Wednesday, December 15, 2010

15 December 1995 - The Bluewings Take Flight

On 15 December 1995, Samsung founded a new football club in the South Korean city of Suwon. Known as the Bluewings, they have become one of the most celebrated clubs in Asia.

Playing under former South Korean national team manager Kim Ho, the Bluewings joined South Korea's top flight, the K-League, in 1996 and nearly won it. After topping the table for the season's Second Stage, they narrowly lost the play-off against First Stage winners Ulsan Hyundai by the aggregate score of 3-2. After a slight dip in form in 1997, they won their first league title in 1998, then won another in 1999, part of a quadruple that included that season's Super Cup, League Cup, and the Adidas Cup.

International success soon followed, as the Bluewings won back-to-back AFC Champions League titles in 2001 and 2002 (the latter in a dramatic penalty shootout against fellow K-League side Anyang LG Cheetahs).

Former Bundesliga star Cha Bum-Kun replaced Kim Ho in 2004 and continued the club's winning streak by capturing the league title in his first season. Mire silverware followed, including two Korean FA Cups and another league title, before his retirement in 2010. Former Bluewing defender Yoon Sung-Hyo is their new manager as they prepare to start their 2011 campaign.

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