Cha in 1979
|Full name||Cha Bum-kun|
|Date of birth||22 May 1953|
|Place of birth||Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, South Korea|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|1976||Seoul Trust Bank|
|1976-1979||ROK Air Force (draft)|
|1970-1972||South Korea U20|
|2004-2010||Suwon Samsung Bluewings|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Cha Bum-kun (Korean: ; Korean pronunciation: [ta.b?m.n] or [ta] [p?m.n]; born 22 May 1953) is a South Korean football manager and former player, nicknamed Tscha Bum ("Cha Boom") in Germany because of his name and his thunderous ball striking ability. Cha is widely regarded as one of the greatest Asian football players of all time by experts, including IFFHS and ESPN.
In 1972, Cha had been capped by the South Korean national team as the youngest player in history called up to the squad. He is the all-time leading goal scorer for the South Korean national team with 58 goals and won the 1978 Asian Games. He is also the youngest player to ever reach 100 caps in the world. (24 years, 139 days) After developing into the top player in his country, he left for West Germany and played for Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen. He scored 121 goals in two Bundesliga clubs and won the UEFA Cup with each team. He started a youth football clinic to develop South Korean football after his retirement. He managed the national team in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and also Ulsan Hyundai and Suwon Samsung Bluewings of the K League.
Cha was born in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi and became famous when he was a player of Kyungshin High School and South Korean under-20 team in 1970. Cha entered Korea University in 1972 and won the Korean National Championship in 1974 which was the Korean FA Cup at that time. After graduation, he started senior career with Seoul Trust Bank FC in 1976. He led team's title and was named the best player at the Korean Semi-professional League in spring. In October 1976, he joined South Korean Air Force FC due to mandatory military service. Cha had a plan to enlist in the Navy FC but the ROK Air Force persuaded Cha that they will move up Cha's discharge six months.
Cha attracted the attention of an Eintracht Frankfurt coach Dieter Schulte who received an invitation to South Korea while playing for the national team at the 1978 Korea Cup. In November 1978, Schulte sent a letter to the KFA (Korea Football Association) suggesting Cha's tryout in West Germany who will discharge from the air force in January 1979. In December, he left for Frankfurt by taking time off after the 1978 Asian Games and contracted with another Bundesliga club SV Darmstadt 98 by signing a six-month deal but he spent just less than a month in Darmstadt. The ROK Air Force didn't follow the contract with Cha and required his return. Due to Cha's complicated military service problem, after his debut match with VfL Bochum on 30 December, Cha returned to South Korea on 5 January and he spent his spare military service duration until 31 May so didn't play for Darmstadt.
After being discharged from the military service completely, Cha still wanted to play in Bundesliga and joined Eintracht Frankfurt at age 26 in July 1979. He made an immediate impact with his new club, scoring in three consecutive games from third round to fifth round of the Bundesliga. In an interview after Aberdeen lost to Frankfurt in the 1979-80 UEFA Cup, Sir Alex Ferguson said "The problem we couldn't solve was Tscha Bum. We could not stop him. He was unstoppable." Frankfurt won the UEFA Cup for the first time by defeating Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final. In a 2015 interview with ESPN, Lothar Matthäus said "He was the face of Frankfurt then. He had pace, great technique, was a great dribbler and scored goals. And most importantly, he was the ultimate team man." After the first season in Germany, he was selected as a world class in the Rangliste of the winter and was named in the Bundesliga team of the season with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Kevin Keegan by the German sports magazine kicker. On 23 August 1980, Cha's spine was cracked by Jürgen Gelsdorf who tackled behind him but came back to the stadium after a month. He led team's title at the 1980-81 DFB-Pokal by scoring six goals in six matches. He became the top goalscorer of Frankfurt in three consecutive seasons. (1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83)
However, Cha transferred to Bayer Leverkusen in 1983 due to a financial difficulty of Frankfurt. In the 1985-86 season, he scored 17 goals at the Bundesliga which are his most goals in a season and Leverkusen qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time with sixth place. The magazine kicker selected him again in the Bundesliga team of the season. At the 1987-88 UEFA Cup, Leverkusen reached to the final and he scored a dramatic equaliser against Espanyol to tie the game 3-3. Leverkusen eventually went on to win the game on penalties and held the European title for the first time. In 1989, Cha retired after the Bundesliga career spanning 308 games in which he scored 98 goals without a penalty goal and received only one yellow card. He scored his 93rd goal in the Bundesliga on 31 October 1987 and became the top foreign goalscorer by surpassing predecessor Willi Lippens's 92 goals. His record wasn't broken for eleven years until Swiss Stéphane Chapuisat scored the 99th goal on 4 October 1998. As of 2018, Cha is ranked seventh with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the foreign goalscorer standings of Bundesliga history.
