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Great Son Boom, Happy Cha Boom

Posted April. 17, 2017 07:20,   

Updated April. 17, 2017 07:34


Korean legendary soccer player and former national coach Cha Bum-kun, who is serving as the vice chairman of U-20 World Cup Organizing Committee, smiled as he congratulated Tottenham Hotspurs midfielder Son Heung-min who leveled with him after the recent match. At Suwon World Cup Stadium where the U-20 World Cup trophies were released on Sunday, Cha said, “I am more than happy that my old heydays are highlighted once again, thanks to Son. It is indeed a great feat for an Asian soccer player to score two-digit goals in a European league.”

Son presented his team with a second goal at the first 19 minutes at the 2016-2017 English Premier League (EPL) match against Bournemouth F.C. held in London, England on Saturday (Korean time). Receiving the pass from his teammate, his right-foot shot from the right side of the penalty area passed through the legs of the goalkeeper and passed the goal line. A local commentator highly praised Son that spring is here, sun has risen, and Son has bloomed. Thanks to Son’s excellent plays, Hotspur grabbed a 4-0 victory.

Cha and Son are eval‎uated as the most successful Korean strikers at the European leagues. “Cha and Son share in common that they are great goalies," KBSN commentator Kim Dae-gil said. Still, they show a different style when playing. Experts said that while Cha was tough with great heading skills as a winger, Son is an excellent technician who can cover various positions from winger and striker to shadow striker.

Furthermore, while Cha scored 19 goals a season at the age of 33, Son leveled with him at the age of 25; the same age when Cha made his way to the Bundesliga. This means that Son holds a promising future, and can break Cha’s record in the nearest future.

“Based on his personal efforts and strict health management, Cha roamed the European league. However, Son will be able to write more new records, thanks to the development of modern football, along with systematic and scientific health care,” said Kim.

Yun-Cheol Jeong trigger@donga.com