It’s easier now to say that Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-Min is a fantastic goal-scorer and an incredible player but Ruud Van Nistelrooy made a bold prediction when Son was just 18 years old.
It’s common to see international transfers on the largest scale in the transfer market but football has managed to become a sport that goes beyond borders and the barrier of language creating unique experiences and relationships for the arriving players.
One such case is Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-Min, who ventured away from South Korea at the age of 18 to play for Hamburg SV, Son has openly shared his struggles of missing his family and feeling humbled as his teammates supported him in learning the language and developing the skills necessary to fulfil his goal of playing in Europe.
When Ruud Van Nistelrooy Discovered Son Heung-Min’s Potential
Ruud van Nistelrooy is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of all time, He has enjoyed an illustrious career with several top clubs, He began at PSV Eindhoven where he impressively scored 62 goals in 67 matches. However, his most significant stint came in the Premier League where he played for five seasons with Manchester United scoring an impressive 150 goals in 219 games after which he joined Real Madrid where he continued his scoring prowess with 46 goals in 68 appearances.
The experienced Van Nistelrooy then made his way to Germany to play for Hamburg SV where he first met Son Heung-Min even though it was a short contract both players who came from completely different generations had the opportunity to work together which was fueled by their shared passion for the sport.
Son Heung-Min has been vocal about his interactions with the Dutch legend, He shared that Van Nistelrooy approached him after their first training session at Hamburg SV sharing his wisdom and acknowledging him as a good player, Such encouragement and mentorship can be highly motivating for a young talent, especially one who is far from home and striving to establish himself in a competitive league.
In a tweet posted on the 12th of April 2011, Ruud van Nistelrooy made his opinion public, stating that his then-18-year-old teammate, Son Heung-Min, was a massive talent and that the world should keep an eye on his progress. This statement has recently been revisited by fans, serving as an example of the mutual support and admiration between both players who were able to find common ground despite being from different eras. Since then Van Nistelrooy has expressed his admiration for the South Korean superstar, He has previously praised Son’s exceptional talent, incredible work ethic, and commendable character off the pitch.
While Ruud van Nistelrooy is a footballing legend, Son Heung-Min is on the verge of becoming one himself. Van Nistelrooy was renowned for his lethal finishing and poaching instincts, which made him a household name. On the other hand, Son continues to captivate fans with his electrifying pace, versatility, and technical goal-scoring ability.
Son has reached a milestone by scoring his 103rd goal for his current club Tottenham Hotspur and is an influential player for the team and the community around him, As a player who came from a diverse background and was humbled by everyone around those who offered to help he was kind enough to accept all the help when he needed it, Son now lives with his family in England and has become a prolific attacking threat for his club and country undeniably validating Van Nistelrooy’s predictions as a significant and noteworthy fact.