Diego Chara, Colombia Flag, 2015
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Quick Hits: Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara

Diego Chara is known throughout the league for his no-nonsense style as a defensive midfielder, routinely knocking attackers off the ball with physical, yet clean and precise tackles. Now in his fifth season as a member of the timbers, the Colombian has logged the second-most appearances for the club during its MLS era and has solidified his presence in the team and throughout the community.

Sporting Idols
“For me, it was Claude Makélélé, He was a good soccer player.”

Chara closely watched Makélélé as a player and it’s no wonder. Makélélé played as a defensive midfielder, just like Chara does now, and was credited with having a big impact on successful sides like Real Madrid and Chelsea. The Frenchman won the Spanish La Liga title twice with Madrid as well as the 2001-02 Champions League tournament, then went on to help Chelsea capture two English Premier League titles (2004-05, 2005-06). He earned 71 caps for the France National Team and was a 2006 FIFA World Cup runner-up with Les Bleus, playing all 120 minutes in the penalty-kick loss to Italy in the final.

Off the Pitch
Outside of soccer, Chara spends the vast majority of his time with his wife and daughters.

“I like being with my family. We go to the beach and sometimes go to Mt. Hood, it’s a nice place.”

A Second Home
Through his four years in the Rose City, Chara—along with his wife and two daughters—have come to call Portland a second home outside of their native Colombia.

“Right now it’s like home, it’s similar. The people are good people with me and my family. I feel comfortable. I like the city, the people, now the weather is nice. I like everything in Portland.”