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Cha Bum-kun, in 2012
|Date of birth||22 May 1953|
|Place of birth||Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, South Korea|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 1⁄2 in)|
|1976||Seoul Trust Bank FC (semi-professional)|
|1976–1979||Air Force FC (military service)|
|1978–1979||SV Darmstadt 98||1||(0)|
|1970–1972||South Korea U-20|
|2004–2010||Suwon Samsung Bluewings|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
|Revised Romanization||Cha Beom-geun|
Cha Bum-kun (Hangul: 차범근; Korean pronunciation: [tɕʰabʌmɡɯn]; born 22 May 1953) is a South Korean football manager and former player, nicknamed Tscha Bum in Germany ("Cha Boom") because of his name and his thunderous ball striking ability. The nickname was first used by the German Kicker Magazine, which also named Cha as one of the greatest footballers of the 1980s. Cha was born in Hwaseong in the South Korean province of Gyeonggi. By 1972 he had been capped by the Korean national team as the youngest player in history called up to the squad. After developing into the top player in his country, Cha wanted to play in Germany's Bundesliga. Cha promised to learn skills in Germany and help Korea advance in football. He eventually rose to international stardom and fulfilled his promise by coming back to South Korea after his retirement and starting youth football clinics. He coached the national team in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and also Ulsan Hyundai and Suwon Samsung Bluewings of the K League. In South Korea, Cha is greatly respected for his accomplishments in the Bundesliga and the South Korean national team. During his career, Cha has played for SV Darmstadt 98, Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, and represented his national side 135 times, scoring 58 goals. He was given the title Asia's Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. He is the all-time leading goal scorer for the South Korean national team.
Cha became famous when he was a Kyungshin High School FC player in 1970 and in the same year he became a Korean U-20 international. In 1972, Cha entered Korea University. After graduation, he started senior career with Seoul Trust Bank FC in 1976. In October 1976, he joined South Korean Air Force FC due to military service.
He attracted the attention of Friedel Rausch while playing for the national team and he began his career in the Bundesliga at age twenty-five, after he had completed the compulsory military training for all South Korean men. He was widely considered one of the best forwards in the Bundesliga throughout his career. In December 1978, he was transferred to SV Darmstadt 98, where he spent just less than a month before being snapped up by Eintracht Frankfurt. Due to Cha's complicated military service problem, after his debut match with VfL Bochum on 30 December 1978, Cha returned to South Korea on 5 January 1979 and he spent his spare military service duration until 31 May 1979 and didn't play for SV Darmstadt 98.
After being discharged from the military service completely, Cha joined Eintracht Frankfurt in July 1979. Cha made an immediate impact with his new club, scoring in three consecutive games. Frankfurt went on to win the UEFA Cup in the 1979–80 season and Cha was awarded Man of the Match in the final. He became the third-highest-paid footballer in Germany. In the 1981 season, he suffered a near career-ending knee injury in a game against Leverkusen, an incident that nearly led to a riot by Frankfurt fans. Cha recovered in time for the German Cup Final, where he scored a goal in Frankfurt's 3–1 victory. However he would transfer to Bayer Leverkusen in 1983. He won a second UEFA Cup with them in 1988. Cha scored a dramatic equaliser against Espanyol to tie the game 3–3. Leverkusen eventually went on to win the game on penalties, their first major tournament victory.
Cha retired in 1989 after a long Bundesliga career spanning 308 games in which he scored 98 goals (none from penalty kicks), then the highest for a foreign player in the league. Over his 10-year career, he received only one yellow card.
Cha became a Korean U-20 international in 1970. He participated in 1971 AFC Youth Championship and 1972 AFC Youth Championship.Cha made his debut for the senior national team when he was nineteen years old and still a student at Korea University in 1972.
He played at the 1972 Asian Cup where he scored a goal and reached the final before the team lost to Iran. He was part of the South Korean national team in the 1978 Asian Games where the team jointly won the Gold Medal with North Korea due to the final ending in a 0–0 draw. His last international tournament was the 1986 FIFA World Cup finals in Mexico, South Korea's first appearance since 1954. Cha had retired from international duty but was convinced to come back to the team for the tournament. South Korea lost to Argentina and Italy but earned a draw against Bulgaria. The opposing teams were fully aware of Cha's scoring abilities and frustrated him by marking him with two defenders at all times. He did not score any goals in the tournament. Looking back, he recalled: "We didn't achieve our first win but the campaign was not disappointing as we played hard and well against the best teams in the world, including the eventual champions Argentina." Cha retired from international football permanently following the tournament.
