Luis Fernández

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Luis Fernández
Luis Fernandez.jpg
Personal information
Full name Luis Miguel Fernández Toledo
Date of birth (1959-10-02) 2 October 1959 (age 57)
Place of birth Tarifa, Spain
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Youth career
1969–1970 HAVE Minguettes
1970–1978 St-Priest
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1986 Paris Saint-Germain 225 (30)
1986–1989 RC Paris 59 (3)
1989–1993 Cannes 93 (5)
Total 377 (38)
National team
1982–1992 France 60 (6)
Teams managed
1992–1994 Cannes
1994–1996 Paris Saint-Germain
1996–2000 Athletic Bilbao
2000–2003 Paris Saint-Germain
2003–2004 Espanyol
2005 Al-Rayyan
2005–2006 Beitar Jerusalem
2006–2007 Real Betis
2008–2009 Reims
2010–2011 Israel
2015–2016 Guinea
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Luis Miguel Fernández Toledo (French pronunciation: ​[lwis fɛʁ.nɑ̃.dɛz]; Spanish pronunciation: [lwis feɾˈnandeθ]; born 2 October 1959) is a French former footballer who played as a defender or midfielder. He retired as a player in 1993 to become a manager.

Fernández has managed Cannes and Paris Saint-Germain among other clubs, and is the individual credited with bringing Ronaldinho to Europe.

As an active player, Fernández earned 60 international caps and scored 6 goals for the France national team between 1982 and 1992. He served as the Stade de Reims manager from December 2008 to June 2009.

Fernández was born in Tarifa, Spain, and moved to France with his parents at age nine. He began playing football at the AS Minguettes and became a naturalized French citizen in 1981.

Fernández is currently a sport radio talk host with RMC; his daily show is called Luis Attaque.

Playing career[edit]

Club career[edit]

Fernández signed his first professional contract at age 19 with Paris Saint-Germain.

After the elimination from the 1986 FIFA World Cup, and just after he had won the Ligue 1 championship with PSG, Fernández made the decision to join Jean-Luc Lagardere's team Racing Club de Paris. However, in spite of a team that was strong on paper, the club and Fernández did not succeed, and he left Racing after three seasons.

From Racing, Fernández joined Cannes in 1989, a more modest club. At club level, Cannes was relegated to Ligue 2 at the end of the 1991–92 season, but Fernández decided to remain with the club and end his career when his contract expired. A few weeks, however, Cannes named Fernández its manager, and so he finished the season as player-manager, leading Cannes back to Ligue 1 at the end of the season. He then retired from playing professionally to become a full-time manager.

International career[edit]

Fernández quickly established himself as an expert in winning the ball, but also capable of precise passing, and at the end of 1982, he was called up for the France national team and debuted against the Netherlands on 10 November 1982. At age 23, Fernández was immediately an important part of the team that only months earlier had been semi-finalists of the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He formed the national midfield with such French national greats as Jean Tigana in the central midfield, and the offensive players Alain Giresse and Michel Platini, a midfield that became known as the "magic square".[1] With the national team, Fernández won UEFA Euro 1984 at home in France, and reached the semi-final of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Fernández was still a part of the French national team in spite of a declining physique. Not a starting player under new national team manager Michel Platini, Fernández would play the role of a late joker, with the job to clinch a result at the end of the match. Fernández took part in Euro 1992, where France were eliminated in the group stage, and Fernández decided to end his international career.

Managerial career[edit]

Cannes[edit]

After Cannes' promotion to Ligue 1, Fernández continued his work at the club and led it to UEFA Cup qualification. He was named Best Trainer of Ligue 1 at the end of the 1993–94 season, on grounds of Fernández' alluring philosophy of offensive tactics with a use of young players. The profile of Fernández particularly interested Paris Saint-Germain. Despite winning Ligue 1 and having a good run in the Champions League, PSG failed to play attractive football, partly because of Portuguese manager Artur Jorge, who applied a more rigid strategic system. The board of PSG saw in Fernández the ideal manager to reform the image of the club.

Paris Saint-Germain[edit]

Fernández's first season in charge of Paris Saint-Germain was a success. Although PSG was quickly outpaced in the Ligue 1 championship race by an impressive Nantes side, PSG managed to win the two national cups, the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, as well as an impressive showing in the Champions League concluded by elimination in the semi-finals by Milan. The strongest displays by Fernández and the PSG team being the quarter-final win, over two matches, against the great Barcelona side of Johan Cruyff. The second season at PSG, saw the beginning of the end for Fernández. Beaten to the title once more in Ligue 1, PSG found the European competitions to be a breath of fresh-air, and they won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup after victory in the final against Rapid Wien, making Fernández the first French manager to win a major European trophy. This prestigious victory was not sufficient to keep Fernández in the PSG hotseat, however; following the missed championship, Fernández left Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the 1995–96 season.

Athletic Club de Bilbao[edit]

Fernández was then contacted by Spanish La Liga side Athletic Bilbao, a club Fernández led to Champions League qualification and where he would spend four seasons.

Paris Saint-Germain (second spell)[edit]

In 2000, Fernández returned to France and in December that year he once more took the seat at PSG, replacing Philippe Bergeroo. Even though he was in charge of a team of such stars as Jay-Jay Okocha, Nicolas Anelka and especially Ronaldinho, Fernández never got the results to satisfy the ambitions of the club. In spite of the support of the fans with whom his popularity always remained very strong, Luis Fernández was sacked at the end of the 2002–2003 season, after two and half years.

Espanyol[edit]

On 4 November 2003, Fernández was hired by Espanyol, who at the time were situated in last place in the league table;[2] he managed to save the Catalan club from relegation [3] before leaving at the end of the season.

Al-Rayyan & Beitar Jerusalem[edit]

After leaving Espanyol, Fernández enjoyed brief spells in the Middle East with Qatar's Al-Rayyan and Israel's Beitar Jerusalem, taking the latter to the UEFA Cup.

Real Betis[edit]

Fernández joined Real Betis midway through the 2006–07 La Liga season and Betis' centenary season. However, he was released on 10 June 2007 following a 5–0 loss at the Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera to Osasuna with just one match remaining in Betis' relegation threatened season. Including Copa del Rey matches, Fernández led Betis for 26 matches, winning 5, drawing 16 and losing 7. His tenure lasted from 27 December 2006 to 10 June 2007.[4]

Stade de Reims[edit]

Fernández joined Stade de Reims halfway through the 2008–09 season. Reims were playing in Ligue 2, the second tier of French football, but Fernández was unable to avoid relegation. He was replaced in June 2009 by Marc Collat.[5]

Israel[edit]

On 21 March 2010, a press conference was held to announce Fernández's appointment as head coach of the Israel national team.[6] His contract was not renewed after Israel failed to qualify for UEFA Euro 2012.

Guinea[edit]

On 24 June 2016, Fernandez left the Guinea national team.[7]

Honours[edit]

Player[edit]

Club[edit]

Paris Saint-Germain

International[edit]

France

Individual[edit]

Manager[edit]

Club[edit]

Paris Saint-Germain
Athletic Bilbao

References[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Michel Platini
France national football team captain
1987–1988
Succeeded by
Manuel Amoros