Tottenham forward Son Heung-min has explained how Olympic heartache at Rio 2016 this summer helped him towards his red-shot scoring streak.
The South Korean star has enjoyed a superb start to the season and extended his scoring run to five goals in five games with the only strike in a 1-0 win at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
It also extends a remarkable turn of fortunes for the 24-year-old, who came close to leaving the White Hart Lane club last summer, only to be persuaded by manager Mauricio Pochettino to stay and fight for his place.
Son had been unhappy with starting only 13 Premier League matches last season and there was also friction over his decision to represent South Korea at the Olympics.
Traveling to Brazil this summer meant he missed pre-season and Spurs’ first three matches this term, but the former Bayer Leverkusen frontman insists his country’s quarter-final exit at the hands of Honduras has been the inspiration behind his flying start.
“After the Olympics I was very upset,” said Son, whose sharpness in front of goal has been timely given the absence of Harry Kane, who could be sidelined for weeks with an ankle ligament injury .
“I was really down because I play for my country and want to get some medals for my country. For six months I was preparing but after Olympics I thought now I have to focus on the season.
“It was not easy but everyone, my family, my team-mates, help me a lot and that made me stronger than before.
“I had pre-season and I feel really fit. We played maybe four games at the Olympics so I feel very fit.
“It is true I am in great form and have made a great start but I have to keep working hard so I finish like this.”