Son Heung-min ‘faced a lot of racism’ when playing in Germany before transfer to Tottenham | OneFootball

Son Heung-min ‘faced a lot of racism’ when playing in Germany before transfer to Tottenham

Logo: The Independent

The Independent

Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min says he was subjected to repeated incidents of racism after leaving his home nation of South Korea to move to Europe in 2008.

The attacker switched from FC Seoul to Hamburg’s youth system at that time, initially on an international exchange project, before officially signing for the club the following year.

He spent a further four years with HSV and made his professional bow for the club, before a 2013 switch to Bayer Leverkusen, playing 134 times in the German top flight all told prior to sealing a Premier League switch to Spurs - but his time in Germany was marred by those racist interactions, he has revealed.

“I moved to Germany when I was young, and went through so many really difficult, unimaginable moments,” he said at a fan event in Seoul.

“I faced a lot of racism. And while going through such a really difficult time, I had a lot of thoughts on my mind I should get my revenge one day.”

The 29-year-old’s answer came about as he discussed his most memorable moment, which he chose as his national team’s 2-0 win over Germany in the 2018 World Cup group stage game - with Son netting the second deep into stoppage time. That ensured that Germany would finish bottom of the group and failed to progress to the knock-outs for the first time since 1978, when there were two group phases before the elimination games started with the semi-finals.

Die Mannschaft’s failure left people in the stands upset and in tears, but Son revealed he felt no remorse on that occasion as he exacted his own measure of revenge on their collective behaviour towards him earlier in his career.

“When people cry, I’d (usually) want to comfort them and give them a hug.

“But watching German people cry, (I felt) I was able to take revenge by doing something I like.”

Son finished as the Premier League’s joint-top goalscorer last season and is about to start his eighth campaign in north London.

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