|Full name||Fernando Carlos Redondo Neri|
|Date of birth||6 June 1969|
|Place of birth||Adrogué, Argentina|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Fernando Carlos Redondo Neri (born 6 June 1969) is an Argentine retired footballer. A defensive midfielder with the ability to contribute offensively, he played one full decade in La Liga, mainly for Real Madrid, then finished his career (curtailed by several injury problems) in Italy with Milan. Redondo was a member of the Argentine national team in the 1990s, representing the nation in the 1994 World Cup.
Early life and career
Redondo made his debut in La Liga with CD Tenerife, under the management of countryman Jorge Solari. During this period, Real Madrid twice lost the league title to arch-rivals FC Barcelona on the final day of the season, in matches against Tenerife, who were managed by Jorge Valdano and, when Valdano was appointed manager of Real Madrid in the summer of 1994, the player also made the move, for a fee of US$5 million.
The key years of Redondo's career were spent at Real Madrid, where he won two league championships and two European Cups in 1998 and 2000. During the second victorious European campaign Redondo's performances won him the competition's Most Valuable Player award, with new coach Vicente del Bosque utilising him in a midfield combination with Steve McManaman. In the quarterfinals against Manchester United at Old Trafford, he was the author of a spectacular play in which he dribbled past defender Henning Berg by backheeling the ball around him, recovering it and assisting Raúl for Real Madrid's third goal (3–2 win, 3–2 on aggregate). After the game Sir Alex Ferguson said “What does this player have in his boots? A magnet?”
During his time in Madrid Redondo earned the nickname El Principe ("The Prince"). In April 2013, Redondo was named by daily newspaper Marca as a member of the "Best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history". He amassed Spanish top division totals of 268 games and 12 goals over the course of one full decade.
In 2000 Redondo transferred to Serie A club A.C. Milan, in a controversial £11m move. Redondo stated that he was not involved in transfer discussions and expressed his desire to stay at Madrid. In response, a section of Real Madrid supporters gathered outside the Bernabeu stadium protesting the transfer. However, Redondo suffered a serious knee injury in one of his first training sessions for Milan and was unable to play for the next 2½ years. He suspended his £2.74m-a-year salary, and even tried to give back the house and car which the Milan board had given him. By 2003 Redondo had returned to first team action and won his third European Cup medal that year.
In 2004, at the age of 34, Redondo retired from professional football following another knee injury. Following his retirement, he moved back to Buenos Aires to be closer to his family; he was good friends with Diego Maradona, who acted as a mentor early in his career.
He turned down a call-up to the national team just before the 1990 FIFA World Cup, when it was coached by Carlos Salvador Bilardo. The player excused himself on account of not wanting to interrupt his law studies, but it was also reported that he objected to Bilardo's defensive strategy. Redondo later explained: "I was picked for Argentina's World Cup squad in 1990 but I knew I wasn't going to be in the starting line-up, I would just be another squad member, so I preferred to stay home."
His national side debut came on 18 June 1992, in a 2–0 victory against Australia. In the 1994 World Cup Redondo started in all of Argentina's matches, but was unable to prevent Argentina from falling 3–2 to Romania in the round-of-16.
Following the 1994 World Cup, Redondo refused to play under Daniel Passarella, who was coach from 1994 - 1998. Passarella had banned long hair, earrings and homosexuals in his squad, leading to disputes with several players. Redondo refused Passarella's demand to cut his hair and was left out of the national team. Redondo's hair became a major news story in the Argentine media, with Diego Maradona and President Carlos Menem taking sides. In 1998 Passarella excluded Redondo from the World Cup squad, stating: "Twice he was asked to play for the national team and twice he refused and gave a different reason each time. Then he announced publicly he did not want to play for the national team and I do not pick any player who does not want to play for Argentina." Redondo later explained: "I was in great form. But he had particular ideas about discipline and wanted me to have my hair cut. I didn't see what that had to do with playing football so I said no again."
In 1999, when Argentina was managed by Marcelo Bielsa, Redondo was recalled to the national side for two friendlies against Brazil. Although he was chosen Man of the match in the 2–0 victory in Buenos Aires, he refused any subsequent call-ups from Bielsa, preferring to focus on club football.
Since entering retirement, Redondo often appeared in many high profile exhibition matches contested by select squads of past and present footballing greats, including; Franco Baresi, Franz Beckenbauer, Frank Rijkaard, Ruud Gullit, Zlatko Zahovič, Aleksandr Mostovoi, Marco van Basten and Tony Yeboah, amongst others.
- Real Madrid
- La Liga: 1994–95, 1996–97
- Supercopa de España: 1997; Runner-up 1995
- UEFA Champions League: 1997–98, 1999–2000
- Intercontinental Cup: 1998
- UEFA Super Cup: Runner-up 1998
- South American Under-17 Football Championship: 1985
- FIFA Confederations Cup: 1992
- Copa América: 1993
- FIFA Confederations Cup: Golden Ball 1992
- Tenerife Player of The Year: 1992–93, 1993–94
- Real Madrid Player of The Year: 1996–97, 1999–2000
- ESM Team of the Year: 1997–98
- Trofeo EFE: Player of The Decade 1990–99
- UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 1999–2000
- One-touch perfectionist; The Guardian, 21 May 2000
- "The best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history". Marca. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- Football knowledge: Players who fell short of a century of caps; The Guardian, 13 February 2008
- Two-year agony over as Milan ace roars back; The Free Libraby, 13 January 2003
- Ace Batistuta keen to play for Liverpool; Irish Examiner, 22 April 1998
- FIFA Awards; at RSSSF
- BDFutbol profile
- Fernando Redondo at National-Football-Teams.com
- SuperFutbol biography (Spanish)
- Futbol Factory biography (Spanish)
- L'Équipe stats (French)
- "A Prince Retires", New York Sun, 2004