|Full name||Fernando Ruiz Hierro|
|Date of birth||23 March 1968|
|Place of birth||Vélez-Málaga, Spain|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Centre back / Defensive midfielder|
|2014–2015||Real Madrid (assistant)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He won five La Liga and three Champions League trophies with Real Madrid over 14 years after signing from Valladolid, during which he appeared in more than 500 official matches. He also competed professionally in Qatar and England.
Hierro represented Spain on nearly 90 occasions, appearing in four World Cups and two European Championships. He started working as a manager in 2016 with Oviedo, being appointed at the helm of the national team two years later.
Early years / Real Madrid
Hierro was born in Vélez-Málaga, Province of Málaga. After beginning his football career at local club Vélez CF he had a very brief youth spell with neighbouring CD Málaga, where he was told he was not good enough for the sport, which prompted a return home. He eventually made his La Liga debut with Real Valladolid, being bought by Real Madrid in the summer of 1989 after two solid seasons.
At Real, Hierro scored seven goals in 37 games in his first season, and eventually had his position on the field advanced by coach Radomir Antić, continuing his good performances with the addition of goals – in three seasons combined he netted an astonishing 44 league goals, 21 alone in 1991–92, a career-best. During years, he often partnered club great Manolo Sanchís in the centre of the defense, being instrumental in the conquest of five leagues and three UEFA Champions League trophies and being named captain after the latter's retirement.
On 24 March 2002, Hierro scored a hat-trick in a 3–1 home win against Real Zaragoza, although the ultimate leader would be Valencia CF. He was released at the end of the 2002–03 season alongside club manager Vicente del Bosque, under rather unceremonious circumstances; having appeared in 497 top division matches over the course of 16 seasons (105 goals), he then chose a lucrative move to the wealthy but developing Middle East football industry, joining Qatar's Al Rayyan Sports Club.
After just one year, Hierro returned to Europe to sign with Premier League side Bolton Wanderers on the advice of his English teammate at Real Madrid Steve McManaman, and teaming up with another former player of that club, Iván Campo. He scored once during his tenure, which came in a 2–3 loss at Norwich City in December 2004 and, even though hard-pressed by fans and manager Sam Allardyce to stay for a further campaign, he announced his retirement from professional football on 10 May 2005.
Hierro was capped 89 times for Spain and scored 29 goals, being only surpassed by Raúl (who also took over his captain armband in June 2002, when he retired), David Silva, Fernando Torres and David Villa. He made his debut on 20 September 1989 – freshly signed by Madrid – in a 1–0 friendly win with Poland in A Coruña, and appeared for the nation in the 1990 (although only as a squad member), 1994, 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups, as well as UEFA Euro 1996 (where he missed a penalty as Spain crashed out to hosts England in a shootout) and 2000.
One of Hierro's most important goals came during the 1994 World Cup qualification, as he headed the winner against Denmark that allowed ten-men Spain to qualify for the final tournament in the United States. In the finals, he scored after an individual effort against Switzerland in the round of 16, before his team was eliminated by Italy in the quarter-finals following a 2–1 loss.
Although he had already been in charge for a few weeks, Hierro was officially presented as sporting director of the Royal Spanish Football Federation in late September 2007. He remained four years in the position.
Hierro returned to his native region in July 2011, being appointed Málaga CF's director of football. On 28 May 2012, even though the club finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League for the first time ever, he left his position.
On 10 July 2014, Hierro was named assistant coach of Real Madrid, replacing Zinedine Zidane – who left to take the reins of Real Madrid Castilla – in Carlo Ancelotti's staff. He was given his first full managerial role two years later, being appointed at Segunda División side Real Oviedo for the upcoming season with the option of a further year; on 14 June 2017, after missing out on the promotion playoffs on the final matchday, he left the Estadio Carlos Tartiere by mutual consent.
Hierro returned to the Royal Spanish Football Federation as sporting director on 27 November 2017. He was appointed as the manager of Spain on 13 June 2018 after the sacking of Julen Lopetegui two days before their first match at the World Cup, following the latter's decision to join Real Madrid after the tournament. Two days later, he led the team to a 3–3 group stage draw against Portugal; on 8 July, following a penalty shootout loss to hosts Russia in the round of 16, he stepped down from his post and also announced that he would not return to his role as sporting director.
Style of play
Equally at ease as a central defender, sweeper or defensive midfielder, Hierro had the ability, at his peak, to combine solid defensive play with a near-unlimited passing range and surprising goalscoring talent, which made him one of the world's most sought-after players. A large, physically imposing and intimidating defensive presence, he was also known for his positional sense, strength in the air, tenacity and the ability to time his challenges well.
