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Matías Fernández

Matías Ariel Fernández Fernández (born 15 May 1986) is a Chilean Association football who plays for Sporting Clube de Portugal in Portugal.

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Matías Fernández biography

Matías Ariel Fernández Fernández (born 15 May 1986) is a Chilean Association football who plays for Sporting Clube de Portugal in Portugal.

An Midfielder Attacking midfielder with playmaking and dribbling skills, also being a Direct free kick specialist, Matías Fernández is known by several nicknames: Mati, El Pelusa and Matigol.

Fernández was elected South American Footballer of the Year in 2006, and also appeared for the Chile national football team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and two Copa América tournaments.

Early life

Fernández was born in the Caballito, Buenos Aires neighbourhood in Buenos Aires to Argentina mother Mirtha and Chilean father Humberto, and moved to La Calera, Chile, at just four.

Fernández has two brothers, Ezequiel and Nazareno. Matías Fernández considers himself Chilean, having moved out of Matías Fernández birth nation very early, without having formed a vivid memory of those years.

Club career


Fernández began with the youth squads of Colo-Colo at the age of 12. Matías Fernández debut in Primera División de Chile came on 1 August 2004, against archrival Universidad de Chile (football club). A week later Matías Fernández scored Matías Fernández first two goals against Cobresal. In the same season, "Matigol" scored a spectacular goal against C.D. O'Higgins, which immortalized Matías Fernández to fans.

Matías Fernández would go on to score a total of eight goals in the 2004 Apertura and Clausura, and was named best young player of the season. In the 2006 Apertura and Clausura, Fernández helped Colo-Colo capture their 24th title. In December of the same year Matías Fernández helped it reach the final of the 2006 Copa Sudamericana, where they lost to C.F. Pachuca of Mexico, scoring nine goals in six games for the tournament. Matías Fernández 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 Spain side Villarreal CF for a fee of Euro8.7 million, joining compatriot Manuel Pellegrini, the club's coach. The transaction was made before Matías Fernández received the "South American Player of the Year" award and, despite reports that Real Madrid C.F. and Chelsea F.C. were also interested, Matías Fernández agreed to terms with Villarreal and arrived at the Valencia, Spain airport on 27 December. On 7 January 2007, Fernández made Matías Fernández La Liga debut against Valencian Community Valencia CF, in a 0–1 away loss, scoring Matías Fernández 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 Matías Fernández contract, Fernández failed to achieve significant playing time during Matías Fernández first three seasons, but still contributed with 30 games and three goals in 2007–08 La Liga, as Villarreal finished a club-best runner-up. On 10 May 2009, Matías Fernández scored from a penalty kick in a 3–3 away draw against 2008–09 La Liga 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 October 27, Fernández scored Matías Fernández first goal for the club, in a 1–1 draw at Vitória S.C., adding another the following week, also in Primeira Liga, at home against C.S. Marítimo (again 1–1); in the UEFA Europa League, Matías Fernández added another, in injury time of the Lions 3–0 win against Everton F.C., in 2009–10 UEFA Europa League round of 16 (4–2 on aggregate).

International career

Fernández Captain (association football) Chile national under-20 football team at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, scoring a goal in the 7–0 victory over Honduras national under-20 football team. Despite a second-round exit to Netherlands national football team, Fernández displayed overall good football, playing alongside Nicolás Canales, Carlos Villanueva (footballer) and José Pedro Fuenzalida.

Also a former Chile national under-17 football team international, Fernández quickly established as an integral part of Chile national football team, scoring five goals and appearing for the nation at the 2007 Copa América.

After figuring prominently in the 2010 FIFA World Cup 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (CONMEBOL), Fernández was selected for the finals in South Africa, playing - and starting - in the group stage against Honduras national football team and Switzerland national football team (both 1–0 wins), in an eventual last-16 exit.

International goals



- Colo-Colo:
- - Chilean Primera División: Apertura 2006, Clausura 2006


- South American Footballer of the Year: 2006

Personal life

Fernández has a Chilean girlfriend; the couple's first child was born in late 2008. Matías Fernández was fined for speed limit when Matías Fernández was driving from Santiago, Chile to Viña del Mar, to witness Matías Fernández child's birth.

Before moving to Europe Matías Fernández was often compared to compatriot David Pizarro, who spent most of Matías Fernández professional career in Serie A of Italy.


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