Cha moved into management with K-League side Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i, coaching them from 1991–1994. His next appointment in January 1997 was Korean national team coach and he led the nation to the 1998 FIFA World Cup; however, a disastrous 5–0 defeat at the hands of The Netherlands in Korea's second group game got Cha fired. He later blamed the Korea Football Association for the bad performance, citing lack of bonuses and alleging pro soccer games in Korea were fixed. The KFA promptly slapped a five-year ban on him and he soon left the country with his wife.
Cha achieved immediate success with Suwon by lifting the 2004 K-League championship, an achievement he ranked as even better than lifting the UEFA Cup as a player in 1988.
On 6 June 2010, he resigned as manager of Suwon.
Cha is a devout Christian and list the three most important things in his life as 'family, religion and football'. Bum-Kun's second child, Cha Du-ri, followed in his father's footsteps. The younger Cha played in Germany and was converted from forward to defender and retired in 2015 after two seasons with FC Seoul.
Cha is widely considered to be the best South Korean footballer of all time, as well as the best Asian player. In light of this he was labelled Asia's Player of the Century for his breakthrough performances in the Bundesliga during a time when few Asians played in European leagues. He has since been considered one of the best players to play in the Bundesliga, and received praise from his peers. Alex Ferguson called him "unstoppable" following Aberdeen's loss to Frankfurt and Lothar Matthäus called him "the best attacker in the world" after Frankfurt's victory in the 1980 UEFA Cup Final.
- Cha is the ninth player in history to win the UEFA Cup with different teams. Cha shares the record with reputable players such as Salvatore Schillaci and Jürgen Klinsmann.
- Cha once held the Bundesliga record for the number of goals scored by a non-German player by surpassing predecessor Ente Lippens's record of 92 goals in 1988. In 1999, Swiss Stéphane Chapuisat broke Cha's 14-year-old Bundesliga record of 98 goals. As of September 2013, Cha is ranked fifth in the category after Claudio Pizarro's 167, Giovane Élber's 133, Chapuisat's 106, and Aílton's 105 goals.
- Cha's record of 17 league goals in the 1985–86 season remains as the highest goal-tally achieved by an Asian player in Bundesliga history. The finest effort to date in attempt to match Cha's feat was delivered by Iranian striker Vahid Hashemian, who scored 16 goals during the 2003–04 season with Bochum.
- Cha is South Korea's all-time leading scorer with 58 goals in international A matches.
- Asian Games: 1978
- Merdeka Cup: 1972, 1975, 1977, 1978
- King's Cup: 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977
- President's Cup: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978
- Asia Players of the Century: 1st Asian players in Europe (AFC)
- FIFA Player of the Century: Ranking 60 Py (FIFA)
- Asia Players of the Century: 1st Asian player(ESPN FC)
- He was voted Asia's Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics in 1999.
- K League: 2004, 2008
- League Cup: 2005, 2008
- FA Cup: 2009
- Super Cup: 2005
- A3 Champions Cup: 2005
- Pan-Pacific Championship: 2009
|Korea Republic national team|
- Scores list South Korea's goal tally first.
- "차범근 이적동의서 받아" (in Korean). The Dong-a Ilbo. 2 July 1979. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
- Although Cha joined SV Darmstadt 98 in December 1978, he returned to South Korea on 5 January 1979 and spent spare military service until May 1979 in Air Force FC.
- Different sources list different numbers for Cha's national team appearances and goals. RSSSF: 121 appearances, 55 goals: Yoon, Hyung-Jin; Mamrud, Roberto; Schneider, Marius (23 October 2002). "Bum-Kun Cha - Century of International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
Korea Football Association: 135 appearances, 58 goals: "Cha Bum-kun National Team Stats". Korea Football Association (in Korean). Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "이적물의 차범근 10월초 입대" (in Korean). Kyunghyang Newspaper. 3 September 1976. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
- "차범근과 병역문제" (in Korean). The Dong-a Ilbo. 8 January 1979.
- Matthias Arnhold (28 March 2012). "Cha Bum-Kun – Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- "'Cha Boom!'Cha Bum-kun's success was not only limited in Germany".[dead link]
- "Cha Bum-kun Official Stats by Korea Football Association". Korea Football Association. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
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