Johan Vonlanthen was born in the Colombian town of Santa Maria, but after his mother married former Swiss international Roger Vonlanthen, the 12-year-old Johan moved to the Alpine Republic and has enjoyed dual citizenship ever since.
Vonlanthen spent his youth career with Young Boys, making his Super League debut at just 16 years of age during the 2001/02 season. The talented youngster's performances at the club over the next two years were enough to earn him a move to Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven.
As the youngest player in the division, the right winger put in a number of eye-catching displays over the 2003/04 season as PSV finished runners up in the title race and qualified for the UEFA Champions League.
Consecutive seasons at Brescia of Italy and NAC Breda of the Netherlands preceded another transfer to Austrian outfit FC Salzburg in 2007. Three successful years followed before the 24-year old moved back to his adopted homeland last summer with FC Zurich.
Vonlanthen made his debut for the Swiss national team in June 2004 and was part of the squad that travelled to UEFA EURO 2004 in Portugal. Four years later, the attacking midfielder again took part in the continental showdown in Austria in Switzerland, though he missed out on the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ through injury.
Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld is confident the young man can play a major role at South Africa 2010 after he appeared in five of the Eidgenossen's ten qualification matches without scoring.