South Korea’s star forwards Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan have shown their quality and chemistry in the recent World Cup qualifying matches, scoring a goal each in a 5-0 win over Singapore and setting up another in a 1-0 win over Lebanon. The duo, who play for Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League, have been dubbed the “Korean derby” by the media and fans, as they often face each other in the domestic league.
However, when they wear the national team jersey, they are on the same side and have formed a formidable partnership that has helped South Korea top their group and secure a spot in the final round of the Asian qualifiers. Son, who is the captain and the all-time leading scorer for South Korea, has praised Hwang for his work ethic and versatility, saying that he can play in any position and always gives his best. Hwang, who has been in excellent form for Wolves this season, scoring seven goals in 11 games, has expressed his admiration for Son, saying that he is a role model and a leader for the team.
The pair have also demonstrated their friendship and respect for each other, exchanging shirts and hugs after their Premier League encounters. They have also supported each other in their personal lives, with Son sending a coffee truck to Hwang’s wedding in 2020 and Hwang sending a congratulatory message to Son when he won the Puskas Award for the best goal of the year in 2020.
The two players have also been involved in charitable and social causes, using their fame and influence to raise awareness and funds for various issues. Son has donated money to victims of natural disasters, such as the wildfires in Australia and the floods in South Korea, and has also participated in campaigns against racism and discrimination. Hwang has joined forces with former Manchester United players Park Ji-sung and Patrice Evra to create a YouTube channel called Shoot for Love, which aims to promote football and education for underprivileged children around the world.
Son and Hwang have not only been outstanding performers on the pitch, but also exemplary ambassadors off it. They have brought joy and pride to millions of South Korean fans, who will be hoping to see them lead their country to glory in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.