South Korea national soccer team captain Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) showed his respect for Ki Sung-yueng (FC Seoul) as he rewrote the record books for A-match appearances.

Son made his first appearance for South Korea on Tuesday, coming on as a 23rd-minute substitute for Hwang Hee-chan in the 1-1 friendly against El Salvador at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium.

Despite not being 100 percent after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia, Heung-min came on in the second half for the fans and the team. Despite his short stint, the team came up short as they conceded a late equalizer from a set piece.

On this day, Son Heung-min made another record. He came on as a substitute against El Salvador to extend his tally of A-Match appearances to 111 and move into sole possession of eighth place on South Korea’s all-time A-Match list.

Prior to that, Son Heung-min was tied for eighth place with Ki Sung-yueng with 110 A-match caps, but he surpassed Ki in the El Salvador match.

Son, who made his A-Match debut against Syria in December 2010, has been a mainstay of the national team for many years, surpassing South Korean soccer legend Ki Sung-yueng after nearly 13 years.

“For me, (Ki) Sung-yong will always be a legend and a player who will always be on top of the list,” Son said when asked what it was like to surpass Ki for most A-match appearances.

“I also saw him in Busan, and people like (Park) Ji-sung, (Lee) Cheong-yong, (Gu) Jachul, and (Ki) Sung-yong are the players who made me believe in my dreams,” he said, adding, “I’m learning so many things and I’m still learning.”

He was also humble, saying, “The number of (A-match) games might be because I debuted earlier, so I think I need to work harder.”

As Son claimed, he became the fourth-youngest player in South Korean soccer history to play an A match at the age of 18 years and 186 days. Ki Sung-yong made his A-match debut at the age of 19, one year older than Son Heung-min. 메이저놀이터

With 111 A-Match appearances, Son ranks eighth on the all-time list. The seventh spot on South Korea’s all-time A-Match appearances list is held by legendary defender Cho Young-sik (113).

He is followed by Kim Ho-gon, Yoo Sang-chul (124 games), Lee Young-pyo (127) and Lee Un-jae (133), while Hong Myung-bo and Cha Bum-geun are the most capped players in Korean soccer history with 136 games.

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