Fernández with Fiorentina in 2015
|Full name||Matías Ariel Fernández Fernández|
|Date of birth||15 May 1986|
|Place of birth||Caballito, Argentina|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|1996–1998||Unión La Calera|
|2016–2017||→ Milan (loan)||13||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 September 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 October 2018
Matías Ariel Fernández Fernández (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈti.as aˈɾjel feɾˈnandes feɾˈnandes], born 15 May 1986) is a Chilean professional footballer who plays for Colombian club Atlético Junior as an attacking midfielder. He is known for his dribbling skills, also being a free-kick specialist.
Fernández was elected South American Footballer of the Year in 2006, and also appeared for the Chilean national team in the 2010 World Cup and three Copa América tournaments, winning the 2015 edition of the latter tournament.
Fernández began with the youth squads of Colo-Colo at the age of 12. His debut in the Primera División came on 1 August 2004 against Club Universidad de Chile, and a week later he scored his first two goals, against Cobresal.
Fernández would go on to net a total of eight goals in the 2004 Clausura, and was named best young player of the season. In the 2006 Apertura he helped his team capture their 24th title and, in December of the same year, he helped it reach the final of the Copa Sudamericana, lost to C.F. Pachuca of Mexico, by scoring nine times 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.
In late October 2006, Fernández was signed by Spanish club Villarreal CF for a fee of €8.7 million, joining compatriot Manuel Pellegrini who was the coach. The transaction was made before he received the "South American Player of the Year" award and, despite reports that Real Madrid and Chelsea were also interested, he agreed to terms and arrived at the Valencia airport on 27 December; on 7 January 2007 he made his La Liga debut in a 0–1 home loss against Valencia CF, scoring his first competitive goal three months later in a 3–0 league win at Gimnàstic de Tarragona.
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 matches and three goals in 2007–08 as the team finished a best-ever runners-up. On 10 May 2009, he scored from a penalty kick in a 3–3 away draw against eventual champions FC Barcelona.
On 1 July 2009, after being deemed surplus to requirements by new Villarreal coach Ernesto Valverde, Fernández moved to Sporting CP on a four-year contract, for €3.65 million, with a further €500,000 payable depending on appearances. Villarreal would retain 20% of the profit on any future sale of the player.
Fernández scored his first goal for his new team on 27 October 2009, in a 1–1 draw at Vitória de Guimarães, adding another the following week also in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, at home against C.S. Marítimo (again 1–1); in the UEFA Europa League he netted another goal, in injury time of the Lions' 3–0 win over Everton in the competition's round-of-16 (4–2 on aggregate).
Fernández remained an important attacking unit in 2011–12, under both Domingos Paciência and his successor Ricardo Sá Pinto. He scored three of his four league goals against U.D. Leiria, two in the 3–1 home win and the game's only in the second match through a free kick in the 101st minute – the game had been interrupted for nine minutes due to floodlights malfunction.
On 27 July 2012, Fernández transferred to Italian club ACF Fiorentina for about €3.1 million, plus €1.5 million bonuses. During his spell at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, he was consistently bothered by physical problems.
On 31 August 2016, Fernández moved to fellow Serie A team A.C. Milan on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy. He made his debut on 6 November, coming off the bench in the 2–1 away victory against U.S. Città di Palermo.
On 4 September 2017, free agent Fernández signed with Club Necaxa. On 4 February 2019 he joined Categoría Primera A defending champions Atlético Junior on a one-year contract, scoring a late equaliser on his debut 12 days later after coming on as a second-half substitute in the 1–1 home draw against Rionegro Águilas; he was named player of the match.
Fernández captained the Chile team 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 he displayed overall good football, playing alongside Nicolás Canales, Carlos Villanueva and José Pedro Fuenzalida.
Also a former under-17 international, Fernández quickly established as an integral part of the full side, netting five goals and appearing for the nation at the 2007 Copa América. After figuring prominently in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, he was selected for the finals in South Africa, playing – and starting – in the group stage against Honduras and Switzerland (both 1–0 wins), in an eventual last-16 exit.
In May 2014, Fernández underwent an ankle surgery on his right foot, thus being unable to participate in that year's World Cup. He was included in the Chilean squad for the 2015 Copa América, being sent off in the opening match, a 2–0 win over Ecuador at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago; after having come as a 75th-minute substitute for Jorge Valdivia, he was one of four players on target in the final against Argentina, which ended 4–1 in a penalty shootout.
