AFC Asian Cup

The AFC Asian Cup is an international association football tournament run by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It is the second oldest continental football championship in the world after Copa América. The winning team becomes the champion of Asia and until 2015 qualified for the FIFA Confederations Cup.[1]

The Asian Cup was held once every four years from the 1956 edition in Hong Kong until the 2004 tournament in China. However, since the Summer Olympic Games and the European Football Championship were also scheduled in the same year as the Asian Cup, the AFC decided to move their championship to a less crowded cycle. After 2004, the tournament was next held in 2007 when it was co-hosted by four nations: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Thereafter, it has been held every four years.

The Asian Cup has generally been dominated by a small number of top teams. Initially successful teams included South Korea (twice) and Iran (three times). Since 1984, Japan (four times) and Saudi Arabia (three times) have been the most successful teams, together winning 7 of the last 10 finals. The other teams which have achieved success are Qatar (2019 current champions), Australia (2015), Iraq (2007) and Kuwait (1980). Israel won in 1964 but were later expelled and have since joined UEFA.

Australia joined the Asian confederation in 2007 and hosted the Asian Cup finals in 2015.[2] The 2019 tournament had been expanded from 16 teams to 24 teams, with the qualifying process doubling as part of the qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[3][4] Unlike other confederation tournaments, the Asian Cup has often been rescheduled to another time of year to better suit the climate of the host nation, for example in 2007 it was played in July but the following three tournaments were played in January.

AFC Asian Cup
Founded1956
RegionAsia (AFC)
Number of teams24
Current champions Qatar
(1st title)
Most successful team(s) Japan (4 titles)
Websitewww.the-afc.com
2023 AFC Asian Cup
Tournaments

History

Two years after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) came into being in 1954, the first ever AFC Asian Cup was staged in Hong Kong with seven of the 12 founding members taking part. The qualifying process involved the hosts plus the winners of the various zones (central, eastern and western). It was only a four-team tournament, a format that also existed for 1960 and 1964. Each sub-confederation already hosts their own biennial championship, each with varying degrees of interest. Dominance has swung between the East and West so far. From the superiority of South Korea in the early years of the competition, the tournament became the preserve of Iran who won three consecutive tournaments in 1968, 1972 and 1976.[5]

West Asian countries dominated in the 1980s with Kuwait becoming the first Middle East country to win the championship in 1980, followed by Saudi Arabia's consecutive wins in 1984 and 1988.

Japan hold the record for the most victories in the tournament's history, having won in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011.[6]

The 2007 Asian Cup also saw Australia compete for the first time, reaching the quarter-final stage; Iraq defeated Australia, South Korea and Saudi Arabia to win their first ever Asian Cup despite an adverse domestic situation and conditions for the players.[7]

At the 2019 Asian Cup, the video assistant referees were used in the tournament for the first time,[8] as well as an expansion to 24 teams.[9] In addition, a fourth substitution was allowed during extra time.[10]

Trophy

Majed Abdullah in Asia Cup 1984 (cropped)
The original trophy...
AFC Asian Cup at Fed Square
...and the redesigned one.
Qatar v Japan – AFC Asian Cup 2019 final 05
Current trophy, carried by Park Ji-sung.

There have been two Asian Cup trophies; the first one used between 1956 and 2015, and the second one in use since 2019.

The first trophy came in a form of a bowl with circular base. Its was 42 centimeters tall and weighs 15 kilograms.[11] Until the 2000 tournament, the black base contained plaques engraved with names of every winning country, as well as the edition won.[12][13] The trophy was redesigned, adding more silver and reduce the black base to just a thin layer down. This base was plaque-free and the winner names were engraved around the base.[14]

During the draw for the 2019 group stage on 4 May 2018 at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, an all new trophy made by Thomas Lyte was unveiled. It is 78 centimeters tall, 42 centimeters wide, and weighs 15 kilograms of silver.[15] The trophy is modeled over lotus flower, a symbolically important aquatic Asian plant. Five petals of the lotus symbolize the five sub-confederations under the AFC.[16] The winner names are engraved around the trophy base, which is separable from the trophy's main body. This trophy has a handle on each side, unlike its predecessor.

Format

Final tournament

Since 2019, the final tournament is played in two stages: the group stage and the knockout stage. In the group stage each team plays three games in a group of four, with the winners and runners-up from each group advancing to the knockout stage along with the four best third-placed teams. In the knockout stage the sixteen teams compete in a single-elimination tournament, beginning with the round of 16 and ending with the final match of the tournament.

