Cleber Chala

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Cleber Chala is a former Ecuadorian utility midfielder who was born in Imbabura, Ecuador on 29th June 1971. He began his career with El Nacional, where he enjoyed an extremely successful spell over a period of over 11 years. Chala made his name as a goalscoring midfielder. He helped El Nacional win two Ecuadorian titles in 1992 and 1996. He also starred on the International stage. After winning his first cap in 1992, Chala went on to appear 86 times for Ecuador. He represented his country at the 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2004 Copa America, and also took part in the 2002 World Cup.

In November 2001 Chala signed for Southampton. Rupert Lowe advised Gordon Strachan to buy him shortly after the Scot had taken over at St Marys. Lowe said "I've got just the man for you. Terry really likes him. He can play right side, left side and he is a great crosser of the ball." Strachan said he had not been at Saints long enough to challenge the Chairman's opinion, so he went along with the deal, believing Chala would help his fellow countryman Agustin Delgado settle at the club. Unfortunately Chala was unable to have to have much of an influence on Delgado, who spent much of his time in the treatment room. Strachan said that unlike Delgado, Chala was 'an absolutely smashing lad', although unfortunately he didn't quite have to ability required. He failed to make a single first team appearance before leaving the club in 2002.

Chala returned to El Nacional in 2002, picking up where he had left off previously. He had spells with Deportivo Quito and Universidad San Martin before returning to El Nacional once again in 2005. Chala retired from playing in 2008.