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Son Heung-min involved in clash with Saudi player who has already confronted Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Jack Kenmare

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Son Heung-min involved in clash with Saudi player who has already confronted Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Saudi Arabia defender Ali Albulayhi was involved in another incident on the international stage this week, when he pulled Son Heung-min's hair during their Asia Cup last-16 clash against South Korea.

The 34-year-old, who plays his club football for Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal, is renowned for winding up high-profile opponents.

Back in November 2022, during a World Cup clash between Argentina and Saudi Arabia, Albulayhi slapped Lionel Messi's back before squaring up to the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner.

He then proceeded to shout: "You will not win, you will not win!" after Herve Renard's side took a surprise 2-1 lead.

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Albulayhi also clashed with Cristiano Ronaldo in December during a Saudi Pro League fixture against Al Nassr, and continued to taunt the Portuguese forward after the full-time whistle.

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The Saudi defender is far from discreet when it comes trying to intimidate his opponents and on Tuesday, an attempt to unnerve Spurs forward Son Heung-min backfired as South Korea progressed to the quarter-final stages.

As you can see from the footage below, Albulayhi pushed Son before grabbing his hair – an incident that has infuriated fans.

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Saudi Arabia held a one-goal advantage until the 99th minute, when Cho Gue-sun netted to force the game to extra-time.

After both teams could not be separated, Hwang Hee-chan scored the winning penalty for Jurgen Klinsmann's side after Hyeon-Woo Jo made two shootout saves to progress to the Asia Cup quarter-finals.

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“This win gives the team an enormous amount of energy, it gives the team even more spirit,” Klinsmann said in his post-match press conference.

“This is a group of players I enjoy so much working with because they badly want to do well for their country.

“We wanted to win the game badly before the penalty shoot-out. Anything can happen in a penalty shoot-out.

“We will recover. We have a good spirit and we’re looking forward to Australia, which is a good team that just won 4-0.”

Featured Image Credit: X/@Feliz_219

Topics: South Korea, Son Heung Min, Saudi Arabia, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Saudi Pro League

Jack Kenmare
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