He is still very much vigorous, but Son Heung-min’s latest goal for the South Korea Football World Cup team made it feel like his career had come full ring. Son scored his 30th international goal in a 3-0 FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying victory over Iraq at Thani bin Jassim Stadium in Doha. Son is now knotted for sixth with three others on the all-time South Korean goal-scoring list and leads all active national team players.
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Son now has 96 caps, four from linking the Century Club, and his bequest as one of the country’s all-time greats, at just 29 years of age, keeps on growing. That the 30th goal came at the same stadium where he caught his first 10 years earlier provided a neat moment of celebration for Son.
Son had his first goal against India during the 2011 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup. Son was still a few months nervous about his 19th birthday then. He celebrated the goal by making a heart sign with his hands. Son has since swapped to a pose, making a small camera with his thumbs and index fingers after each goal.
But after adopting a second-half penalty against Iraq, Son went back to the heart sign. His teammate Jeong Woo-Yeong almost derelict it, though, as he was caught encroaching the box before Son took the spot-kick. Son had to retake the shot and change it again. The camera was back on for the captain.
Son said he hadn’t been aware of having scored at the same stadium until he reached for a drill session on Monday. And once South Korea Football World Cup team staffers had reminded Son of that history, the memory of making the heart sign came back to him. To know about FIFA World Cup Tickets click here.
“I think fans enjoyed seeing me with that sign back then, so I wanted to do it again as a ‘thank you note to them. As captain, I am grateful for the players who didn’t get into the match but still supported the team.”Son Heung-min
As the team captain, Son had a lot more on his cognizance than just his goal. South Korea Football World Cup team improved to 14 points from four wins and two draws, with four matches remaining in Group A of the final round. They appear to have locked down one of two reflex spots, along with Iran, for the FIFA World Cup 2022. But Son wasn’t yet ready to rejoice in anything.
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