Rommel Fernández

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Rommel Fernández
Personal information
Full name Rommel Fernández Gutiérrez
Date of birth (1966-01-15)15 January 1966
Place of birth El Chorrillo, Panama
Date of death 6 May 1993(1993-05-06) (aged 27)
Place of death Albacete, Spain
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Plaza Amador
Atlético Panamá
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985–1987 Alianza
1987–1991 Tenerife 123 (47)
1991–1993 Valencia 21 (2)
1992–1993 Albacete (loan) 18 (7)
National team
1986–1992 Panama
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Fernández and the second or maternal family name is Gutiérrez.

Rommel Fernández Gutiérrez (15 January 1966 – 6 May 1993) was a Panamanian footballer who played as a striker.

The second Panamanian to play in Europe, he spent almost his entire professional career in Spain, amassing La Liga totals of 104 games and 32 goals – 162/56 both major levels combined – in representation of four different teams. In 1993 he died in a car accident, at the age of just 27.

Club career[edit]

Fernández was born in the Panama City neighborhood of El Chorrillo. In 1987 the 21-year-old signed for CD Tenerife in Spain from Alianza, scoring a career-best 18 goals in his second season as the Canary Islands side promoted to La Liga for the second time in its history; in the following years he also netted in double digits as the club retained its top division status – in the 1989–90 campaign he was named Best South American Player in the Spanish League and, the following year, was voted best Ibero-American player in the competition by news agency EFE, receiving the Trofeo EFE.[1]

Nicknamed The Panzer,[2] Fernández moved to Valencia CF in 1991, but was used mostly as a backup in his only season, scoring just two goals. Subsequently he joined Albacete Balompié on loan, helping the Castile-La Mancha team retain its first division status in its second season ever and scoring his 50th league goal in the process, against former club Tenerife.

Car accident[edit]

On 6 May 1993, after returning from a meal with his Albacete teammates, Fernández died victim of a car accident just outside Albacete, after losing control of his car and hitting his head with a tree. His cousin Ronny Rojo was also travelling with him, but emerged unharmed.[3]

International career[edit]

Fernández represented Panama numerous times, making his debut in the late 80's. In 1986, during a trip with the national team to Spain to participate in the Mundialito de la Emigración, a tournament where Tenerife played a select squad of players with Spanish ancestry, he played well enough to be offered a contract by the hosts.

Fernández's last match with Panama was a 1–5 defeat in Costa Rica for the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, on 23 August 1992.

Legacy[edit]

Estadio de la Revolución was renamed Estadio Rommel Fernández, in Fernández's honour.[4][5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]