Results

Edition Year Hosts Final Third place match or losing semi-finalists Number of teams
Winners Score Runners-up Third place Score Fourth place
1 1956
Details
 Hong Kong
South Korea
round-robin
Israel

Hong Kong
round-robin
South Vietnam
4
2 1960
Details
 South Korea
South Korea
round-robin
Israel

Republic of China
round-robin
South Vietnam
4
3 1964
Details
 Israel
Israel
round-robin
India

South Korea
round-robin
Hong Kong
4
4 1968
Details
 Iran
Iran
round-robin
Burma

Israel
round-robin
Republic of China
5
5 1972
Details
 Thailand
Iran
2–1 (a.e.t.)
South Korea

Thailand
2–2 (a.e.t.)
(5–3 p)

Khmer Republic
6
6 1976
Details
 Iran
Iran
1–0
Kuwait

China PR
1–0
Iraq
6
7 1980
Details
 Kuwait
Kuwait
3–0
South Korea

Iran
3–0
North Korea
10
8 1984
Details
 Singapore
Saudi Arabia
2–0
China PR

Kuwait
1–1 (a.e.t.)
(5–3 p)

Iran
10
9 1988
Details
 Qatar
Saudi Arabia
0–0 (a.e.t.)
(4–3 p)

South Korea

Iran
0–0 (a.e.t.)
(3–0 p)

China PR
10
10 1992
Details
 Japan
Japan
1–0
Saudi Arabia

China PR
1–1 (a.e.t.)
(4–3 p)

United Arab Emirates
8
11 1996
Details
 United Arab Emirates
Saudi Arabia
0–0 (a.e.t.)
(4–2 p)

United Arab Emirates

Iran
1–1 (a.e.t.)
(3–2 p)

Kuwait
12
12 2000
Details
 Lebanon
Japan
1–0
Saudi Arabia

South Korea
1–0
China PR
12
13 2004
Details
 China
Japan
3–1
China PR

Iran
4–2
Bahrain
16
14 2007
Details
 Indonesia
 Malaysia
 Thailand
 Vietnam

Iraq
1–0
Saudi Arabia

South Korea
0–0 (a.e.t.)
(6–5 p)

Japan
16
15 2011
Details
 Qatar
Japan
1–0 (a.e.t.)
Australia

South Korea
3–2
Uzbekistan
16
16 2015
Details
 Australia
Australia
2–1 (a.e.t.)
South Korea

United Arab Emirates
3–2
Iraq
16
17 2019
Details
 United Arab Emirates
Qatar
3–1
Japan
 Iran and  United Arab Emirates 24
18 2023
Details
 China or  South Korea TBD TBD TBD 24

Summary

Team Titles Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place Semi-finalists Top 4 Finishes
 Japan 4 (1992*, 2000, 2004, 2011) 1 (2019) 1 (2007) 6
 Saudi Arabia 3 (1984, 1988, 1996) 3 (1992, 2000, 2007) 6
 Iran 3 (1968*, 1972, 1976*) 4 (1980, 1988, 1996, 2004) 1 (1984) 1 (2019) 9
 South Korea 2 (1956, 1960*) 4 (1972, 1980, 1988, 2015) 4 (1964, 2000, 2007, 2011) 10
 Israel1 1 (1964*) 2 (1956, 1960) 1 (1968) 4
 Kuwait 1 (1980*) 1 (1976) 1 (1984) 1 (1996) 4
 Australia 1 (2015*) 1 (2011) 2
 Iraq 1 (2007) 2 (1976, 2015) 3
 Qatar 1 (2019) 1
 China PR 2 (1984, 2004*) 2 (1976, 1992) 2 (1988, 2000) 6
 United Arab Emirates 1 (1996*) 1 (2015) 1 (1992) 1 (2019*) 4
 India 1 (1964) 1
 Myanmar 1 (1968) 1
 Hong Kong 1 (1956*) 1 (1964) 2
 Chinese Taipei2 1 (1960) 1 (1968) 2
 Thailand 1 (1972*) 1
 Vietnam3 2 (1956, 1960) 2
 Cambodia 1 (1972) 1
 North Korea 1 (1980) 1
 Bahrain 1 (2004) 1
 Uzbekistan 1 (2011) 1
Total 17 17 16 16 2 68

* hosts
1 Israel was expelled from the AFC in the early 1970s and eventually became a member of UEFA.[17]
2 as Republic of China
3 as South Vietnam

Controversies

Despite being the second oldest continental football tournament, the AFC Asian Cup has suffered numerous criticisms.[18][19][20] Criticisms over the inability of the AFC Asian Cup to attract large attendances, political interferences, high costs of traveling between AFC member states and different cultures were highlighted over the Asian Cup.

