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Go Catch Some Top-class Football Action

Posted May. 19, 2005 23:33,   


On May 20 at 7:00 p.m., a “war of the stars” will take place at the Suwon World Cup Stadium.

A post-season friendly between last year’s Korean League champions Suwon Samsung Bluewings and English Premier League 2004-2005 season champions Chelsea FC will set the stage.

Suwon Bluewings manager Cha Bum-keun (52) and Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho (42) both promised to “put on the best match” at a press conference held on May 19.

A Few Words from the Managers-

Mourinho told a gathering of the media, “First Samsung signed a five-year contract with the club, and then soon afterwards I was offered a new five-year contract. We share the same ambitions,” while adding, It hasn’t been long since we ended 11 consecutive months of football, but we are nevertheless prepared to give our best.

Cha noted, “Chlesea FC is the center of attention around the world,” and said, “although it’s difficult to compare Chelsea FC and Team Suwon, we will surely bring a good match and let the K-League be known to the world.”

Coach Mourinho, on the exclusion of such key players as Frank Lampard, John Terry, and Mateja Kezman, said “Unfortunately, many of our players were injured during the league season,” also adding, “As it is the quality of play that matters, we won’t let anyone down.”

Match Forecasts-

Despite some starters missing from the Chelsea squad, the team is mostly made of world-class players who play for their respective national teams.

The match-up between goalkeepers Lee Woon-jae (32), who led Korea to the semi-final stages during the last World Cup, and Petr Cech (23) grabs our immediate attention. Lee Woon-jae, Korea’s number one goalie, has enough ability to draw grievance from even Oliver Kahn, arguably the world’s best goalkeeper. Cech, one of Europe’s best goalies, led the Czech Republic to the final four of Euro 2004 with some impressive goalkeeping.

The battle in midfield between Kim Do-hyeon (23) and Joe Cole (24) will also be hard to miss. Kim Do-hyeon is a master of tricks with superb passing skills and impressive middle-range shots. Cole, a member of the English National Team, is a “Football Prodigy” who made his Premier League debut at 17.

Others to look out for will include Claude Makelele (32), France’s defensive midfielder, Alexei Smertin (30), a member of the Russian National Team with 47 A-match appearances, Germany’s “Rising Star” Robert Huth, and Cameroon’s “Black Warrior” Geremi Njitap.

Jae-Yun Jung jaeyuna@donga.com