Son Heung-min stated that Tottenham fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone made him feel “very comfortable and incredibly appreciative” after a talk at the training facility before leaving for the Leicester City game.
After failing to score in his first eight games of the season and struggling to have an effect on contests, Antonio Conte chose to put the 30-year-old on the Spurs bench against Leicester.
Son, who came on at the hour mark to replace Richarlison, had a big impact on the game, scoring a hat-trick in 13 minutes and 21 seconds to seal a 6-2 victory.
After scoring his first goal with a fantastic strike from outside the box, the entire team rushed over to celebrate, with the exception of Hugo Lloris.
That wasn’t the only touching moment Son had on Saturday evening as he could be seen embracing fitness coach Ventrone on the touchline for a good 20 seconds before he headed back down the tunnel.
The Italian may work the Tottenham players extremely hard but he is loved by Son and his teammates.
“Yeah, he is a killer. He is a killer but I have a really, really good relationship with Gian Piero. So obviously his English is not perfect, sometimes he is coming with his phone and translating into English from Italian,” explained Tottenham’s No.7.
“It means a lot. Not as football-wise, I think life-wise he gives me so much advice, which I am really grateful.
“He has been so helpful, giving me always a big hug in tough times and even great times he has always been next to me and every staff. Even today before we left the training ground, the hotel, we had a couple of minutes of having a nice conversation which made me really comfortable and really grateful.”
Son’s first goal celebrations were also quite telling. His strike may have caused chaos inside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but the man himself displayed little emotion as he raced for a few yards before coming to a halt.
However, his teammates rushed up to greet him, demonstrating how delighted they were to see him end his goal drought.
After the game, Son was asked if his quiet celebration had anything to do with the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but he replied it was merely a time of introspection for him as major individuals in his life came to mind.