Political interferences

The AFC Asian Cup is marked with numerous political interferences. This was the case of Israel, as the team used to be a member of the AFC but following Yom Kippur War and increasing tensions against the Arab AFC members, Israel was expelled from the AFC in 1974 and had to compete in OFC until being granted UEFA membership in 1990.[21] Meanwhile, similar cases also exist in other AFC tournaments like the case between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Following the 2016 attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran, Saudi Arabia has rejected playing with Iran and even threatens to withdraw if the AFC refuses to follow, and even extended it to international level;[22] or tensions between the two Koreas during the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification had led North Korea to withdraw from hosting the South Korean team and refusing to display the South Korean flag and play their national anthem. As a result, North Korea's home matches were moved to Shanghai.[23]

Low attendances

Low crowds have also been another problems for the AFC Asian Cup. At the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, there had been concerns over low record of crowds due to little football interests and high costs of traveling between Asian nations leading to then-Australia coach Holger Osieck claimed that the Qatar Armed Forces were used to fill up the stadiums simply for aesthetics, while Australia international Brett Holman commented, "Worldwide it's not recognised as a good tournament".[20]

See also

References and footnotes

  1. ^ "FIFA Council votes for the introduction of a revamped FIFA Club World Cup". FIFA.com. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Australia play for the first time". Asiancup.com.au. Retrieved 2015-05-03.
  3. ^ "Revamp of AFC competitions". The-afc.com. 25 January 2014. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014.
  4. ^ "AFC Asian Cup changes set for 2019". Afcasiancup.com. 26 January 2014. Archived from the original on 30 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Asian Cup: Know Your History - Part One (1956-1988)". Goal.com. 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  6. ^ "Asian Cup: Know Your History - Part Two (1992-2007)". Goal.com. 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  7. ^ Lampen, Jerry. "Iraq ride wave of support to lift Asian Cup". Reuters. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  8. ^ "AFC plans to introduce VAR at UAE 2019". 27 September 2018.
  9. ^ "AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 – Match Schedule" (PDF). AFC. 7 May 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Fourth substitution to be introduced at UAE 2019". AFC. 12 October 2018.
  11. ^ AFC Asian Cup Trophy on YouTube
  12. ^ "The Asian Cup Trophy - Asia Cup". Getty Images. 21 December 1996.
  13. ^ "Japan coach Philippe Troussier lifts the Asian Cup trophy". Alamy. 29 October 2000.
  14. ^ "The remarkable rise of Asia's greatest showpiece". Asian Football Confederation. 5 December 2018. Archived from the original on 5 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Dazzling new AFC Asian Cup trophy unveiled in Dubai". Asian Football Confederation. 4 May 2018.
  16. ^ Highlights: AFC Asian Cup 2019 trophy reveal on YouTube
  17. ^ "About the IFA". The Israel Football Association. Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  18. ^ "Iran's success reflects the failures of Asian football". The Economist. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  19. ^ Panja, Tariq (17 January 2019). "Politics Looms Over Empty Seats as Saudi Arabia Faces Qatar in Asian Cup". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  20. ^ a b Paraskevas, Chris. "Asian Cup 2011 Comment: Empty Stadiums Hurting Asian Football And Qatar". www.goal.com. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  21. ^ Conor Heffernan (20 November 2014). "The Controversial Case of Israel & International Football". punditarena.com. Pundit Arena. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Saudi-Iranian Tension Extends To Sports – Saudi Arabian Football Federation Announces: We Will Not Play In Iran". memri.org. The Middle East Media Research Institute. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  23. ^ Mark Ledsom (7 March 2008). "Koreas match moved to Shanghai after anthem row". Reuters. Retrieved 29 July 2018.

External links

1956 AFC Asian Cup

The 1956 AFC Asian Cup was the first AFC Asian Cup, held every four years and organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The final tournament was held in Hong Kong from 1 September to 15 September 1956. It was won by South Korea.

1960 AFC Asian Cup

The 1960 AFC Asian Cup was the 2nd edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were hosted by South Korea from 14 October to 23 October 1960. The final tournament was organised on a round robin basis, and host country South Korea won with a perfect record of three wins.

1972 AFC Asian Cup

The 1972 AFC Asian Cup was the 5th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were held in Thailand between 7 May and 19 May 1972. It was won by Iran.

