Cha’s majesty hasn’t changed over the years. Cha is on our list of the 25 greatest Bundesliga strikers of all time.
The Bundesliga is steeped in history and tradition. The Bundesliga is the German league. In the past, soccer wasn’t a popular sport in Germany. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that soccer teams began to emerge and interest in the game grew. Each local club had its own league. In 1900, the German Football Association was founded, and in 1903, it held its first tournament, the Meisterschaft.
The German league went through several names before being reborn as the Bundesliga in 1963. The Bundesliga ranks fourth behind the English Premier League (EPL), La Liga, and Serie A. It’s one of the “big four” leagues. It is one of the so-called “big four” leagues. The Bundesliga is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.
On August 22, the Bundesliga announced on its official website, “The Bundesliga will celebrate its 60th anniversary on August 24. The Bundesliga has produced many strikers over the past 60 years. Which one impressed you the most? You should vote for your favorite,” and officially announced the 25 nominees for the representative striker.
Cha joins the likes of Gerd Muller, Jupp Heynckes, Elling Holland, Claudio Pizarro, Robert Lewandowski, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Lukas Podolski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mario Gomes, Jürgen Klinsmann and Miroslav Klose on the list of strikers. Voting is open until September 30, and the player with the most votes will be inducted into the “Bundesliga Top 11.
Cha made his Bundesliga debut in 1978 in a Darmstadt jersey. However, he only played one game for Darmstadt. Problems with his military service. Cha Bum-geun played for the Air Force soccer team. At the time, the Air Force had a 35-month term of service, but the Air Force soccer team offered him a 30-month term of service, the same as the Army. Cha received a three-month reduction for completing training courses and was discharged after 27 months of service.
After moving to Germany, Cha’s military service was called into question and he had to re-enlist to fulfill the remaining five months. Luckily, Cha signed a contract with Frankfurt in June 1979 and headed back to the Bundesliga.
Cha’s career was so impressive that he’s still remembered locally in Frankfurt. Cha scored 58 goals in 156 games over four seasons in Frankfurt, winning the DFB-Pokal and UEFA Cup with the club. He was named Bundesliga Player of the Week five times and Best Eleven 19 times by the German publication Kicker. He was also named to the Kicker’s Team of the Year for the 1979-880 season.
His success at Frankfurt led to a move to Leverkusen. At the time, Cha was the highest paid player in the club. This speaks volumes about his stature. In Leverkusen, the ‘Brown Bomber’ was still at his best. In six seasons, he scored 63 goals in 215 games. His greatest moment was winning the UEFA Cup in 1987-88. It was the first UEFA-organized competition in the club’s history.
The passage of time has not diminished Cha”s achievements. When discussing the best players in Korean soccer history, Cha is always mentioned alongside Park Ji-sung and Son Heung-min. When Cha headed to the Bundesliga, it was unheard of to see an Asian player play in the big leagues. Cha deserves to be applauded for being one of the first. He also gave hope to Korean immigrants in Germany who were facing racial discrimination.
Cha was the first Korean player to play in the Bundesliga. Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan also played in the Bundesliga, although they are now in the EPL. Jung 바카라 Woo-young, Lee Jae-sung, and Kim Min-jae are currently playing in the Bundesliga. If you expand your horizons to the lower leagues, there are even more players playing in Germany. Cha Bum-geun paved the way for Korean players to play in Germany.
Cha Bum-geun is recognized not only in Korea but also abroad. In 2010, global publication Goal.com ranked Cha as the third best foreign player in Bundesliga history. In 2013, he was named in Frankfurt’s all-time best 11 and was voted the best Asian soccer player of the 20th century by the German soccer historians’ association. He was also included in Leverkusen’s 40th anniversary all-star squad.
“Cha is one of the Bundesliga’s greatest players. He holds the record for most goals by an Asian player in the Bundesliga. He led Eintracht Frankfurt to the UEFA Cup title in 1980. He remains a part of the club’s history.”