December 20, 2018 09:42
Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur ranked 78th among the 100 best male footballers in the world for this year, according to a list compiled by British daily newspaper The Guardian on Tuesday.
The daily unveiled 30 names at the bottom of the list and the rest are to be unveiled over the following three days.
The list was based on votes from 225 experts from 69 countries, comprising managers, former footballers, commentators and journalists.
Son is the first Korean to make the list. Two Japanese players have appeared in past years -- Shinji Kagawa was ranked 94th in 2012 and 89th in 2013, and Keisuke Honda was 68th in 2013.
Over the last six years, Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona topped the list four times and Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus twice.
"Low maintenance, high-energy crowd favorite, Son is arguably the biggest football star in Asia. Leaves everything out on the pitch and has become a consistent goal threat, finishing last season with 18 in all competitions for Spurs," the daily wrote. "This year has been hugely significant for the wide forward on the international stage. He scored twice at the World Cup finals for [Korea], including one as they eliminated Germany at the group phase -- although they themselves did not progress -- while he led his country to victory at the Asian Games, which earned him an exemption from military service."
Meanwhile, Ji So-yun, who plays for Chelsea in the FA Women's Super League, was ranked 41st in the female footballers' list, down seven places from 34th last year.
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