar World Cup


AFP, Montevideo :Despite failing health the veteran coach Oscar Tabarez has signed a four-year contract extension to remain at the Uruguay helm until the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the South American country's football federation said on Friday.Tabarez, who suffers from a nerve disorder that forces him ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news