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Matías Fernández
Matías Fernández.jpg
Personal information
Full name Matías Ariel Fernández Fernández
Date of birth 15 May 1986 (1986-05-15) (age 23)
Place of birth    Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9+12 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current club Sporting CP
Number 14
Youth career

1998–2004
Unión La Calera
Colo-Colo
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
2004–2006
2007–2009
2009–
Colo-Colo
Villarreal
Sporting CP
112 (57)
071 0(7)
020 0(3)   
National team2
2005– Chile 035 0(7)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 1 November 2009.
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 1 February 2010.
* Appearances (Goals)

Matías Ariel Fernández Fernández (born 15 May 1986 in Buenos Aires) is a Chilean footballer who currently plays for Sporting Clube de Portugal in Portugal's first division.

An attacking midfielder with playmaking and dribbling skills, also being a free-kick specialist, he is known by several nicknames: Mati, El Pelusa and Matigol. Fernández is also a member of the Chilean national team.

Contents

Early life

Fernández was born in the Caballito neighbourhood in Buenos Aires to Argentine mother Mirtha and Chilean father Humberto, and moved to La Calera, Chile at just four, being earlier referred to as a young Diego Maradona by a neighbour, after watching a game he played.

Fernández has two brothers, Ezequiel and Nazareno. He considers himself Chilean, having moved out of his birth nation very early, without having formed a vivid memory of those years.

Club career

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 archrival Universidad de Chile. A week later he scored his first two goals against Club Deportes Cobresal. In the same season, "Matigol" scored a spectacular goal against Club Deportivo O'Higgins, which immortalized him to fans.[1]

He would go on to score a total of eight goals in the 2004 Clausura, and was named best young player of the season. In the 2006 Apertura, Fernández helped Colo-Colo capture their 24th title. In December of the same year he helped it reach the final of the 2006 Southamerican Cup, where they lost to Club Pachuca of Mexico, scoring nine goals 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.

On 18 October 2006, Fernández was signed by Spanish side Villarreal CF for a fee of 8.7 million, joining compatriot Manuel Pellegrini, the club's coach.[2] The transaction was made before he received the "South American Player of the Year" award (which explains the lower price of his fee). Despite reports that Real Madrid and Chelsea were also interested, he agreed to terms with Villarreal and arrived at the Valencia airport on 27 December. On 7 January 2007, Fernández made his club debut against neighbours Valencia CF, in a 1-0 defeat away at Valencia.

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 games and three goals in 2007–08, as Villarreal finished a club-best runner-up.

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] On October 27, 2009, he scored his first goal for the club, 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).

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, Fernández displayed overall good football, playing alongside Nicolas Canales, Carlos Villanueva and José Pedro Fuenzalida.

Also a former under-17 international, Fernández quickly established as an integral part of the main side, scoring five goals and appearing for the nation at the 2007 Copa América.

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International goals

Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
8 October 2006 Estadio Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile  Peru 1–1 3–2 Pacific Cup
8 October 2006 Estadio Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile  Peru 2–1 3–2 Pacific Cup
7 February 2007 Estadio José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela  Venezuela 0–1 0–1 International Friendly
17 October 2007 Estadio Nacional de Chile, Santiago, Chile  Peru 2–0 2–0 FIFA World Cup qualifier
10 September 2008 Estadio Nacional de Chile, Santiago, Chile  Colombia 4–0 4–0 FIFA World Cup qualifier
29 March 2009 Estadio Monumental "U", Lima, Peru  Peru 1–3 1–3 FIFA World Cup qualifier
6 June 2009 Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Paraguay, Paraguay  Paraguay 0–1 0–2 FIFA World Cup qualifier

Personal life

Fernández has a Chilean girlfriend; the couple's first child was born in late 2008. He was fined for speeding when he was driving from Santiago to Viña del Mar, to witness his child's birth.[4]

He has been often compared to fellow Chilean David Pizarro.[5]

Honours

Team

Individual

References

External links


Simple English

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