“When I was a young boy, I was a big fan of Ji-Sung Park,” said the South Korean international, who grew up watching his hero playing for United in the Premier League and was later a team-mate in the Asian Cup (2011).
A member of the South Korea side that reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2002, Park went on to win 100 caps, joining United in 2005. He won four titles and the European Cup in seven years at Old Trafford.
“I watched him a lot when I was growing up.,” added Sonny. “Now he’s my good friend. I’ve learned a lot from him. I met him for the first time five years ago when we played in the Asian Cup and it was an amazing time for me. I met him for the first time and he was very nice to me.”
Sonny said the influence of the South Korean players in that golden group of 2002 - including Young-Pyo Lee, who spent three years here at Spurs - cannot be underestimated.
“These players are very important for South Korea, they made our name bigger across the world,” he said. “I now try to do the same in training every day and matches, try to show the quality we have in South Korea. I think it’s important that the South Korean players play well in Europe.”
Meanwhile, Sonny can’t wait to take on United on Sunday. “I thought we played well last week and we were unlucky to draw at Liverpool,” he said. “We’ll keep going. We’re all looking forward to playing Manchester United.”