Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Heung-Min Son can finally breathe a sigh of relief after he not only led his side to a remarkable Asian Games Gold medal, but in the process also avoided military service.
According to a law in South Korea, all men must complete 21 months of military duty before the age of 28. However, the Army provides exceptions for sportspersons who perform exceptionally well at major tournaments.
Prior to the start of the Asian Games, there were concerns about South Korea's failure to finish on the podium would result in Heung-Min Son football career going down the drain. Knowing that only gold would exempt his South Korean colleagues from the law, Heung-Min Son was granted permission by Spurs Mauricio Pochettino to miss the first few games of the Premier League season.
The South Korean has paid off his manager's faith by going on to play a very influential role for his country at the 2018 Asian Games. Heung-Min Son captained his side and provided two assists in the final that saw South Korea beat Japan 2-1 thanks to two extra-time strikes by Seungwoo Lee and Hwang Hee Chan. This now means the South Korean along with his team-mates are set to exempted from the country's compulsory military service.
South Korea's run to the final has been nothing short of remarkable. Having finished second in the group after suffering a shock 2-1 defeat against Malaysia, the Taegeuk Warriors got their act together en route to their summit clash. They went on to defeat the likes of Iran, Uzbekistan and Vietnam before facing and claiming a hard-earned victory against the Samurai Blue at the Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong.
There were scenes of jubilation at the final whistle as the players celebrated wildly in what appeared to be a sigh of relief of finally achieving their dream. Their recent triumph comes on the back of an incredible World Cup campaign in Russia, where they stunned defending champions Germany 2-0 in the group stage match. The victorious squad will now be given a hero's welcome in a grand reception back in their country.