Son Heung-min

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Son.
Son Heung-min
Son Heung-Min in Bayer Leverkusen.jpg
Son with Bayer Leverkusen in 2013
Personal information
Date of birth (1992-07-08) 8 July 1992 (age 23)
Place of birth Chuncheon, Gangwon, South Korea
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Winger / Forward
Club information
Current team
Bayer Leverkusen
Number 7
Youth career
2008 FC Seoul[1]
2008–2010 Hamburger SV
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2013 Hamburger SV 73 (20)
2013– Bayer Leverkusen 61 (21)
National team
2008–2009 South Korea U17 18 (7)
2010– South Korea 44 (11)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 May 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 June 2015
Son Heung-min
Hangul 손흥민
Hanja 孫興慜
Revised Romanization Son Heung-min
McCune–Reischauer Son Hŭng-min

Son Heung-min (Hangul: 손흥민 [sʰon hɯŋmin]; born 8 July 1992) is a South Korean footballer who plays for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga,[2] and the South Korea national team.

Club career[edit]

Hamburger SV[edit]

Son with Hamburg against Eljero Elia (Werder Bremen) in the Nordderby

In 2008, Son dropped out of FC Seoul U-18 Team-Dongbuk High School[3] and joined Hamburg's youth academy at the age of 16.[4] He was impressive in the 2010–11 preseason, leading the team with nine goals and signed his first professional contract on his 18th birthday.[5] After scoring against Chelsea in August, he was injured for two months due to a foot injury. He came back on 30 October 2010 scoring his first league goal against 1. FC Köln in the 24th minute. The goal made Son the youngest HSV player to have scored a goal in Bundesliga at 18 years, thus breaking the previous 39-year record held by Manfred Kaltz.[6][7]

Son signed a new deal with Hamburg, which would keep him at the club until 2014. It was stated, that Son had what it takes to become the next Cha Bum-Kun, a legendary Bundesliga forward, who is of the same nationality as Son.[8]

During the 2011–12 pre-season, Son scored 18 goals in 9 games.[9] After missing the opening game due to a fever, Son scored two goals within three games.[10] Unfortunately, mirroring last season, Son picked up an ankle injury in the 4–3 loss to 1. FC Köln on 27 August and was initially projected to be out of action for four to six weeks.[11] Fortunately, Son's recovery was quicker than expected, and he returned to action only three weeks later as a substitute in the 1–0 loss against Borussia Mönchengladbach on 17 September. Over the course of the 2011–12 season, Son made 30 appearances for Hamburg and scored 5 goals, including crucial goals against Hannover and Nurnberg at the end of the season to help ensure that Hamburg remained in the Bundesliga.[12]

Following Hamburger SV's 2012–13 off-season moves, which saw the transfers of the team's strikers Mladen Petrić and Paolo Guerrero to Fulham and Corinthians respectively, manager Thorsten Fink chose to place Son in a starting role for the team. The 2012–13 season was a breakthrough season for Son as he scored two goals in the away fixture against Borussia Dortmund on 9 February 2013, helping his side to a 4–1 victory. Son was chosen Mann des Tages (Man of the Match) by Kicker.[13]

On 14 April 2013, Son netted two goals in a 2–1 win against Mainz. He finished the season with 12 goals, becoming the fourth Asian footballer to achieve double-digits in goals in the 'Big 3' European football leagues.[14]

Bayer 04 Leverkusen[edit]

On 13 June 2013, Bayer 04 Leverkusen confirmed Son's transfer for reportedly 10 million euros, the highest transfer fee the club has ever paid in its history. Son agreed to a five-year deal with the team.[15] Son adjusted quickly to his new club in the preseason, scoring three goals in his first three appearances for the team in exhibition matches (against 1860 Munich, Udinese, and KAS Eupen respectively).[16]

On 9 November 2013, Son scored a hat-trick for Leverkusen in a 5–3 win against his former club Hamburg.[17] On 7 December, Son scored a crucial goal against Borussia Dortmund to put his club just four points off the summit of the Bundesliga. On 10 March 2014, Son scored another goal against Werder Bremen ensuring his team a spot for the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League.[18]

He scored a hat-trick against VfL Wolfsburg on 14 February 2015, albeit in a 4–5 defeat having been losing 0–3.[19] Son scored two goals in 3–0 away win over SC Paderborn 07 on 8 March 2015.

