LONDON (Agencies): Son Heung-min dedicated his historic goal in Tottenham’s 2-1 win against Brighton to his late grandfather after the South Korea star became the first Asian to score 100 times in the Premier League.
Son reached his century in style with a superb curling finish to put Tottenham ahead in the first half in north London on Saturday.
Afer Lewis Dunk’s equaliser, Harry Kane’s 79th-minute winner ensured Son’s goal wouldn’t go to waste as fifth-placed Tottenham stayed in the hunt to qualify for the Champions League via a top-four finish.
It was a welcome boost for the 30-year-old Son, who has endured a difficult season. As well as an unusually long run of poor personal form, which including several spells on the bench, Son has had to cope with the recent death of his grandfather.
“This was something that I dreamed for. It is an amazing achievement which I wouldn’t have had without my team-mates,” he told the BBC.
“Scoring 100 goals in the Premier League is a massive thing. I was really emotional because I have had tough moments in the last few weeks. My grandad passed away and it was not easy. I want to send that goal to him.”
Son has enjoyed a remarkable career with Tottenham since signing from Bayer Leverkusen for what now looks a bargain £22 million ($27 million) in 2015.
His dynamic displays have established him as one of the Premier League’s most feared, while his humble personality has made him a favourite with Tottenham fans.
Son hopes his latest milestone moment will serve as an inspiration to other Asians dreaming of playing in Europe’s top leagues.
“I hope all the Asian players, especially in South Korea, look at this achievement and believe they can do it as well,” he said.
“It’s a good thing for Asia and I take a big responsibility to be a good example to help the young guys. I want them to believe an Asian player can do amazing things in the Premier League.”
Admitting he sometimes found it hard to stay upbeat during his difficult season, Son added: “Sometimes you always expect an amazing season. I am frustrated but I’m not the perfect player so I need to look at my weaknesses.
“The fans are supporting me and I need to take a big responsibility to do well for the rest of the season.”