Inside The Epic South Korean Welcome for Tottenham Hotspur

The Premier League season is less than a month away. It’s like football never went off the air, but for avid fans, the gap between the already concluded season and the new one is of a lifetime. Patience is thin, but the clubs have much to offer in terms of pre-season friendlies before the season begins in full swing.

There are a few mouth-watering fixtures on the cards. In the clash of titans between Manchester United and Liverpool in Bangkok, the pre-season will be off to a flyer while champions of England, Manchester City will play champions of Germany, Bayern Munich on July 24 in the USA, in a bid to garner more support for themselves across the globe. 

Speaking of international support, Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur has made the trip to South Korea for their pre-season formalities. The nation which is also home to Spurs’ blistering forward, Son Heung-min is hosting two matches for the English side against Team K League (South Korea professional football league) and Sevilla. 

The South Koreans had been eagerly waiting for the Spurs’ arrival and turned up in massive numbers at the Incheon International Airport to showcase their growing love and support for the Lilywhites. The football fans in the country feel deeply connected to the club because of Son, who is a flag bearer of Asian football in England. 

But before greeting the fans at the arrival, the travelling players were greeted by one of their own. Son was waiting at the gate with a placard that read, ‘Welcome to Seoul,’ while hiding a big smile under his mask. He hugged his manager and then welcomed his teammates. 

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A boisterous reception bowled the Spurs’ players over at the airport and, before leaving, the players posed for pictures and videos with the waiting fans. 

Conte, along with Harry Kane, Son, Ben Davies, Eric Dier, and Hugo Lloris, held up the Korean flag and blessed us with a picture for the ages. 

The fans also printed Conte’s face with the chant, ‘Antonio, Antonioo, Antonioooo,’ on a small board, showcasing their love for the Italian manager.

The jerseys of Dejan Kulusevski and Kane were also held up while some fans chanted, ‘Harry Kane, he’s one of her own,’ displaying that the Korean fans are behind the entire team.

A fan was also seen holding central midfielder Oliver Skipp’s former club Norwich jersey, and the Brazilian Lucas Moura received a gift from a fan after signing a Spurs shirt. The spectacles were nothing short of extraordinary for a team that didn’t belong to that land. 

Spurs’ new signing, Ivan Perisic, almost missed his bus to the hotel when he was bombarded by a group of eager fans who didn’t want to miss the opportunity of getting his signature on the team’s kit. All these visuals were heartwarming and have confirmed the growing fan base of Spurs in the Asian continent. But Spurs have also left a few players behind in London.

Harry Winks, Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, and Sergio Reguilon have all been left in England with the aim of being sold in the transfer window. But new arrivals in the form of Richarlison, Clement Lenglet, Yves Bissouma, Fraser Forster, and Perisic have given Spurs a fair chance to fight for silverware in the 2022/23 season. 

In July, apart from K League and Sevilla, the North London side will compete with Rangers FC and AS Roma before facing Southampton on the opening weekend of the Premier League.