Son Heung-min ready to make big sacrifice for Tottenham to qualify for Champions League | Football | Sport


Son Heung-min has admitted he’d sacrifice the Premier League Golden Boot to play in the Champions League. The race to finish in the fourth qualifying place will go down to the final day of the season if Tottenham beat Burnley on Sunday lunchtime. The 3-0 win in the north London derby on Thursday stopped Arsenal in their tracks and reduced the gap between the two rivals to just one point with two games left to go.

Son scored the third of those goals to take his tally to 21 for the season, just one behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. With Cristiano Ronaldo, on 18, the only player within seven of the Egyptian’s tally – and only having one game left to play – it looks like being a two-horse race.

Unlike in the World Cup version of the Golden Boot, which is decided on the number of assists if goals are equal, the Premier League has regularly been shared by joint-top scorers over the years. But Son says he is not interested in any part of the individual honour if he cannot use his goals to get Tottenham back into the Champions League.

And he would willingly give up his Golden Boot hopes entirely for a guarantee of a top-four finish in the Premier League. “It’s not important,” he said.

“It would be nice but for us it is important for us to finish in the top four. Performance-wise, the game against Arsenal was fantastic and I am very proud for the lads and well deserved. 100 per cent I would be happy if I didn’t score another goal but Spurs got into the top four?

“Obviously it’s a good thing that you are racing for individual awards, but I have said a few times that it is more important to finish in the top four than anything else.”

Son had a face like thunder when he was substituted shortly after scoring the third against a 10-man Arsenal team that was wobbling under the Tottenham onslaught. Manager Antonio Conte joked that he told Son to promise him he would score a goal or two against Burnley instead.

“I am always not happy at coming off because I want to be on the pitch because I love playing football and I want to help the team,” Son explained. “I can understand afterwards but at the moment you are not angry but frustrated because you are passionate on the pitch.

“I can understand why because we have a really quick game on Sunday. I can’t promise I will score but I will do my best and I will do my best for the team and if I don’t score I will do my best.”

And if things do go well, team-mate Harry Kane has promised to do everything he can to help Son have his cake and eat it – even to the extent of letting him take any penalties to help his personal tally if the points are in the bag. “Hopefully we can win him the Golden Boot, that’d be nice,” he said. “But of course he knows and we know the three points are the most important thing.”

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