South Korean footballer Cha Du-ri has been released by his German club, team officials said Thursday.
Fortuna Dusseldorf of the Bundesliga, the top-flight German league, announced on its website that Cha’s contract has been terminated “by mutual agreement,” even though it expires in June 2014.
Cha, 32, joined Dusseldorf from Celtic FC in the Scottish Premier League in June last year. In his first German season, he made 11 appearances, 10 of them as a substitute, without scoring a goal.
Cha struggled to fit in following a position change. After starting as a forward, Cha switched to a defensive back in 2006, and had enjoyed a solid club career with three Bundesliga clubs and then Celtic.
Then upon joining Dusseldorf, he was asked to switch back to forward.
Though he showed flashes of offensive skills in exhibition matches against lower-tier clubs, Cha never found his footing in regular-season contests.
The team also gave him a special leave, citing family reasons, early in the season, which apparently affected his performance.
Sources said Cha had a special clause in his contract that would make him a free agent if Dusseldorf gets demoted to the second division for next year.
In the 18-team Bundelisga, the two worst teams are automatically relegated to the second tier, replaced by the top two clubs from the lower division. (Yonhap News)