Cha played as a striker in the Bundesliga but originally played as a winger in South Korea. He became a South Korean under-20 international in 1970 and participated in the 1971 and 1972 AFC Youth Championship. In the 1972 AFC Asian Cup, he made his senior international debut at age 18 against Iraq and scored his first international goal against Khmer Republic. He was named in the Korean Football Best XI for seven consecutive years and was selected as the Korean Footballer of the Year in 1973.
Cha usually played for the national team in the Korea Cup, Malay Pestabola Merdeka and Thai King's Cup which were annually contested by Asian nations at the time. In the Pestabola Merdeka 1975, he scored his first international hat-trick against Japan. In the 1976 Korea Cup, he scored a dramatic hat-trick during five minutes against Malaysia and led team's 4-4 draw. He won ten trophies with 75 appearances and 43 goals in three competitions. In the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification he appeared all twelve matches and recorded five goals and two assists although his knee got a boil during the competition. However, South Korea failed to qualify for the World Cup by finishing as runner-up in the qualification despite his struggle. In the 1978 Asian Games, he contributed to team's gold medal by recording two goals and two assists but received criticism due to his diffident play. After the 1978 Asian Games, he left for the Bundesliga and didn't play for South Korea. His last international tournament was the 1986 FIFA World Cup finals in Mexico, South Korea's first appearance since 1954. He showed exemplary performance in intensive containment but didn't prevent team's elimination in the tournament.
Cha moved into management with K League side Ulsan Hyundai, coaching them from 1991-94. 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 KFA for the bad performance, citing lack of bonuses and alleging pro soccer games in Korea were fixed. The association promptly slapped a five-year ban on him and he soon left the country with his wife.
After an 18-month spell coaching Shenzhen Ping'an in China, Cha took up a commentator position with MBC in Korea. He returned to coaching in late 2003 when offered the Suwon Samsung Bluewings position. Cha achieved immediate success with Suwon by lifting the 2004 K-League championship, an achievement he ranked as even better than the UEFA Cup he won as a player in 1988. He later resigned in June 2010 as Suwon manager.
Cha is a devout Christian and said the three most important things in his life are "family, religion and football". Bum-Kun's second child, Cha Du-ri, followed in his father's footsteps. Du-ri played in Germany and switched positions from forward to defender. He retired in 2015 after two seasons with FC Seoul.
|Seoul Trust Bank||1976||Semi-pro League||--|
|ROK Air Force (draft)||1976||Semi-pro League||--|
The KFA is showing the list of Cha's 136 international appearances in its official website but FIFA registered him with 119 appearances in the FIFA Century Club.
The RSSSF claimed 134 appearances which exclude two matches against Thailand in the 1976 AFC Asian Cup qualification and Indonesia in the 1975 King's Cup.
