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|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 November 2015.
Matías Ariel Fernández Fernández (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈti.as aˈɾjel ferˈnandes], born 15 May 1986) is a Chilean professional footballer who plays for Italian club ACF Fiorentina 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 always considered himself Chilean, having moved out of his birth nation very early.
Fernández began with the youth squads of Colo-Colo at the age of 12. His debut in the first division 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 Colo-Colo capture their 24th title and, in December of the same year, he helped it reach the final of the 2006 Southamerican Cup, 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 side Villarreal CF for a fee of €8.7 million, joining compatriot Manuel Pellegrini who was the club's 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 against Valencia CF, in a 0–1 away loss, scoring his first goal for the club 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 Villarreal finished a club-best runner-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 Clube de Portugal 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.
On 27 October Fernández scored his first goal for the his new team, in a 1–1 draw at Vitória de Guimarães, adding another the following week also in the league, 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 against Everton, in the competition's round-of-16 (4–2 on aggregate).
Fernández remained an important offensive 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.
Fernández captained Chile 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 main 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.
|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|
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.
- "Villarreal sign Chilean starlet". UEFA.com. 28 December 2006. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012.
- 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.
- "Sporting give Fernández a chance". UEFA.com. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
- "Comunicado" [Announcement] (PDF) (in Portuguese). CMVM. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- Paul Fletcher (25 February 2010). "Sporting 3–0 Everton (agg 4–2)". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 1 March 2010.
- "Liga round-up: Sporting close gap". PortuGOAL. 6 November 2011. Archived from the original on 31 July 2013.
- "Late Matias strike earns Sporting victory at Leiria". PortuGOAL. 2 April 2012. Archived from the original on 29 June 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Comunicado" [Announcement] (PDF) (in Portuguese). Sporting CP. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "Matias Fernandez joins Fiorentina". Fiorentina's official website. 28 July 2012. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- 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.
- "Chile 0–0 Argentina (Chile win 4–1 on penalties)". BBC Sport. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
- "Papá, no corras..." [Papa, don't run...] (in Spanish). ESPN Deportes. 24 October 2008. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012.
- "Matías Fernández: Genius, scorer and presence" (in Spanish). Familia. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2006.
- "M. Fernández – Trophies". Soccerway. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- Statistics at Irish Times
- Matías Fernández profile at BDFutbol
- Matías Fernández at footballzz.co.uk
- Matías Fernández profile at ForaDeJogo
- Matías Fernández at National-Football-Teams.com