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“Dreaming to Become a Starting Member in Next Year`s World Cup“

“Dreaming to Become a Starting Member in Next Year`s World Cup“

Posted December. 10, 2001 09:12,   


"I will be a starting member in next year`s World Cup."

`Second generation of Cha Bum` Cha Doo-Ri (21, Korea University) is growing up so quickly within the national team.

Son of former Head Coach Cha Bum-Kun, Cha Doo-Ri is a rookie player who was selected for the first time in `the seventh Hiddink`s squad` on Oct. 29th. He was only one of young promising players selected to test their potentials rather than to play as an actual starting member of the national team. But Cha Doo-Ri has gained much confidence from coach Hiddink, because he has shown a very fast growth through the repeated training camps.

During the training of the eighth squad of Hiddink that began on 3rd at Seogwipo, Jeju, Cha Doo-Ri showed a fabulous performance as a front offender of white team in the practice contest between white and blue teams, even though he was not yet included in the best 11. Cha Doo-Ri, rushing into the goal as quick as lightening, was just like his father who had stirred up the opponent`s ground in the 1986 Mexico World Cup. He ran too fast for defender Choi Jin-Cheol to catch him.

Even though he lacks a comprehensive view of the game management and an elaborate skill due to his short experience, Cha has clearly shown a powerful move and explosive shooting ability enough to threaten the opponent defenders.

A national team`s technique consultant forecasted that "Cha Doo-Ri is growing up so fast nowadays. Even though a striker position is most competitive to take within the national team, he has high potential to be included in 23 entry at the expense of veteran players, if he can maintain the present growth speed."

Head Coach Hiddink avoided the detailed mention, saying "I am just giving the opportunity for the young players to have an experience of high-quality soccer through the training with the national team. But Hiddink has shown the deep affection to Cha Doo-Ri, who plays in a modern soccer style with power and speed, said an official of the national team."

In particular, since Hiddink had succeeded to collapse the opponent`s side defense by using a speedy young player Obermars, when he led his team Nederland to semi-finals in the 1998 World Cup, he has paid special attention to Cha.

Cha has not attracted much attention since he injured his right little toe at the end of 1999 when he was a freshman. Cha began to play in the game from the beginning of this year. And as a member of the standing troops for Olympics, he impressed coach Hiddink to be selected in the national team in a practice game with the national team during the strengthening camp at Daegue in October. He participated in three straight A-match games in November, and he was also selected in the eighth squad of Hiddink. Now, he is hoping to play in the next year`s World Cup. He is running toward the World Cup stage of dream, following his father who participated in the 1986 Mexico World Cup as a player, and in the 1998 World Cup as a head coach.

In fact, some has harshly pointed out that Cha Doo-Ri has benefited from the fame of his father. However, Cha said, "I did not deny that I was indebted to my father. But I thought of it as an opportunity. So, I am trying to show an impressive performance to stay in the national team."

Yang Jong-Koo yjongk@donga.com