Son finishes season as 1st Asian to lead Premiership in scoring
Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur is the first Asian to lead the English Premier League (EPL) in scoring.
In the league’s 38th week on May 22, he scored his 22nd and 23rd goals in the season finale against host Norwich City at Carrow Road in Norwich, England.
Going into the final game of the season, Son trailed frontrunner Mohamed Salah of Liverpool by a goal. The Egyptian as a substitute added a goal in his team’s 3-1 win over Wolverhampton to also finish with 23 for the season.
This is the fifth time for the EPL’s Golden Boot award to be shared. When two or more players have the same goal tally, they are all named the top scorers regardless of their time spent on the pitch.
Son is also the first Asian to finish as the season’s leading scorer in one of Europe’s top five leagues, namely those in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.
With Tottenham ahead 3-0 against Norwich, he received an assist from teammate Lucas Moura to score in the 25th minute of the second half and added another five minutes later with an arching right-footed shot.
With the 5-0 victory, Tottenham (71 points from 22 wins, five draws and 11 losses) surpassed Arsenal (69 points from 22 wins, three ties and 13 losses) by two points for fourth place in the league standings. Thus Spurs secured a berth next season in the UEFA Champions League, for which the top four finishers of the EPL qualify.
In rewriting soccer history, Son scored 23 goals and seven assists this season in the EPL and one goal and one assist in the UEFA Europa League. Thus he set a new personal high of 24 goals and eight assists in all competitions this season.
In an interview with a broadcaster after the game, Son said being top scorer was something he finally achieved after dreaming of it as a kid. “I can’t believe it, I’m really moved now,” he added.
“I was really frustrated before scoring my first goal as I missed a good opportunity to score,” he said. “I told my teammates that I missed the easy shots and made the hard ones.”
“My teammates helped me so much.”
President Yoon Suk Yeol on May 23 sent a congratulatory telegram to Son saying, “This award is the result of Son Heung-min’s passion as he tirelessly dedicated himself to the team throughout the season and worked hard.”
“Being the first Asian to lead the world’s best league EPL in scoring is not only an individual honor for Son but a celebratory occasion for all of Asian soccer.”