|Club||Season||League||Cup||League or Super Cup||Continental||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Supercopa de España||Europe||Total|
|Real Madrid||1989–90||La Liga||37||7||5||0||–||4||0||46||7|
|Qatar||League||Emir of Qatar Cup||League Cup||Asia||Total|
|Al Rayyan||2003–04||Qatar Stars League||19||3||–||–||–||19||3|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Bolton Wanderers||2004–05||Premier League||29||1||0||0||0||0||–||29||1|
|1.||19 December 1990||Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain||Albania||4–0||9–0||Euro 1992 qualifying|
|2.||19 February 1992||Luís Casanova, Valencia, Spain||CIS||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
|3.||11 March 1992||Nuevo José Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain||United States||2–0||2–0|
|4.||22 April 1992||Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain||Albania||3–0||3–0||1994 World Cup qualification|
|5.||28 April 1993||Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain||Northern Ireland||3–1||3–1|
|6.||17 November 1993||Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain||Denmark||1–0||1–0|
|7.||2 July 1994||RFK Memorial Stadium, Washington, United States||Switzerland||1–0||3–0||1994 FIFA World Cup|
|8.||17 December 1994||Constant Vanden Stock, Brussels, Belgium||Belgium||1–1||1–4||Euro 1996 qualifying|
|9.||7 June 1995||Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain||Armenia||1–0 (p)||1–0|
|10.||6 September 1995||Nuevo Los Cármenes, Granada, Spain||Cyprus||5–0||6–0|
|11.||11 October 1995||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark||Denmark||0–1 (p)||1–1|
|12.||4 September 1996||Svangaskarð, Toftir, Faroe Islands||Faroe Islands||1–5||2–6||1998 World Cup qualification|
|13.||13 November 1996||Heliodoro Rodríguez López, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain||Slovakia||4–1||4–1|
|14.||30 April 1997||Crvena Zvezda, Belgrade, Serbia||Yugoslavia||0–1 (p)||1–1|
|15.||8 June 1997||Nuevo José Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain||Czech Republic||1–0 (p)||1–0|
|16.||13 June 1998||La Beaujoire, Nantes, France||Nigeria||1–0||2–3||1998 FIFA World Cup|
|17.||24 June 1998||Félix-Bollaert, Lens, France||Bulgaria||1–0 (p)||6–1|
|18.||14 October 1998||Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv, Israel||Israel||1–1||1–2||Euro 2000 qualifying|
|19.||27 March 1999||Mestalla, Valencia, Spain||Austria||4–0 (p)||9–0|
|20.||5 May 1999||Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain||Croatia||2–1 (p)||3–1||Friendly|
|21.||5 June 1999||El Madrigal, Villarreal, Spain||San Marino||1–0||9–0||Euro 2000 qualifying|
|22.||4 September 1999||Ernst-Happel, Vienna, Austria||Austria||1–2||1–3|
|23.||8 September 1999||Nuevo Vivero, Badajoz, Spain||Cyprus||8–0||8–0|
|24.||7 October 2000||Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain||Israel||2–0||2–0||2002 World Cup qualification|
|25.||15 November 2000||La Cartuja, Seville, Spain||Netherlands||1–0||1–2||Friendly|
|26.||24 March 2001||José Rico Pérez, Alicante, Spain||Liechtenstein||3–0 (p)||5–0||2002 World Cup qualification|
|27.||2 June 2001||Carlos Tartiere, Oviedo, Spain||Bosnia and Herzegovina||1–0||4–1|
|28.||2 June 2002||Gwangju World Cup Stadium, Gwangju, South Korea||Slovenia||3–1 (p)||3–1||2002 FIFA World Cup|
|29.||7 June 2002||Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonju, South Korea||Paraguay||3–1 (p)||3–1|
- Notably, during the match against Austria on 4 September 1999, Hierro scored at both ends.
- As of match played 1 July 2018
|Oviedo||8 June 2016||13 June 2017||43||17||10||16||50||51||−1||39.53|||
|Spain||13 June 2018||8 July 2018||4||1||3||0||7||6||+1||25.00|
- La Liga: 1989–90, 1994–95, 1996–97, 2000–01, 2002–03
- Copa del Rey: 1992–93
- Supercopa de España: 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001
- UEFA Champions League: 1997–98, 1999–2000, 2001–02
- Intercontinental Cup: 1998, 2002
- UEFA Super Cup: 2002
- Copa Iberoamericana: 1994
- Emir of Qatar Cup: 2003–04
- FIFA XI: 1996, 1997, 1998
- UEFA Club Defender of the Year: 1997–98
- ESM Team of the Year: 1996–97, 1997–98
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2002
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- "1–0: El pie de Míchel marcó ante Polonia el camino que España buscará en Hungria" [1–0: Míchel's foot set track in Poland that Spain will seek in Hungary]. ABC (in Spanish). 21 September 1989. p. 81. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
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- "Fernando Hierro será el nuevo ayudante de Carlo Ancelotti" [Fernando Hierro will be Carlo Ancelotti's new assistant]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 10 July 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "Fernando Hierro named new boss of Spanish side Real Oviedo". Sky Sports. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
- "Hierro departs Real Oviedo". Football España. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- "Fernando Hierro reappointed Spanish Football Association sporting director". ESPN. 27 November 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
- Rubio, Carmelo (13 June 2018). "OFFICIAL | Fernando Hierro to assume role as head coach for the Russia World Cup". Royal Spanish Football Federation. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- Lowe, Sid (13 June 2018). "Julen Lopetegui sacked as Spain manager after accepting Real Madrid job". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
- "Live | Cristiano Ronaldo scores sensational hat-trick as Portugal hold Spain in instant World Cup classic: live updates". The Daily Telegraph. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- "OFFICIAL | Fernando Hierro steps down as Spain sporting director". Royal Spanish Football Federation. 8 July 2018. Archived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
- "World Record of the national championships (1888/89 – 2007)". International Federation of Football History & Statistics. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
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- "Top 50 hardest footballers". Empire. 13 August 2007. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- Extremera, Fran (17 September 2013). "Fallece el padre de Fernando y Manolo Hierro" [Father of Fernando and Manolo Hierro dies]. La Opinión de Málaga (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- "La saga de los Hierro" [The Hierro saga] (in Spanish). Historias del Real Madrid. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- Fernando Hierro at BDFutbol
- "Fernando Hierro". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "España vuelve a ganar a Austria y pone un pie en la fase final de la Eurocopa del 2000" [Spain defeat Austria again and are all but qualified to Euro 2000]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 4 September 1999. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- "Hierro: Fernando Ruiz Hierro". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "Las competiciones oficiales de la CONMEBOL" [The CONMEBOL official competitions] (in Spanish). CONMEBOL. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
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