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Junior Following in Chabum’s Footsteps

Posted April. 13, 2006 03:16,   


In the same uniform his dad once wore, Cha Du-ri hopes to hold up the same trophy his dad once held.

Cha, playing for Frankfurt in the German Bundesliga, got a chance to play in the DFB (German Football Association) Pokal Cup finals. At a semifinal match held at home yesterday, Frankfurt beat their semi-final opponent Arminia Bielefeld, 1-0, aided by a game-ending goal from Ioannis Amanatidis, which propelled the team to the final.

Cha, whose frequent absence from recent matches has disappointed the national team coaching staff, started in Wednesday’s match and displayed vivacious moves.

Cha Du-ri’s dad, “Chabum” Cha Beom-geun (Suwon Samsung manager) once held the championship trophy of the very same competition in the air in 1981. As the main striker for Frankfurt, Cha senior added the third goal 19 minutes into the second half in a 3-1 win against Kaiserslautern. Frankfurt hopes to add another trophy 18 years after its 1988 win against the victor of the Bayern Munich vs. St. Pauli semifinal match.

If Bayern advances to the final, Frankfurt will earn the right to participate in Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Cup games. Bayern Munich is the strongest candidate for this season’s Bundesliga victory. The winner of Bundesliga gets to play in Champions League, while the runner-up gets to go to UEFA Cup games. In such a case, Cha senior and junior will become the first Korean father and son to have played in UEFA Cup. Daddy Cha tasted the UEFA Cup victory twice during his Bundesliga career: once in 1980, playing for Frankfurt; and in 1988, playing for Leverkusen.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com