That same year, the centre-back made the transition from U-20s, for whom he had starred as they earned fifth place at the FIFA World Cup Egypt in 2009, to the senior national team. Heong has been a squad fixture ever since.
Part of Augsburg's best Bundesliga season
A knee injury robbed him of the opportunity to skipper South Korea's U-23 side at the 2012 London Olympics but his consistency and skill at the heart of the defence for club and country alike was duly noted by FC Augsburg, not least in light of their positive recent experiences with his compatriots Ja-Cheol-Koo and Dong-Won Ji. At the end of August 2013, the Bavarian Swabians snapped up Heong from his hometown club on a four-year contract.
The technically assured defender went on to play his part in Augsburg's most successful top-flight campaign to date, which culminated in a ninth-place finish. Now, he is looking forward to building on that solid Bundesliga start – once South Korea's World Cup business in Brazil has been attended to.