The Best Footballer in Asia Award often dubbed the Asian Ballon d’Or was first introduced in 2013 and has been won by Heung-Min Son on every occasion, except its inaugural year. In 2013, Japanese footballer Keisuke Honda received the award, and in 2016, Shinji Okazaki received the international accolade.
In 2021, Heung-Min Son won the vote by a landslide, earning 242 points from experts from the biggest leagues in Asia, 131 points ahead of runner-up Sardar Azmoun, who currently plays for Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg and the Iran national team.
Heung-Min Son was instrumental to Tottenham Hotspur’s success last season, scoring 17 goals and landing 10 assists in the Premier League. He’s also been particularly influential in the early stages of the ongoing campaign in the absence of Harry Kane, who didn’t feature in matches pending a failed move to Manchester City.
🇰🇷 Heung-Min Son has won The Best Footballer in Asia award for the fifth year in a row! 👏 pic.twitter.com/QMlL6vcj4g
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 3, 2022
Outside of club football, Son played a pivotal role for South Korea, scoring four goals in eight matches to help his side remain unbeaten in the first six matches of the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. South Korea remains on course to qualify for one of the most popular sporting tournaments in the world.
The ‘Best Footballer in Asia’ award is voted on by various journalists based in Asia and Europe and presented in China, by the sports editorial Titan Sports who created the accolade. The award recognises the best Asian footballer within the calendar year and is eligible to any player that originated from an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) nation or foreigners that play for an AFC team.
Besides winning the Best Footballer in Asia award, Son also made history alongside teammate Harry Kane for the greatest playmaking partnership in a single Premier League season, with 14 goals in the 2020/21 campaign.
The Korean Football Association (KFA) has also named Heung-Min Son the country’s top male footballer for a record sixth time and the third consecutive year. Son set a career-high at Tottenham Hotspur last season, scoring 22 goals in all competitions for the club. Of the 52 journalists and 26 technical officials that vote on the award, Son received the backing of 47 journalists and 13 KFA officials.
Last season, Sonny became only the 18th player in Spurs history to reach 100 goals; was named EA Sports Player of the Month in October by the Premier League and joined Kane in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Season in June. He also took home the 2020 FIFA Puskas Award following his incredible solo goal in Spurs 5-0 win over Burnley.
The Premier League has not been the only playground that the Son has shined bright upon. Sonny bagged his first hat-trick for the club in March 2018, as part of a thrilling 6-0 FA Cup victory over Millwall. In the Champions League, Son scored a goal in both legs against Borussia Dortmund – grabbing the winner in the second leg to help Spurs top the table undefeated.
In December 2021, Son Heung-Min reached the 300th-game landmark and could look to reach new heights with the Club after signing a new four-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur last summer.
First win in 2021 and reach the 100th goal. 📸 pic.twitter.com/LVhdygVFR6
— Heung-Min Son (손흥민) (@hm_sin7) January 2, 2021
Heung-Min Son Highest-Scoring Asian Footballer
Heung-Min Son is the highest-scoring Asian footballer in Premier League history, with 78 goals to his name. He scored his 78th goal in the Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace London derby on Boxing Day, and at just 29-years-old, he’s far from a finished product.
There is no denying that Son has been a fantastic addition to the Spurs attacking ranks. As well as his faultless work ethos and sterling performances, Son has been warmly accepted by the fans for his positive and jovial character.
Providing South Korea qualify, Heung-Min Son will represent his country at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the first time the tournament has ever been staged in an Arab state.