Fernández married his Chilean wife in March 2013, but the couple's first child had already been born in late 2008. He was fined for speeding when he was driving from Santiago to Viña del Mar, to witness the baby's birth.
- As of match played 16 February 2019
|1.||8 October 2006||Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile||Peru||1–1||3–2||Pacific Cup|
|2.||8 October 2006||Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile||Peru||2–1||3–2||Pacific Cup|
|3.||7 February 2007||José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela||Venezuela||0–1||0–1||Friendly|
|4.||17 October 2007||Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile||Peru||2–0||2–0||2010 World Cup qualification|
|5.||10 September 2008||Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile||Colombia||4–0||4–0||2010 World Cup qualification|
|6.||29 March 2009||Monumental "U", Lima, Peru||Peru||1–3||1–3||2010 World Cup qualification|
|7.||6 June 2009||Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay||Paraguay||0–1||0–2||2010 World Cup qualification|
|8.||26 March 2011||Magalhães Pessoa, Leiria, Portugal||Portugal||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
|9.||29 March 2011||Kyocera, The Hague, Netherlands||Colombia||0–1||0–2||Friendly|
|10.||19 June 2011||David Arellano, Santiago, Chile||Estonia||1–0||4–0||Friendly|
|11.||7 October 2011||Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina||Argentina||3–1||4–1||2014 World Cup qualification|
|12.||29 February 2012||PPL Park, Pennsylvania, United States||Ghana||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
|13.||9 June 2012||José Antonio Anzoátegui, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela||Venezuela||0–1||0–2||2014 World Cup qualification|
|14.||11 September 2012||David Arellano, Santiago, Chile||Colombia||1–0||1–3||2014 World Cup qualification|
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- "Villarreal sign Chilean starlet". UEFA. 28 December 2006. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
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- "El Nàstic pierde 0 a 3 contra el Villarreal" [Nàstic lose 0 to 3 against Villarreal] (in Spanish). Gimnàstic Tarragona. 29 April 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- Steinberg, Jacob (10 May 2009). "Villarreal cancel Barcelona's title celebrations with last gasp equaliser". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
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- "Mais depressão do que pressão" [More depression than pressure]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). 28 October 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
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- "Matías Fernández, el fracaso europeo del que algún día fue el mejor de América" [Matías Fernández, the European failure of who was once America's best]. Publimetro (in Spanish). 4 September 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- "Milan-Mati Fernandez, affare sul finale: alle 22 il sì della Fiorentina al prestito!" [Milan-Mati Fernandez, affair ended: Fiorentina said yes to loan at 22!]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 31 August 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- "Serie A, Palermo-Milan 1–2. Pagelle Milan: Suso educato, Bonaventura inventa" [Serie A, Palermo-Milan 1–2. Milan marks: Suso the educator, Bonaventura the inventor]. Corriere dello Sport (in Italian). 6 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- "Risolto il contratto con Mati Fernandez" [Contract resolution with Mati Fernandez] (in Italian). ACF Fiorentina. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
- "Club Necaxa anuncia a Matías Fernández como refuerzo para el torneo Apertura 2017" [Club Necaxa announce Matías Fernández as addition for Apertura 2017 tournament.] (in Spanish). Club Necaxa. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
- "Matías Fernández, refuerzo estrella del Junior" [Matías Fernández, Junior star signing] (in Spanish). Caracol Radio. 4 February 2019. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
- Tapia, Carlos (16 February 2019). "Figura: Matías Fernández hace un gol agónico en su debut por Junior" [Star: Matías Fernández scores agonising goal on his debut for Junior]. La Tercera (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- Matías Fernández – FIFA competition record
- "Chile's Matias Fernandez out for World Cup with ankle injury". Sports Illustrated. 21 May 2014. Archived from the original on 29 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- "Vidal and Vargas lead hosts Chile to opening Copa América victory". The Guardian. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Dawkes, Phil (5 July 2015). "Chile 0–0 Argentina (Chile win 4–1 on penalties)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
- "Gonzalez replaces Fernandez in Chile's Copa America squad". FourFourTwo. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
- "Papá, no corras..." [Papa, don't run...] (in Spanish). ESPN Deportes. 24 October 2008. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2009.
- "Matías Fernández: Genius, scorer and presence" (in Spanish). Familia. 16 February 2007. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2006.
- "M. Fernández". Soccerway. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- "M. Fernández – Trophies". Soccerway. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- Pierrend, José Luis. "South American Coach and Player of the Year". RSSSF. Retrieved 13 October 2018.