Tottenham's Son Heung-min avoids military duty with Asian Games gold

Gold at Asiad exempts Son from military service

He dedicated the gold medal to the fans in the stands in Indonesia and back home in South Korea and said, "I have the gold medal around my neck but it really belongs to the people".

Failure to win gold could have been disastrous for Son's career as the multi-millionaire footballer faced swapping his tracksuit for a camouflage kit and 21 months of national service, compulsory for South Korean men. "It reminded me of the fact that a lot can happen so quickly in football", Son said.

The dam finally broke a few minutes into extra-time as substitute Lee Seung-woo of Hellas Verona collected a pass from Son and rocketed the ball into the top corner. The message was followed by thousands more from Spurs fans delighted that one of their favourite Sons would be sticking around for a while longer.

But South Korea were the dominant side, with tournament top-scorer Hwang Ui-jo spurning several golden chances as Son regularly tormented Japan down the left.

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"I feel great, feel unbelievable, feel incredible", he said. "I'll continue to work hard for Tottenham". Now I'm looking forward to getting back to England and showing what I can do.

With the weight of the world lifted from his shoulders after overcoming Japan, he revealed that he was still waiting.

'I also want to talk about Tottenham.

After the the gold medal match, Son was still searching for words to describe his emotions. "Without them we couldn't win this tournament".

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The win has also earned the 26-year old, one of the three overaged players on the squad, an exemption from serving in the country's military service, and he rightfully appreciates his teammates' perseverance when things were not going their way in the clash.

At the time his German Bundesliga club, Bayer Leverkusen, refused to release him - the tournament isn't officially recognized by Federation Internationale de Football Association, and clubs aren't obliged to release their stars.

But it was worth more than its weight in gold to him, his Korean team-mates - and perhaps to Spurs. "I think this is the best day of my life".

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