|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.
Fernando Carlos Redondo Neri (born 6 June 1969) is an Argentine retired footballer.
A defensive midfielder with the ability to contribute both offensively and creatively, 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.
Early years / Tenerife
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 the coach was appointed at 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 the UEFA Champions League in 1998 and 2000. During the second victorious campaign in the latter competition, his 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 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, opposing manager 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, he was named by daily newspaper Marca as a member of the "Best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history", and 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: he 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 Santiago Bernabéu Stadium protesting the transfer. However, he suffered a serious knee injury in one of his first training sessions for his new team, 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.
In 2004, at the age of 34, Redondo retired from professional football following another knee injury.
Redondo gained 29 caps for Argentina, the bulk of his appearances coming from 1992 to 1994 while Alfio Basile was the manager. His first appearance was on 18 June 1992, in a 2–0 friendly win over Australia.
Redondo 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."
In the 1994 World Cup Redondo started in all of Argentina's matches, but was unable to prevent the country from falling 2–3 to Romania in the round-of-16. Following the tournament in the United States he refused to play under Daniel Passarella who had banned long hair, earrings and homosexuals in his squad, leading to disputes with several players. The former refused the latter's demand to cut his hair, and was left out of the national team, as even Diego Maradona and president Carlos Menem went on to take sides in the situation.
Passarella excluded Redondo from his 1998 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." The player 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 exhibition matches with Brazil. Although he was chosen Man of the match in the 2–0 victory in Buenos Aires he refused any subsequent call-ups, preferring to focus on club football.
Style of play
An elegant deep-lying playmaker who played in front of the defence, Redondo's main attributes were his creative passing, vision, technique and close control with his left foot, his ability to control the tempo of his team's play in midfield making him a key member of the Real Madrid side of the 90s. Despite not having a great deal of pace, he possessed good acceleration and was an efficient and aggressive tackler, who contributed defensively just as much as he did offensively.
Although he is regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, Redondo's career was also largely marked by injuries, in particular during the final years of his career.
- Real Madrid
- UEFA Champions League: 1997–98, 1999–2000
- La Liga: 1994–95, 1996–97
- Intercontinental Cup: 1998
- Supercopa de España: 1997; Runner-up 1995
- 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
- "Il regista di centrocampo: da Redondo a Verratti passando per Pirlo e Xavi" [Midfield playmakers: from Redondo to Verratti through Pirlo and Xavi] (in Italian). Fanta Gazzetta. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- "Fernando Carlos Redondo Neri "Il Principe"" [Fernando Carlos Redondo Neri "The Prince"] (in Italian). Maglia Rossonera. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- One-touch perfectionist; The Guardian, 21 May 2000
- A prince retires; The New York Sun, 30 November 2004
- "The best foreign eleven in Real Madrid's history". Marca. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- Furious Redondo joins Milan for £11m; The Guardian, 28 July 2000
- Madrid lose Redondo to Milan; BBC Sport, 27 July 2000
- 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
- Daniel Passarella – Argentinian manager; at BBC
- Spain/Argentina: Argentina's major controversy of the moment-the length of midfielder Fernando Redondo's hair; ITN Source, 6 September 1995
- Ace Batistuta keen to play for Liverpool; Irish Examiner, 22 April 1998
- Blair Newman (24 April 2015). "The relationship between a player's age and their position on a football pitch". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "Real Madrid's key players". BBC Sport. 23 May 2000. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "Ivan Zamorano: Perfect XI". FourFourTwo. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "A prince at the Bernabéu". Real Madrid C.F. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- Hughes, Sam (11 February 2012). "When El Rey Fernando ruled Madrid". El Centrocampista. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
- Mike Zizzo (15 June 1994). "Baggio takes great strides toward soccer greatness". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- Christopher Clarey (30 June 1998). "World Cup '98; Argentina's coach knows way to ultimate prize". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- Mike Penner (13 June 1998). "For a world of reasons, many standouts are sitting this out". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- Nadia Carminati. "Spurs keep tabs on Redondo". Sky Sports. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "Fernando Redondo". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- FIFA Awards; at RSSSF
- Fernando Redondo profile at BDFutbol
- Fernando Redondo at National-Football-Teams.com
- Fernando Redondo – FIFA competition record
- SuperFutbol biography (Spanish)
- Futbol Factory biography (Spanish)
- L'Équipe stats (French)