Spurs star Sons brother details tough path to top

first_imgChuncheon (South Korea): The South Korean star leading Tottenham Hotspur’s charge for a place in the Champions League final had a unique football upbringing. But that was only one component of his success, his brother said. Striker Son Heung-min, 26, has been instrumental in Spurs’ run to the semi-finals of Europe’s top club competition, scoring three times over two legs against Manchester City to reach the last four. But he was suspended for the first leg of the semi, a 1-0 home defeat to Ajax, and will be crucial to their efforts in the Netherlands on Wednesday, despite picking up a petulant Premier League red card at the weekend. Around 8,500 kilometres (5,300 miles) away, his elder brother and fellow striker Son Heung-yun — three years his senior — will be watching closely. For years, the two boys were trained by their father, Son Woong-jung, a former professional footballer who aimed to take his sons to the top with a strict and disciplined regimen. “Everything we did revolved around football,” said Heung-yun. “Our father told us we had to go to bed early to play football and that we had to eat well to play football. “He always said that life was short and we should do things we liked and when we did, we should pursue it to the point of going a little bit crazy about it.” Renowned for concentrating on ball skills and not allowing them to shoot or join a team — where they might be distracted by trying too hard to win games — their father laid a foundation for the rising Son. The brothers would exchange glances as they endured the tough daily sessions. Heung-yun remembers training one New Year’s Day on a snow-covered lot in bitter cold as a 13-year-old. Before he knew it, he covered his ears with his hands, only for his father — who was showing his sons how to dribble — to turn back and immediately berate him, as he often did when he felt they were not trying their best. “We were raised very tough,” said Heung-yun, who as a player only reached the fifth tier of German club competition but now coaches at the SON Football Academy.last_img

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