'I really wanted to make sure Son believed he could win the Golden Boot': Eric Dier
Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier said he tried as hard as he could to make sure teammate Son Heung-min believed he could win the 2022 Premier League Golden Boot, spurring the Korean forward on to tie for top scorer alongside Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah with 23 goals apiece.
“Obviously I spoke to Sonny about it,” Dier told the Korea JoongAng Daily while attending a Tottenham Hotspur Global football development session organized with ChildFund Korea in Yangcheon District, western Seoul on Monday. “I really believed that he could win it and I just wanted to make sure he believed it as well. I think he did.
“I’d always tell him before every game; you’re going to win the Golden Boot, you’re going to win the Golden Boot.”
Dier said Son’s success last season was all thanks to hard work.
“I was really, really happy when he did it and he really deserves it. He had an incredible season. To score that many goals and to not take penalties is an incredible achievement.
“There’s no reason he can’t [win it again] after what he did last season. I think if he did what he did last season again he would be very close. There are a lot of fantastic players in the Premier League and there is going to be a lot of competition, but I’m sure if he wants it, he can.”
Veteran defender Dier and the rest of the Tottenham Hotspur squad arrived in Korea on Sunday afternoon, arriving at Incheon International Airport in Incheon where they met by Son himself and thousands of Korean fans.
“The reception was incredible at the airport,” Dier said. “I didn’t expect that to be honest. It was amazing at the airport, at the hotel and everywhere since.”
While in Korea, Spurs will play two exhibition games: First against Team K League, an All-Star squad of the domestic league’s top players, on Wednesday, and then against La Liga club Sevilla on Saturday.
For Dier, the games promise to be two very different experience.
“To play against the K League, to play the best players from Korea, that’s going to be very exciting for us and a new experience to see the players that are playing here,” Dier said. “Against Sevilla, [Erik] Lamela was at Tottenham for a long time and is a very close friend of mine, so to play against him will be nice, although he kicks you a lot.”
Aside from the two exhibition games, Spurs will be holding a number of different events while in Korea, like Monday’s football development session with ChildFund Korea, a charity that aims to support children from low-income families to help develop their talents.
Dier also has a few things he’d like to tick off his to-do list before jetting back to London next week.
“I want to go have Korean BBQ,” Dier said. “Sonny has taken us a few times to Korean restaurants so I think we’ll get the chance to do that and that’s the thing I want to do the most.
“I’m very excited to get to know Korea and see different things. On Friday, I’m going to a museum as well and will get the chance to see a bit more.”
BY YUN SO-HYANG AND JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]