Asian soccer players have found their way into the German Bundesliga before. But at the beginning of July, the first ever North Korean player came to Germany. Chong Tese has already scored some goals for his club Bochum.
Chong Tese in Bochum
This summer, Chong Tese transferred from Japan’s J-League to the German second division club Bochum - and he has become quite an attraction here. Chong Tese was not born and raised in North Korea, but in Japan. Although he is a South Korean citizen, he also has a North Korean passport.
His first big international appearance was during the last FIFA World Cup in South Africa playing for the North Korean team. Pictures of him crying during the North Korean national anthem went round the globe.
Overwhelmed by national anthem
Chong Tese plays for North Korea where his father comes from
"It was always a dream of mine to play as an international. When I heard the national anthem, I was so overwhelmed with emotions. I just couldn’t hold back my tears," remembers Chong Tese. Bochum had been interested in the North Korean international long before the World Cup had even started. General Manager Thomas Ernst is happy about the new transfer.
The North Korean striker is a very robust player, who always goes directly for the goal, he says. "He tries to score from any position and has a very powerful shot. Also the way he moves through the penalty box is just excellent. We're absolutely sure that our team has become stronger with him."
Drogba vs. Rooney
Chong Tese, wearing the number nine, has already scored four times in seven games
46 goals in 111 matches: this is Chong Tese’s reference from his former J-League club Kawasaki Frontale. And so far, he has been successful in Bochum as well. In the first seven games for his new club, Chong Tese has already scored four times, proving to be the support Bochum hoped for as the club competes for promotion to the first division.
He has become famous as "Asia’s Wayne Rooney". Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba was also one of his role models - at least until the World Cup began. "Actually I tried to play like Drogba. But then I saw Rooney play during the World Cup. Now I rather want to be compared with him," says Chong Tese.
Quite a stir
In Bochum, he is both successful on the pitch and popular off the pitch. The first North Korean player feels totally at ease in Germany. He has even begun learning some words in German: "Auf eine gute Saison!"
The 26-year old promises his fans a good season. Though he has only been in Germany for three months, he is already causing quite a stir. Chong Tese’s big dream is to establish himself in Europe’s top football leagues just like his role model, Wayne Rooney.
Author: Thomas Klein / cvg
Editor: Arun Chowdhury