Son Heung-Min: Spurs forward who became Asia's most expensive footballer

Last updated at 12:16
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WATCH: The story of Son Heung-Min - from South Korea to the Premier League

If you're a Tottenham Hotspur fan, then you'll definitely know the name Son Heung-Min.

Originally from Chuncheon in South Korea, Son Heung-Min became Asia's most expensive footballer ever when he joined Spurs back in 2015.

He quickly became one of the Premier League's biggest stars, and in his home country he's as big as players like Cristiano Ronaldo are in the rest of the world.

Newsround has been to South Korea to meet Son Heung-Min's older brother - Son Heung-Yun - to find out more about his famous sibling.

"Heung-Min - being the youngest in the family - was always bright, playful and very cute," Son Heung-Yun told us. "We spent a lot of time playing football together. At the time that we started playing, Heung-Min was 10 years old.

"[He] was like a sponge with sports. Everything he tried, he picked up quickly."

Son Heung-Yun and De'Graft during the interview
Heung-Yun told De'Graft it's often hard for them to go out as a family when Heung-Min comes home to visit, now that he's so famous

Both boys played football from a early age, with Heung-Yun remembering them both being very competitive.

He said: "We both hated to lose. Even at video games we played football and tried not to lose, and on the football pitch when we lost we both cried and were angry."

On some occasions their competitive spirit even resulted in injury, with Heung-Yun telling of one particular incident in nursery school.

Heung-Yun said: "Heung-Min was shooting towards to goal and I was the goalie. The ball was flying through the air and we were both trying to reach it.

"I came out of the goal and Heung-Min went for the ball. He kicked my hand and broke my finger."

Screengrab of image taken from Son Heung-Min's Instagram accountSon Heung-Min/Instagram
When he has time off from training, Heung-Min often returns to South Korea to see his family

Heung-Yun still lives in Chuncheon, and says he feels "proud and happy" watching his brother becoming a big star on the other side of the world. But he says the rest of the family aren't that overly excited about Heung-Min's world fame.

"It's now difficult to go to restaurants with him. We have to book private rooms. People gather around him and we brothers are not the type to like so much attention."

But Heung-Yun says that experiences with football fans in the UK and South Korea are also different.

He said: "British fans have a lot more manners and are courteous, but Korean fans are not. They barge in and ask for selfies and autographs.

"I don't think Heung-Min likes the attention that much."

If you want to know more about Son Heung-Min, here's seven reasons to love the South Korean football star.

Son's fun-loving personality and skills on the pitch have made him a fan favourite both in the UK, and back in his home country. But, to reach that level of play, Son had to work and train hard from an early age.

Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur after the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Ajax and Tottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur FC
Son is really popular with Spurs fans, partly because of his personality and the fact he's always smiling

The boys were taught skills by their father, who was quite strict with them. "Training wasn't a lot of fun!" Heung-Yun said.

Now, their father runs a special football school called Son Academy, where Heung-Yun also works as a coach.

The father and son teach young players the same skills that the two brothers were taught at a young age, in the hope that they might follow in Son Heung-Min's footsteps.

De'Graft went to meet players at the Son Academy, who hope to follow in the footsteps of Son Heung-Min

"I practice for four hours every day. I want to be like Son in the future!" one player at the academy told Newsround.

"It's very good training with Son's dad and brother," said another. "I think it's very helpful training in Son's programme. I want to play for Spurs and score goals in the Premier League like Son!"

Newsround also went to visit Son Heung-Min's primary school, attended by lots of children who see the Spurs forward as a big inspiration.

"I feel like it's my destiny to become a footballer," said one young boy. "I want to be a great player like Son Heung-Min," said another.

"As I watched him playing, football became much more interesting to me," one girl at the school said, "and I started playing more sports than before."

Son-Heung-Min.Getty Images
Son Heung-Min in action for Spurs against Liverpool

"We can dream big and think 'why couldn't I be like him?' - that's what I ask myself," added another.

One pupil even said: "Son in some ways has become like the face of South Korea itself. It's great to have a person you can be really proud of."

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