As South Korea prepares to take on Brazil the World Cup knockout stages, one player carries the hopes of the entire nation – Son Heung-min.
The Tottenham Hotspurs forward is cult hero in his home country. Son Heung-min transcends football – he is revered like a superstar.
When South Korea take on Brazil, Son, who is more famous than Beyonce, will be the man the whole country will look up to for inspiration.
There was a crescendo of noise coming from the South Korean fans during the warm-up for their first game against Uruguay at Education City Stadium. Many of them were on their feet in excitement when his face was projected on the big screen.
A few days before the World Cup started, many South Koreans feared that Son would not feature in this edition’s World Cup after he suffered a fracture around his left while playing for Tottenham.
Fans gave the 30-year-old a fantastic homecoming when he landed in South Korea with his Premier League Golden Boot title in May. His absence in Qatar would have been a devastating blow to the Koreans.
However, the striker made a prompt recovery and joined the team in Qatar while donning a black mask to match his "superhero" moniker.
No player has scored more goals for his country at the World Cup than Son. He has scored 35 goals in 107 appearances for South Korea at three World Cup editions.
South Korea has only ever made it to the World Cup's knockout rounds three times. Although South Korean supporters think they have a chance with their best player in the lineup, Brazil is a hard challenge for the Asian country.
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