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Matías Fernández

 

Matías Fernández

Matías Fernández
Fernández with Fiorentina in 2015
Personal information
Full name Matías Ariel Fernández Fernández
Date of birth (1986-05-15) 15 May 1986
Place of birth Caballito, Argentina
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Fiorentina
Number 14
Youth career
1996–1998 Unión La Calera
1998–2004 Colo-Colo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2006 Colo-Colo 82 (37)
2006–2009 Villarreal 70 (7)
2009–2012 Sporting CP 69 (12)
2012– Fiorentina 76 (6)
National team
2005 Chile U20 13 (5)
2005– Chile 67 (14)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 August 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 October 2015

Matías Ariel Fernández Fernández (Spanish pronunciation: , born 15 May 1986) is a Chilean professional footballer who plays for Italian club ACF Fiorentina as an attacking midfielder. He is known for his dribbling skills, also being a free-kick specialist.

After starting out at Colo-Colo he played several seasons with Villarreal and Sporting Clube de Portugal, moving to Europe in 2006.

Fernández was elected South American Footballer of the Year in 2006, and also appeared for the Chilean national team in the 2010 World Cup and three Copa América tournaments, winning the 2015 edition of the latter tournament.

Early life

Fernández was born in the Caballito neighbourhood in Buenos Aires to Argentine mother Mirtha and Chilean father Humberto. He moved to La Calera, Chile, at the age of just four.

Fernández always considered himself Chilean, having moved out of his birth nation very early.

Club career

Colo-Colo

Fernández began with the youth squads of Colo-Colo at the age of 12. His debut in the first division came on 1 August 2004 against Club Universidad de Chile, and a week later he scored his first two goals, against Cobresal.

Fernández would go on to net a total of eight goals in the 2004 Clausura, and was named best young player of the season. In the 2006 Apertura he helped Colo-Colo capture their 24th title and, in December of the same year, he helped it reach the final of the 2006 Southamerican Cup, lost to C.F. Pachuca of Mexico, by scoring nine times in six games for the tournament; he left Colo-Colo on a high note, winning the 2006 Clausura tournament and the South American Footballer of the Year award.

Villarreal

In late October 2006 Fernández was signed by Spanish side Villarreal CF for a fee of 8.7 million, joining compatriot Manuel Pellegrini who was the club's coach.[1] The transaction was made before he received the "South American Player of the Year" award and, despite reports that Real Madrid and Chelsea were also interested, he agreed to terms and arrived at the Valencia airport on 27 December; on 7 January 2007 he made his La Liga debut against Valencia CF, in a 0–1 away loss, scoring his first goal for the club three months later in a 3–0 league win at Gimnàstic de Tarragona.

Despite having had a buyout clause of €50 million inserted in his contract, Fernández failed to achieve significant playing time during his first three seasons, but still contributed with 30 matches and three goals in 2007–08 as Villarreal finished a club-best runner-up. On 10 May 2009, he scored from a penalty kick in a 3–3 away draw against eventual champions FC Barcelona.[2]

Sporting

On 1 July 2009, after being deemed surplus to requirements by new Villarreal coach Ernesto Valverde, Fernández moved to Sporting Clube de Portugal on a four-year contract, for €3.65 million,[3] with a further €500,000 payable depending on appearances. Villarreal would retain 20% of the profit on any future sale of the player.[4]

On 27 October Fernández scored his first goal for the his new team, in a 1–1 draw at Vitória de Guimarães, adding another the following week also in the league, at home against C.S. Marítimo (again 1–1); in the UEFA Europa League he netted another goal, in injury time of the Lions' 3–0 win against Everton, in the competition's round-of-16 (4–2 on aggregate).[5]

Fernández remained an important offensive unit in 2011–12, under both Domingos Paciência and his successor Ricardo Sá Pinto. He scored three of his four league goals against U.D. Leiria, two in the 3–1 home win[6] and the game's only in the second match through a free kick in the 101st minute – the game had been interrupted for nine minutes due to floodlights malfunction.[7]

Fiorentina

On 27 July 2012, Fernández transferred to Italian club ACF Fiorentina for about €3.1 million, plus €1.5 million bonuses.[8][9] He spent much of his debut campaign on the sidelines, due to injury.

International career

Fernández captained Chile at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, scoring a goal in the 7–0 victory over Honduras. Despite a second-round exit to the Netherlands he displayed overall good football, playing alongside Nicolás Canales, Carlos Villanueva and José Pedro Fuenzalida.

Also a former under-17 international, Fernández quickly established as an integral part of the main side, netting five goals and appearing for the nation at the 2007 Copa América. After figuring prominently in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, he was selected for the finals in South Africa, playing – and starting – in the group stage against Honduras and Switzerland (both 1–0 wins), in an eventual last-16 exit.[10]

In May 2014, Fernández underwent an ankle surgery on his right foot, thus being unable to participate in the final against Argentina, which ended 4–1 in a penalty shootout.[13]

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 8 October 2006 Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile  Peru 1–1 3–2 Pacific Cup
2. 8 October 2006 Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile  Peru 2–1 3–2 Pacific Cup
3. 7 February 2007 José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela  Venezuela 0–1 0–1 Friendly
4. 17 October 2007 Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile  Peru 2–0 2–0 2010 World Cup qualification
5. 10 September 2008 Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile  Colombia 4–0 4–0 2010 World Cup qualification
6. 29 March 2009 Monumental "U", Lima, Peru  Peru 1–3 1–3 2010 World Cup qualification
7. 6 June 2009 Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay  Paraguay 0–1 0–2 2010 World Cup qualification
8. 26 March 2011 Magalhães Pessoa, Leiria, Portugal  Portugal 1–1 1–1 Friendly
9. 29 March 2011 Kyocera, The Hague, Netherlands  Colombia 0–1 0–2 Friendly
10. 19 June 2011 David Arellano, Santiago, Chile  Estonia 1–0 4–0 Friendly
11. 7 October 2011 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Argentina 3–1 4–1 2014 World Cup qualification
12. 29 February 2012 PPL Park, Pennsylvania, United States  Ghana 1–1 1–1 Friendly
13. 9 June 2012 José Antonio Anzoátegui, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela  Venezuela 0–1 0–2 2014 World Cup qualification
14. 11 September 2012 David Arellano, Santiago, Chile  Colombia 1–0 1–3 2014 World Cup qualification

Personal life

Fernández married his Chilean wife in March 2013, but the couple's first child had already been born in late 2008. He was fined for speeding when he was driving from Santiago to Viña del Mar, to witness the baby's birth.[14]

Before moving to Europe he was often compared to compatriot David Pizarro, who spent most of his professional career in Italy.[15]

Honours

[16]

Club

Colo-Colo
Sporting
Fiorentina

Country

Individual

References

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  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Matías Fernández – FIFA competition record
  11. ^
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  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

External links

  • Statistics at Irish Times
  • Matías Fernández profile at BDFutbol
  • Matías Fernández at footballzz.co.uk
  • Matías Fernández profile at ForaDeJogo
  • Matías Fernández at National-Football-Teams.com
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