Football News

Son Heung-min: Jose Mourinho’s new nickname for the Spurs forward explained

By Harry Edwards

Published: 11:22, 8 December 2019

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has compared Son Heung-min to Brazilian legend Ronaldo after his solo goal on Saturday afternoon.

Spurs beat Burnley 5-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to return to sixth in the table, six points behind Chelsea in fourth place.

Harry Kane scored twice with Lucas Moura and Moussa Sissoko also finding the net, but the pick of the goals was Son’s.

Five things to know about ‘Son-aldo’s’ wonder goal in Spurs 5-0 Burnley…

  • Tottenham Hotspur beat Burnley 5-0 on Saturday to move sixth in the Premier League.
  • Harry Kane, Lucas Moura, Moussa Sissoko and Son Heung-min scored the goals.
  • Son’s effort saw him pick the ball up on the edge of his own area before running through the Burnley team.
  • Spurs boss Jose Mourinho compared it to a Ronaldo Nazario goal for Barcelona.
  • Son later admitted he only ran with the ball as he couldn’t find Dele Alli.

With Spurs 2-0 up and defending a set piece, Jan Vertonghen managed to win the ball in his own area ahead of James Tarkowski. The ball fell to Son just outside the Spurs area with just two team-mates ahead of him at the time of his first touch – and six Burnley players.

Son proceeded to run through the midfield riding attempted challenges from Tarkowski, Robbie Brady, Dwight McNeil, Erik Pieters and Matthew Lowton before bearing down on the Burnley area.

The South Korean kept going, ignoring the run of teammate Lucas, to slot past Nick Pope from 12 yards out, capping off a wonderful solo effort. As well as sending the Spurs faithful into raptures, Son’s strike was celebrated on social media with some tipping it to win the Premier League’s Goal of the Season award.

It also earned praise from Spurs manager Mourinho, who likened it to an effort scored by Ronaldo Nazario while he was at Barcelona.

“Even before this goal my son calls him Son-aldo, Son-aldo Nazario – and today he was Son-aldo Nazario,” he told reporters.

“The only thing that comes to my mind is the goal where I had the honour to be seated next to Sir Bobby Robson, it was Compostela-Barcelona, 1996, and Ronaldo Nazario got the ball behind the midfield line and scored a very similar goal to Son. Amazing goal.

“Yesterday I met [Son’s] parents. I understood where it comes from. The kid is fantastic. So happy, so happy.”

Often dubbed the ‘original’ due to the subsequent exploits of Cristiano, Ronaldo Nazario maintained extraordinary scoring rates for Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and the Brazil national team, with whom he won the World Cup in 2002. His legacy goes beyond the numbers, however, due to the quality of so many of those goals.

One individual effort Ronaldo scored for Barcelona in 1996 against Compostela was so good it’s been viewed over 2.5m times on Twitter. It was this Mourinho referred to while speaking about Son’s effort against Burnley.

‘I couldn’t find Alli, so I put my boost on,’ says Son

With Son picking the ball up on the edge of his own area, the thought of trying to score can’t have been on his mind, instead it will have been focused on moving Spurs up the pitch.

And, speaking after the match, Son revealed the goal would not have happened he if managed to find Dele Alli.

“When I got the ball; I tried to pass it to Dele but I couldn’t find him so I put my boost on,” Son told Spurs TV.

“I think it was the right time to put my boost on and after two or three seconds I was in front of goal, so I was a little surprised.

“To score a goal like this at home is very special. I was really really tired after running but I was focused on finishing.

“Imagine if you did so well before the goal and you missed the goal? I’d have been so upset.

“For me it’s difficult to say [if its the best goal of my career]. All goals are special, but I like to dribble and to score goals, so this one is special.”

Spurs have Bayern Munich in the Champions League next before playing Wolves away in the Premier League next Sunday.