Leverkusen - Thanks to a strong finish to the season with 13 points from their last five games, Bayer 04 Leverkusen managed to seal fourth spot in the Bundesliga with Matchday 34's 2-1 triumph over SV Werder Bremen. That result earned the Werkself a berth in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds next season, thanks to Heung-Min Son's headed winner at the BayArena.
The 21-year-old was unsurprisingly in demand after the final whistle, and he stopped for a chat with bundesliga.com.
bundesliga.com: Heung-Min Son, how do you feel after netting the winning goal against Bremen?
Heung-Min Son: It's a great feeling, but it wasn't only down to me. The whole team worked really hard to create this goal for me. It worked well, but it didn't matter who actually put the ball in the back of the net. The main thing is we've secured a Champions League berth.
bundesliga.com: Did you ever doubt that you would win it, after falling 1-0 behind?
Son: A bit yes. But I never had the feeling that we would lose. We didn't get into the game well in the first half, but we got a foothold again after the equaliser and played well after that.
bundesliga.com: During the game, did you know what was happening in Wolfsburg, where your rivals Wolfsburg and Mönchengladbach were both up against each other?
Son: No, and I wasn't interested in knowing either. It was all about what we were doing and so I didn't even look at the scoreboard. That just puts you under even more pressure. I just concentrated on my own game.
bundesliga.com: How would you summarise Bayer Leverkusen's 2013/14 season?
Son: I think we could have got more out of it. We had quite a crisis, but we came through it well. We've got to be very happy that we've finished fourth in the end.
bundesliga.com: Has your first year in Leverkusen lived up to your expectations?
Son: Yes, I'm very happy about what we've done this season. Of course I also had a phase in which I wasn't playing very well, but that's football. Things can't always go well for you. I've learnt a lot this season and really enjoyed myself. It was also important for me to score my tenth goal of the season. That sounds a lot better than nine and it was important for me psychologically. I'm satisfied with my season.
bundesliga.com: Have you been keeping a close eye on your former club Hamburger SV?
Son: Yes, and it hurts me to see what's happened there. Fortunately, all of their rivals also lost so they've now got a play-off. It's going to be hard but I'll definitely be keeping my fingers crossed for them and I hope they can stay in the Bundesliga.
bundesliga.com: In a few weeks, the World Cup gets underway in Brazil. How do you cope with the high expectations in your homeland?
Son: I'm focusing on my own performance and that of the team. Of course the expectations in South Korea are very high, but we've got to live with that. We're going to work hard now during our preparations. The World Cup's a fantastic tournament and it's going to be my first, but we need a bit of a break now at the end of the Bundesliga season. I've played a lot of games.
bundesliga.com: How do you rate your group with Belgium, Algeria and Russia?
Son: It's a tough group, but we also have a good, young team. Many players play in Europe and there's a good blend. We get on well and the preparations are now going to be important. The main thing now is that I don't injure myself. I'm really looking forward to seeing how things go in Brazil.
Interview by Tobias Gonscherowski