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Meet Our New Burberry Ambassador

Son Heung-min

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South Korean football star Son Heung-min doesn’t do things by halves. Despite some early obstacles, Heung-min persevered, making a name for himself in his home country, before moving to the UK to play for the Premier League.

As the winner of the prestigious Golden Boot award, Heung-min is rapidly establishing himself as one of the greatest players in the world. A forward for Tottenham Hotspur and captain of the South Korean football team, the Korean football star inspires others with his pioneering sporting spirit.

Constantly breaking boundaries, his career is a shining example of using the freedom of our imaginations to move beyond expectations and discover new and exciting horizons.

We spoke to our new Burberry Ambassador about his journey, future goals, advice for aspiring football stars and more.
Son Heung-min

Burberry: What advice would you give to young people who want to start a career in football?

Son Heung-min: I wish for them to start football because they really enjoy playing. I personally started my career in football because I loved the sport more than anyone else. I think this passion enabled me to overcome difficulties and gave me the motivation to play football to this day.

What were some of the obstacles you had to face during your journey and how did you overcome them?

I think everyone has their own difficulties. For me, the road was not always pretty. I overcame [difficulties] by always thinking about my dream and the feelings I had when I was a little kid. I replay the scene where I went to my father and told him I want to play football and that I loved playing it. This goes back to my answer to the first question, if you really love football – and never forget that – you will be able to overcome any obstacle and move forward.

How does Korean football differ from the way you play at Tottenham? Do you have to adapt your style in any way?

Playing for the Korean national football team and for Tottenham are no different in terms of playing style. The big difference though, is that because I am currently the captain for the Korean national football team, I have to think about the whole team as well. I have to do well, and I have to think hard about how my teammates can do better. But other than that, everything else is the same. When I enter any stadium, I always think about how I can make the most of today and the opportunities I have been given.

‘When I was a child, I was excited to just see the soccer ball and followed it wherever it went. That excitement still remains today.’

Let’s talk about some of your philanthropic work – what inspired you to get involved with the World Food Programme?

Actually, I was quite blind to the subject before participating in WFP and was very fortunate to be properly introduced to the programme. After learning the seriousness of global hunger and food shortages, I could not stop [helping] as the situation was more severe than I thought. It’s not right to not help when you know there is a problem out there and you can do something to solve it. I have a feeling that a lot of people are like me – some are not able to help because they are not aware of the problem. So, it’s important that we actively learn about our world. And I believe in the ‘snowball effect’ – when everyone comes together, we will be able to make a huge difference.

Can you tell us more about your journey into the world of football: can you remember when you realised how talented you were?

The reason why I started playing football was because my father was working as a football coach and I was naturally exposed to the football field and soccer balls. According to my parents, when other kids played with toys, I only played with a soccer ball. After becoming close to the sport, I officially started to play it in my third year of elementary school. I started playing because it was very natural to me, not because I was good at it. And I do not think I play football because I have a special talent at it. However, I can confidently say that I love it more than anyone else. When I was a child, I was excited to just see the soccer ball and followed it wherever it went. That excitement still remains today.

The fashion world has taken a liking to you, how does it feel to be on the front cover of style magazines?

It feels really incredible! I feel very grateful that fashion brands are interested in me even though this is not my area of expertise. I always think about how I can do better to suit to the brand because I feel it’s a huge honour.
Son Heung-min
Son Heung-min

How would you describe your personal style?

My style is very simple. I like to wear just a plain T-shirt with jeans. Even when I go to training, I just like to wear slippers. And it’s the same with my lifestyle – it’s very uncomplicated.

How does it feel to be a Burberry ambassador?

When I first came to England, I had the opportunity to tour the Burberry factory. It’s been a very long time, so I cannot remember exactly which factory it was, but I remember it was a joyful time. It feels very surreal that I have become Burberry’s ambassador. I am happy to join the Burberry family also because I am playing in the English Premier League. I always want to express my gratitude to British people for the support and love they give me. I will work hard to convey Burberry’s messages and for the brand to shine.

You are the first Asian player to win the Golden Boot in the Premier League. What are your next goals for the future?

I don’t think my goal has changed just because I won the Golden Boot. Ever since I was little, I was always told to dream big. I think when you dream big, it gives you the strength and the motivation to work hard towards the dream. My dream is still the same as when I was a kid, it is to become the best football player in the world.
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