Technically gifted and versatile, Gonzalo Jara started out as a right-back before switching to the centre of defence, though he can also play on the left flank and as a holding midfielder. Jara announced himself to the world in captaining Chile at the 2005 South American U-20 Championship, a year in which he also played at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherlands and was voted player of the season at Huachipato, the club where he started his career.
Jara was 20 when he earned his first full international cap under Nelson Acosta in 2006. The following year, Colo-Colo beat a number of other clubs to his signature. In 2009, having cemented his place in La Roja under Marcelo Bielsa, he moved to West Bromwich Albion in England before enjoying spells with Nottingham Forest and German club Mainz 05. He then returned home to sign for Universidad de Chile.
A first choice at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, he was handed a ten-match suspension from the national team in 2011 for indiscipline. After making an apology, Jara returned to the Chile side, playing in the qualifiers for Brazil 2014. He then impressed at the global showpiece tournament and in La Roja’s triumphs at the 2015 Copa America and the 2016 Copa America Centenario.