|1||10 May 1972||National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Khmer Republic||3-0||4-1||1972 AFC Asian Cup|
|2||19 July 1972||Perak Stadium, Ipoh, Malaysia||Singapore||2-0||4-1||Pestabola Merdeka 1972|
|3||23 July 1972||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Indonesia||2-0||2-0||Pestabola Merdeka 1972|
|4||29 July 1972||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Malaysia||2-0||2-1||Pestabola Merdeka 1972|
|5||20 September 1972||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Thailand||3-0||3-0||1972 Korea Cup|
|6||22 November 1972||National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Indonesia||1-1||1-1||1972 King's Cup|
|7||19 May 1973||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Thailand||1-0||4-0||1974 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|8||28 May 1973||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Israel||1-0||1-0||1974 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|9||22 September 1973||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Khmer Republic||2-0||6-0||1973 Korea Cup|
|11||30 September 1973||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Malaysia||1-0||2-0||1973 Korea Cup|
|12||16 December 1973||National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Khmer Republic||4-0||5-0||1973 King's Cup|
|13||22 December 1973||National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Burma||2-0||2-0||1973 King's Cup|
|14||25 December 1973||National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Malaysia||2-0||2-1||1973 King's Cup|
|15||18 May 1974||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Burma||2-0||3-0||1974 Korea Cup|
|16||25 December 1974||Hong Kong||Indonesia||3-1||Friendly|
|17||29 July 1975||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Malaysia||2-0||3-1||Pestabola Merdeka 1975|
|18||7 August 1975||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Thailand||3-0||6-0||Pestabola Merdeka 1975|
|19||9 August 1975||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Japan||1-0||3-1||Pestabola Merdeka 1975|
|22||11 August 1975||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Indonesia||1-0||5-1||Pestabola Merdeka 1975|
|23||15 August 1975||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Bangladesh||4-0||4-0||Pestabola Merdeka 1975|
|24||21 December 1975||National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Burma||1-0||3-1||1975 King's Cup|
|26||6 March 1976||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Taiwan||1-0||3-0||1976 Summer Olympics qualification|
|27||27 March 1976||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Japan||2-1||2-2||1976 Summer Olympics qualification|
|28||10 August 1976||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||India||1-0||8-0||Pestabola Merdeka 1976|
|31||15 August 1976||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Burma||2-2||2-2||Pestabola Merdeka 1976|
|32||11 September 1976||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Malaysia||2-4||4-4||1976 Korea Cup|
|35||13 September 1976||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||India||4-0||4-0||1976 Korea Cup|
|36||17 September 1976||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Singapore||1-0||7-0||1976 Korea Cup|
|38||22 December 1976||National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Malaysia||1-1||1-1||1976 King's Cup|
|39||14 February 1977||Singapore||Singapore||1-0||4-0||Friendly|
|40||18 February 1977||Al Ahli Stadium, Manama, Bahrain||Bahrain||4-1||Friendly|
|41||20 March 1977||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Israel||1-0||3-1||1978 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|42||3 April 1977||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Japan||1-0||1-0||1978 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|43||26 June 1977||Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong||Hong Kong||1-0||1-0||1978 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|44||17 July 1977||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Libya||4-0||Pestabola Merdeka 1977|
|45||22 July 1977||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Indonesia||3-1||5-1||Pestabola Merdeka 1977|
|46||24 July 1977||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Burma||2-0||4-0||Pestabola Merdeka 1977|
|47||31 July 1977||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Iraq||1-0||1-0||Pestabola Merdeka 1977|
|48||27 August 1977||Sydney Sports Ground, Sydney, Australia||Australia||1-0||1-2||1978 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|49||3 September 1977||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Thailand||3-0||5-1||1977 Korea Cup|
|50||5 September 1977||Daegu Civic Stadium, Daegu, South Korea||India||1-0||3-0||1977 Korea Cup|
|52||13 September 1977||Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Malaysia||2-0||3-0||1977 Korea Cup|
|53||5 November 1977||Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium,Kuwait City, Kuwait||Kuwait||1-0||2-2||1978 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|54||19 July 1978||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Japan||2-0||4-0||Pestabola Merdeka 1978|
|55||22 July 1978||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Iraq||2-0||2-0||Pestabola Merdeka 1978|
|56||25 July 1978||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Indonesia||1-0||2-0||Pestabola Merdeka 1978|
|57||11 December 1978||Chulalongkorn University Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Bahrain||3-0||5-1||1978 Asian Games|
|58||17 December 1978||Bangkok, Thailand||China PR||1-0||1-0||1978 Asian Games|
Seoul Trust Bank
ROK Air Force
South Korea U20
Suwon Samsung Bluewings