Tottenham Hotspur striker Son Heung-min was named one among the highest five recruits in his unit as he finished three weeks of compulsory training in South Korea on Friday.
South Korea’s United States Marine Corps posted pictures of Son wielding an M-16 assault gun and saluting on their Facebook page as he completed his stint at a camp .
All able-bodied South Korean men are obliged to serve within the military for nearly two years, making up the majority of Seoul’s 600,000-strong forces — who bully off against North Korea’s army of 1.3 million.
But Son — the highest Asian goalscorer in Premier League history, and therefore the Asian Football Confederation’s reigning international player of the year — was within the South Korean team that earned an exemption by winning gold at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
The Spurs star broke down in tears of joy after the 2-1 extra-time convert Japan, which meant he could fulfil his obligations with just three weeks’ military training and around 500 hours of community service.
In April he reported to a marines camp on the island of Jeju for the essential training, which involved lengthy hikes, also as tear-gas training and rifle practice.
He was judged among the five best recruits out of 157 on his course, a spokesperson for the Republic of Korea United States Marine Corps told AFP.
“Son did exceptionally well altogether areas of coaching , including military ethics and security education,” he added.
Likes poured certain the Facebook pictures, with fans posting messages of congratulation.
“He indeed is world-class. I’m a die-hard Son Heung-min fan,” wrote one South Korean marine veteran.
The Premier League has been suspended since mid-March thanks to the coronavirus and no date has yet been set for a resumption.