1984 AFC Asian Cup

The 1984 AFC Asian Cup was the 8th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were hosted by Singapore between 1 December and 16 December 1984. The field of ten teams was split into two groups of five. Saudi Arabia won their first title, beating China in the final 2–0.

1988 AFC Asian Cup

The 1988 AFC Asian Cup was the 9th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were held in Qatar between 2 December and 18 December 1988. Saudi Arabia defeated Republic of Korea in the final match in Doha.

1992 AFC Asian Cup

The 1992 AFC Asian Cup was the 10th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were held in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan between 29 October and 8 November 1992. The host nation, Japan, defeated the defending champion Saudi Arabia in the final in Hiroshima.

This was the first Asian Cup not to have any debuting countries.

1996 AFC Asian Cup

The 1996 AFC Asian Cup was the 11th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were held in the United Arab Emirates between 4 and 21 December 1996. Saudi Arabia defeated hosts United Arab Emirates in the final match in Abu Dhabi. As the runners-up, the United Arab Emirates represented the AFC in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup as the winners Saudi Arabia had qualified automatically as host.

2000 AFC Asian Cup

The 2000 AFC Asian Cup was the 12th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were held in Lebanon between 12 and 29 October 2000. Japan defeated defending champion Saudi Arabia in the final match in Beirut.

2004 AFC Asian Cup

The 2004 AFC Asian Cup was the 13th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It was held from 17 July to 7 August 2004 in China. The defending champions Japan defeated China in the final in Beijing.

The tournament was marked by Saudi Arabia's unexpected failure to even make it out of the first round; a surprisingly good performance by Bahrain, which finished in fourth place; Jordan, which reached the quarterfinals in its first appearance and Indonesia, which gained their historical first Asian Cup win against Qatar. The final match between China and Japan was marked by post-match rioting by Chinese fans near the north gate of Beijing Workers' Stadium, in part due to controversial officiating and anti-Japanese sentiment resulting from historical tensions.

2007 AFC Asian Cup

The 2007 AFC Asian Cup was the 14th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were held from 7 to 29 July 2007. For the first time in its history, the competition was co-hosted by four nations: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. For the first time in the nation's history, Iraq won the continental title after it defeated Saudi Arabia 1–0 in the final. As the winner, Iraq represented the AFC in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Before 2007 and every four years, Asia often held its continental tournament from 1956 until China in 2004. With the Summer Olympic Games and the European Football Championship also held in the same year as the Asian Cup, the AFC changed their tradition. Beginning in 2007, Asia will hold its continental tournament a year earlier, and every four years henceforth from that date.

An estimated worldwide television audience of 650 million people tuned in to watch the 2007 AFC Asian Cup.Australia participated for the first time since moving to the AFC from the OFC. Australia happened to also be the tournament's first nation aside from the co-hosts to qualify for the 2007 Asian Cup.

2011 AFC Asian Cup

The 2011 AFC Asian Cup was the 15th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The finals were held in Qatar from 7 to 29 January 2011. It was the fifteenth time the tournament has been held, and the second time it has been hosted by Qatar, the other being the 1988 AFC Asian Cup. Japan won the cup after a 1–0 win against Australia, and earned the right to compete in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil as the representative from AFC.A television viewing audience of 484 million in 80 countries across the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, North America and North Africa witnessed Japan defeat Australia 1–0 in the final.

2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification

The 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification saw various countries take part to determine 10 spots to the final tournament in Qatar under the new qualification system set by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Six other teams also qualified for the finals, even though they did not take part in the qualifiers:

The host nation: Qatar;

The top three finishers in the 2007 tournament: Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Korea Republic;

The winner of the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup: India;

The winner of the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup: Korea DPR.

2015 AFC Asian Cup

The 2015 AFC Asian Cup was the 16th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It was held in Australia from 9 to 31 January 2015. The tournament was won by Australia after defeating South Korea 2–1 in extra time in the final, thereby earning the right to participate in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which was hosted by Russia. The win was Australia's first Asian title since their move from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. It was also the first time a men's team has become champions of two confederations, following Australia's four OFC Nations Cup titles: 1980, 1996, 2000 and 2004; right after the Australian women's team won the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup.

Australia was chosen as the host on 5 January 2011, after being the sole bidder for the right to host the 2015 tournament. The matches were played in five different stadiums across five cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle. It was the first time that Australia had hosted the tournament, and it was also the first time the Asian Cup had been held outside the continent of Asia. As hosts, Australia automatically qualified for the final tournament, while the remaining 15 finalists (with the exception of Japan and South Korea who qualified via their top three position in the previous Asian Cup) were decided through a qualification process, featuring 44 teams, from February 2013 to March 2014.

