Even with the Euros having kicked off Friday, Bundesliga club news never ceases. Recent player signings include the signing of Cha Du-Ri by the recently promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf club, while VfB Stuttgart inked former Hertha Berlin man Tunay Torun on a free transfer. Friday also saw Bundesliga players featured in the opening two matches of the 2012 Euros and in World Cup qualifiers around the globe, while Germany’s Fair Play Awards were recently issued to Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Union Berlin.
Cha Du-Ri Returns to the Bundesliga
Frankfurt-born Cha Du-Ri has signed a two-year deal with Fortuna Dusseldorf following his release by SPL team Celtic FC. Cha, who turns 32 years of age in July, began his career in 2002 with Bayer Leverkusen and has worn the kit of German clubs Arminia Bielefeld, Tus Koblenz, SC Mainz and FSV Mainz while appearing in over 200 German league matches. The versatile right back, who has also featured on the right wing and at the striker position, spent the longest stint in Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt, one of the teams that his father, Cha Bum-Kun, played for thirty years ago. The younger Cha has also represented South Korea on 65 occasions since 2001.
According to Cha
I am delighted to be back in the Bundesliga. Fortuna are a great club with great fans and I am looking forward to the challenge and the atmosphere in the Dusseldorf Arena.
Cha played in 43 Celtic matches in all competitions after arriving in Glasgow in July, 2010. Fortuna earned promotion to the top-tier of German football following their playoff defeat of Hertha Berlin in May.
Torun Joins VfB Stuttgart
Turkish international Tunay Torun has signed with Stuttgart on a free transfer from Hertha Berlin. The Hamburg born attacker began his career in the youth systems of St. Pauli and HSV, making his Bundesliga debut for Hamburg in August, 2008 against Karlsruher SC. He has made 47 Bundesliga appearances for Hamburg and Hertha, whom he joined in the 2011 summer transfer window. The 22 year-old has scored six league goals and was coached by current Stuttgart head man Bruno Labbadia when he began his career with the red shorts.
Stuttgart Sporting Director Fredi Bobic commented on Torun’s acquisition.
We’re very happy that Tunay Torun has opted to join VfB. He’s a young player with full international experience, who can be deployed in a number of positions up front. We have high hopes of him over the next three years.
Torun has represented the senior Turkish squad on five occasions since 2011. His two second-half goals at the BayArena helped earn a reeling Hertha a valuable point in their successful quest to climb to the relegation playoff spot before losing out to Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Borussia Dortmund, Union Berlin Win Fair Play Awards
As if Borussia Dortmund hasn’t earned enough hardware in the past two seasons, they added another by being awarded the Fair Play title for the top flight of German football, edging out FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach. 1. FC Union Berlin earned the 2. Bundesliga award over FC St.Pauli and Eintracht Frankfurt.
According to the official Bundesliga website, the Fair Play award is granted according on the following basis.
The judging criteria to determine the final ranking takes into account the number of yellow and red cards a team received, a positive and attractive playing style, respecting opponents, respecting referees, behaviour of team officials and crowd behaviour.
International Action: Euro 2012 and World Cup Qualifiers
Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandoski scored Poland’s only goal in their opening 2012 Euro contest with Greece, a dramatic affair that finished as a 1-1 draw. Dortmund teammates Jakub Blaszczykowski and Lukasz Piszczek, along with Mainz’ Eugene Polanski started for the Poles, while Werder Bremen loanee Sokratis Papastathopoulos was the victim of a harsh 2nd yellow card for the Greeks. Schalke’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Konstantis Fortounis of Kaiserslautern also saw action for the Greek squad.
Russia demolished the Czech Republic 4-1 in the Euros on a rainy day in Wroclaw. The Czechs featured three Bundesliga players among their starting eleven, including Hertha Berlin’s Roman Hubnik, Petr Jiracek of Wolfsburg, and Leverkusen’s Michael Kadlec.
In Asian World Cup qualifiers, Japan defeated Jordan 6-0, with Wolfsburg’s Makato Hasebe, Schalke’s Atsuto Uchido and Shinji Okazaki of Stuttgart earning starting positions. Former Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa scored for the Japanese. FC Augsburg’s onloan striker Koo Ja-Cheol was in the starting lineup for South Korea as they downed Qatar 4-1. Robbie Kruse of Fortuna Dusseldorf came on as a late sub for Australia’s Socceroos in their scoreless draw with Oman.
In CONCACAF qualifiers, another Fortuna Dusseldorf man, Olivier Occean scored the only goal in Canada’s 1-0 win over Cuba. Defenders Kevin McKenna of FC Koln and Nik Ledgerwood of SV Wehen helped the Canadians earn the clean sheet. Hannover captain Steve Cherundolo, along with Jermaine Jones of Schalke started for the USA in their WCQ against Antigua and Barbuda, while Stuttgart’s Francisco ‘Maza’ Rodriguez was in Mexico’s starting XI in their qualifier with Guyana.