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Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min reveals facing racism in Germany

Son opened up in public for the first time about his experiences of racism, while speaking to fans at an event in Seoul on Monday.

Ritesh Pathak Author

Updated - 5 July 2022 5:07 pm

Son Heung-min

South Korea’s footballer Son Heung-min who has emerged as an icon for many young Asians with his performance in the English Premier League has made some shocking revelations about facing racism. The right-foot forward, who plays for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur FC, said that he faced racism as a teenage footballer in Germany.

The South Korean further said he was happy to get his “revenge” when South Korea knocked out Germany in the 2018 World Cup. Son said that the 2-0 win over Germany in 2018 was his most memorable moment. Son opened up in public for the first time about his experiences of racism, while speaking to fans at an event in Seoul on Monday.

“I moved to Germany when I was young, and went through so many really difficult, unimaginable moments,” said Son, who left Hamburg in 2013 for Bayer Leverkusen. “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.”

Notably, Germany were the defending champions in Russia but that defeat to South Korea meant they finished at the bottom of the group. This defeat was hard to swallow for the German fans and they were left in tears. However, Son, who usually looks to comfort crying fans, found some satisfaction in seeing German fans cry.

“When people cry, I’d (usually) want to comfort them and give them a hug,” he said. “But watching German people cry, (I felt) I was able to take revenge by doing something I like,” he added.

Notably, racist slurs did not leave Son alone even when he moved to England. Last year, eight men suspected of tweeting racist abuse at Son were arrested at addresses across England and Wales. Nevertheless, the South Korean has shut the critics with his Golden boot-winning performance.

Son, 29, became the first Asian footballer to win the Golden Boot for being the top scorer in the English Premier League with 23 goals last season.

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