A versatile forward-turned-defender, Cha Du-Ri is a fleet-footed right-back who never stops running as his nickname Autobahn indicates. Born in 1980 in Frankfurt, Germany while his father Cha Bum-Kun was plying his trade with Eintracht, the son has followed the footsteps of his old man in the Bundesliga.
Cha was noticed by Guus Hiddink while playing for Korea University in a practice game with Korea Republic, before winning his first cap in a friendly with Senegal in November 2001. He went on to take part in the 2002 FIFA World CupÔ, during which he was mostly used as a second-half substitute except for the semi-final against Germany.
His eye-catching performance at Korea/Japan 2002 earned him a move to Bayer Leverkusen, and the winger was subsequently loaned to Arminia Bielefeld and then to Eintracht the following season. In June 2004, Cha completed a transfer to his hometown club where he stayed until the summer of 2006. By that time he was successfully transforming himself into a solid full-back, in a bid to claim his place in the club and the national team.
Despite the efforts to make his second FIFA World Cup, Cha was left on the reserve list ahead of Germany 2006. He then left for newly-promoted Mainz, where his chances were limited to a dozen league appearances, before playing in the second division for two seasons with Koblenz. Cha is currently plying his trade with Freiburg, and made an eagerly awaited return to the national team last October.