International career[edit]

On 24 December 2010, Son was named in South Korea's squad for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup,[20] making his debut for the national team in a pre-tournament friendly against Syria on 30 December.[21] At the tournament finals, Son scored his first international goal during a 4– 1 group stage defeat of India.[22]

On 7 October 2011, after initially missing the first two games of South Korea's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign on 2 and 6 September 2011 due to an ankle injury, Son played in a friendly against Poland, and was again featured in the 11 October World Cup qualifier against the United Arab Emirates.[23][24] His selection for national team play was a point of concern for Son's father, however, who caused a stir by asking the Korea Football Association not to select his son for the national team in the immediate future so he can rest and mature more as a player. Cho Kwang-Rae (who was the South Korea coach at the time) responded by saying that he would continue to call up Son when needed.[25]

Son turned down the opportunity to participate in the 2012 London Olympics, opting to concentrate on his club career at Hamburg. Son was quoted as saying, "In Korea, an Olympic appearance has a special meaning, but I want to speed up for Hamburg. What matters is to pour all my time into team training."[26] Son did, however, play for the national team in the autumn of 2012 for two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon and Iran,[27] and has become a regular call-up in friendlies and World Cup qualifying matches in 2013. In the World Cup qualifier against Qatar on 23 March 2013, Son came on as a substitute in the 81st minute and scored the winning goal in the 96th minute.[28]

In June 2014, Son was named in South Korea's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[29] On 22 June, he scored in a 4–2 defeat to Algeria in the team's second group match.[30] Following the exit, Son was one of the few players who were praised for their performances at the World Cup.

The Korea Football Association requested Bayer Leverkusen to allow Son to play in the 2014 Asian Games, as winning the gold medal at the tournament would grant Son exemption from military service. Despite Son affirming his interest and the KFA's efforts, Leverkusen refused to release him, as Son's absence would mean the team would lose him for at least six games.[31]

Son was selected for South Korea for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. At the quarter-final stage, he scored both of the team's goals in the 2–0 extra time defeat of Uzbekistan.[32] He also scored South Korea's equaliser in tournament's final in the 90+1 minutes.

Career statistics[edit]

As of 23 May 2015[33]


Club Season League DFB-Pokal Continental Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Hamburger SV 2010–11 13 3 0 1 0 0 14 3 0
2011–12 27 5 1 3 0 0 30 5 1
2012–13 33 12 2 1 0 0 34 12 2
Total 73 20 3 5 0 0 78 20 3
Bayer Leverkusen 2013–14 31 10 4 4 2 1 8 0 2 43 12 7
2014–15 30 11 3 2 1 0 10 5 1 42 17 4
Total 61 21 7 6 3 1 18 5 3 85 29 11
Career Total 134 41 10 11 3 1 18 5 3 163 49 14

International goals[edit]

As of 16 June 2015[33]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 18 January 2011 Al Gharafa Stadium, Doha, Qatar  India 4–1 4–1 2011 AFC Asian Cup
2. 26 March 2013 Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul, South Korea  Qatar 2–1 2–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier
3. 6 September 2013 Incheon Football Stadium, Incheon, South Korea  Haiti 1–0 4–1 Friendly
4. 4–1
5. 15 October 2013 Cheonan Stadium, Cheonan, South Korea  Mali 2–1 3–1 Friendly
6. 5 March 2014 Karaiskakis Stadium, Athens, Greece  Greece 2–0 2–0 Friendly
7. 22 June 2014 Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, Brazil  Algeria 1–3 2–4 2014 FIFA World Cup
8. 22 January 2015 Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, Australia  Uzbekistan 1–0 2–0 2015 AFC Asian Cup
9. 2–0
10. 31 January 2015 Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia  Australia 1–1 1–2 2015 AFC Asian Cup Final
11. 16 June 2015 Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand  Myanmar 2–0 2–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier


  • Runner up AFiE Player of the year: 2014[34]

Style of play[edit]

Son is known as a versatile attacker due to his ability to use both feet equally well; although he often played the role of a second striker with Hamburg, he can play either as a second striker as well as even a first striker. Son has confirmed this, saying, "I don't care where I play. The main thing is I'm in the game. I can play as a second striker or behind. What the coach says, I'll do. I don't have a favorite position. I'll be anywhere and always on the throttle."[35] Other strengths of Son include his explosive pace, dribbling abilities, composure in front of goal, and hard-working nature.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Son's father is a retired football player turned manager who also once played for the South Korea national football team. Before dropping out of high school, Son attended Dongbuk high school back home in South Korea.

