Timbers Midfielder Diego Chará Is Still Here, and Still Earning Yellow Cards

Opposing fans might call him dirty, but walking that line between intimidation and outright aggression is part of what makes him so great.

It only took 10 seasons for Major League Soccer to officially recognize what Portland Timbers fans have always known: Diego Chará is the greatest.

At 34, an age when most professional soccer players are in decline, the defensive midfielder finally made the "Best XI," the MLS equivalent to the All-NBA Team. It was an overdue honor for the Colombian OG, who made his Timbers debut in the sixth game of the team's inaugural MLS season in 2011.

He's the league's all-time leader in career games started, at 279. Another category he stands at the top of? Yellow cards—the cautions players receive when they commit a foul that maybe goes too far. He's got 87, more than any other Timber in history.

Opposing fans might call him dirty—in 2019, he was ejected from a game for flicking an opponent's ear—but walking that line between intimidation and outright aggression is part of what makes him so great.

His personal highlight reel would include a lot of guys who didn't make a pass or score a goal, who lost the ball because they knew all too well that he was coming. It would also include a lot of frustrated and defeated opposing players lying flat on the turf or grass, sometimes in real pain, sometimes in fake pain, at which point, the camera finds Chará either sporting his trademark giant grin or with both hands out in the universal "who me?" gesture.

Whoever sculpts his statue outside Providence Park will have to choose between the two.

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