The final tournament was Played in two stages: the group stage and the knockout stage. In the group stage each team played three games in a group of four, with the winners and runners-up from each group advancing to the knockout stage. In the knockout stage the eight teams competed in single-elimination matches, beginning with the quarter-finals and ending with the final match of the tournament. A third-place match was also played between the two losing teams of the semi-finals (Iraq and the United Arab Emirates).

Japan were the defending champions going into the tournament, having won the previous competition in 2011. They recorded their worst finish in the Asian Cup since the 1996 edition in the United Arab Emirates, being knocked out in the quarter-finals by that team in a penalty shootout.

2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification

The 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification was a qualification process organized by the AFC to determine the participating teams for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. The 2015 AFC Asian Cup, hosted by Australia, featured 16 teams.

In the initial scheme, ten places were determined by qualification matches, while six places were reserved for the following:

Hosts (Australia)

Top three finishers in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup (Japan, Australia, and South Korea)

Winners of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup (North Korea)

Winners of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup (Palestine)As the host nation Australia also finished as runners-up in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, the initial 6 automatic qualification spots were reduced to 5, with a total of 11 spots eventually determined by the qualification matches, in which 20 AFC members compete.

2019 AFC Asian Cup

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup was the 17th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the quadrennial international men's football championship of Asia organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It was held in the United Arab Emirates from 5 January to 1 February 2019.For the first time, the Asian Cup final tournament was contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format that was used from 2004 to 2015. Under this new format, the finalists would contest a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams, followed by a knockout stage of 16 teams. The host nation qualified for the final tournament automatically, while the remaining 23 places were determined among the other 45 national teams of the AFC through a qualifying competition running from 2015 to 2018, part of which also served as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification process for the confederation.

The tournament was won for the first time by Qatar, who defeated Japan 3–1 in the Final. This was also Qatar's first ever top 4 finish in the competition. The defending champions (Australia), were eliminated by the hosts (UAE) at the quarter-final stages, who subsequently lost to the eventual champions in the semi-finals.

2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification was the qualification process organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to determine the participating teams for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the 17th edition of the international men's football championship of Asia. For the first time, the Asian Cup final tournament was contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format that was used from 2004 to 2015.The qualification process involved four rounds, where the first two doubled as the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification for Asian teams.

2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification

The 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification will be the qualification process organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to determine the participating teams for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, the 18th edition of the international men's football championship of Asia. Since 2019, the Asian Cup final tournament is contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format that was used from 2004 to 2015.The qualification process involves four rounds, where the first two double as the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification for Asian teams.

Saudi Arabia national football team

The Saudi Arabia national football team (Arabic: المنتخب العربي السعودي لكرة القدم‎) represents Saudi Arabia in international football. The team's colours are green and white. Saudi Arabia are known as Al-Suqour (The Falcons) and Al-Akhdhar (The Green).

Considered one of Asia's most successful national teams, Saudi Arabia have won the Asian Cup three times (1984, 1988, and 1996), reached a joint record six Asian Cup finals and have qualified for the World Cup on five occasions since debuting at the 1994 tournament.

In the 1994 World Cup under the leadership of Jorge Solari, Saudi Arabia beat both Belgium and Morocco in the group stage before falling to Sweden in the Round of 16. Thus Saudi Arabia became the second Arab national football team in history to reach the Round of 16 in a World Cup, after Morocco's Round of 16 elimination in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, and one of the few Asian national football teams to accomplish such a feat to date.

Son Heung-min

Son Heung-min (Hangul: 손흥민; Hanja: 孫興慜; [son.xɯŋ.min]; born 8 July 1992) is a South Korean professional footballer who plays as a winger or a forward for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and captains the South Korea national team.

Son finished his development at Hamburger SV, where he made his debut in the German Bundesliga in 2010. In 2013, he moved to Bayer Leverkusen for a club record €10 million, and played for the club in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League. Two years later, he signed for Tottenham for £22 million, becoming the most expensive Asian player in history. While at Tottenham, he became the top Asian goalscorer in Premier League history.A full international since 2010, Son has represented South Korea at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups and is South Korea's joint highest scorer at the World Cup alongside Park Ji-sung and Ahn Jung-hwan with three goals. He has also represented South Korea at the 2018 Asian Games where the team won gold as well as the 2011, 2015, and 2019 editions of the AFC Asian Cup, finishing runners-up in 2015.

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