On 28 July 2014, pictures of Son and Girl's Day's Minah dating was posted, however it was denied by Minah's agency DreamT Entertainment. On the same day, Minah's agency then apologised and confirmed that the two were in fact dating.[37] On 15 October 2014, it has been confirmed that the two broke up. It was reported that the couple have broken up due to their busy schedules and difficulties of maintaining long-distance relationship.[38]


  1. ^ "Son Heung-min". (in German). Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  2. ^ "Son Heung-Min Statistics". FIFA. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "손흥민 10대1 인터뷰①"하트브레이커 춤? 내가 워낙 몸치라" publisher=Sports Chosun" (in Korean). 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2013-03-22. 
  4. ^ Pröpping, Andreas (6 October 2008). "Abenteuer in einer anderen Welt" (in German). Hamburger Abendblatt. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Son ist Vehs Sturmjuwel" (in German). Hamburger Morgenpost. 11 July 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  6. ^ 손흥민 놓칠라 ... 함부르크 감독 부랴부랴 "계약 늘리자". Yahoo! Korea (in Korean). 6 November 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "# 123년 함부르크 역사상 '최연소골' 손흥민 "이제 시작"" (in Korean). Sports Seoul. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  8. ^ Chong, Edwin (6 November 2010). "Son extends Hamburg stay". Sky Sports (British Sky Broadcasting). Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Koreans in Europe: In-form Son Heung-Min misses Dortmund clash, Ki Sung-Yueng stars again for Celtic". Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Son Heung-Min Statistics". Bundesliga. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Bitter! HSV Stürmer Son fällt lange aus" (in German). Quaeng. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Koo Ja-Cheol, Park Ji-Sung & the top five South Koreans in Europe for the 2011–12 season". Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Mann des 21. Spieltages Heung-Min Son" (in German). Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "손흥민, 시즌 10·11호 멀티골". Jungang Sports. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Werkself fail to press home advantage". 23 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Son shines as Leverkusen put five past Hamburg". 
  18. ^ "Leverkusen beat Bremen to seal Champions League play-offs". Bundesliga. 10 May 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Wolfsburg win thriller at Bayer Leverkusen thanks to Bas Dost’s four-goal haul". The Guardian. Reuters. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  20. ^ "Son of SV Hamburg tapped to Asian Cup team". The Korea Herald. 24 December 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "S. Korea beats Syria in tune-up for Asian Cup". Yonhap News. 30 December 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  22. ^ "South Korea march into Asian Cup quarter-finals with 4-1 defeat of India in their final Group C game". Fox Sports. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  23. ^ "Korea to count on domestic stars for World Cup qualifier". The Korea Times. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  24. ^ "Son Heung-min back on national team roster". The Korea Times. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2001. 
  25. ^ "Korea coach Cho Kwang-Rae to ignore Son Heung-Min's father's claims not to select the Hamburg youngster". 15 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  26. ^ "Son Heung-Min to Miss London Olympics to Focus on Hamburg". Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  27. ^ "Heung-Min Son Bio". ESPN. 20 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  28. ^ "Son Heung-min scorches Qatar with late South Korean winner". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 March 2013. [dead link]
  29. ^ "South Korea World Cup 2014 squad". The Telegraph. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  30. ^ "South Korea 2–4 Algeria". BBC. 22 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  31. ^ "Son Heung-min Won't Be Able to Play at Asian Games". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  32. ^ "Asian Cup: South Korea beats Uzbekistan 2-0 in extra-time as Son Heung-min double sends it into semi-finals". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  33. ^ a b Son Heung-min profile at Soccerway
  34. ^
  35. ^ Rebien, Florian (30 July 2011). "Wie viele Tore schießen Sie heute, Herr Son?" [How many goals will you score today, Mr. Son?] (in German). Hamburger Morgenpost. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  36. ^ "Son Heung-Min – A look at Hamburg's attacking Korean starlet". IMScouting. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  37. ^
  38. ^

External links[edit]