Matías Fernández

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Matías Fernández
Matias Fernandez 2015.jpg
Fernández with Fiorentina in 2015
Personal information
Full nameMatías Ariel Fernández Fernández
Date of birth (1986-05-15) 15 May 1986 (age 32)
Place of birth Caballito, Argentina
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Atlético Junior
Number 18
Youth career
1996–1998 Unión La Calera
1998–2004 Colo-Colo
Senior career*
2004–2006 Colo-Colo 82 (37)
2006–2009 Villarreal 71 (7)
2009–2012 Sporting CP 69 (12)
2012–2017 Fiorentina 96 (7)
2016–2017Milan (loan) 13 (1)
2017–2019 Necaxa 37 (4)
2019– Atlético Junior 4 (1)
National team
2005 Chile U20 13 (5)
2005– Chile 74 (14)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 17 March 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 October 2018

Matías Ariel Fernández Fernández (Spanish pronunciation:  [maˈ 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.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Atlético Junior colombian association football club

Club Deportivo Popular Junior F.C. S.A.,, commonly known as Junior de Barranquilla, by its old name Atlético Junior, or simply as Junior, is a Colombian professional football team based in Barranquilla, that currently plays in the Categoría Primera A. Junior is the main Caribbean team in the top flight of Colombian football.

Direct free kick method of restarting play in association football

A direct free kick is a method of restarting play in a game of association football that is awarded to a team following most types of fouls. In a direct free kick, the fouled team is entitled to freely kick the ball from the spot of the foul, with opponents required to be at least 10 yards (9.1 m) from the ball. The kicking team may score a goal directly from a direct free kick, that is, without the ball having first touched another player. This is in contrast with an indirect free kick – a restart with a similar procedure that is usually awarded for technical infringements – where the ball must contact another player before a goal is scored. If a player commits a foul punishable by a direct freekick within his/her own penalty area, a penalty kick is awarded instead.


After starting out at Colo-Colo, he played several seasons with Villarreal, Sporting and Fiorentina, moving to Europe in 2006.

Colo-Colo Chilean football club based in Macul, Santiago

Club Social y Deportivo Colo-Colo is a Chilean football club based in Macul, Santiago. Founded in 1925 by David Arellano and Guido Torres Henríquez, they play in the Chilean Primera División, from which they have never been relegated. The team has played its home games at Estadio Monumental David Arellano since 1989. Colo-Colo is regarded as the most successful club of Chilean football.

Villarreal CF Spanish association football club

Villarreal Club de Fútbol, S.A.D., usually abbreviated to Villarreal CF or just Villarreal, is a Spanish football club based in Villarreal, a city in the province of Castellón within the Valencian Community. Founded in 1923, it plays in La Liga, holding home games at Estadio de la Cerámica, with a capacity of 24,890.

ACF Fiorentina Italian association football club based in Florence, Tuscany founded in 1926

ACF Fiorentina, commonly referred to as Fiorentina[fjorenˈtiːna], is an Italian professional football club based in Florence, Tuscany. Founded by a merger in August 1926, and refounded in August 2002 following bankruptcy, Fiorentina have played at the top level of Italian football for the majority of their existence; only four clubs have played in more Serie A seasons.

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.

South American Footballer of the Year award

The Rey del Fútbol de América, often referred to as the South American Footballer of the Year, is an annual association football award presented to the best footballer in South America over the previous calendar year. The award was conceived by Venezuelan newspaper El Mundo, which awarded it from 1971 to 1985. Uruguayan newspaper El País took over from 1986 onwards.

Chile national football team mens national association football team representing Chile

The Chile men's national football team(Selección masculina de fútbol de Chile) represents Chile in major international football competitions and is controlled by the Federación de Fútbol de Chile which was established in 1895. The team is commonly referred to as La Roja. They have appeared in nine World Cup tournaments and were hosts of the 1962 FIFA World Cup where they finished in third place, the highest position the country has ever achieved in the World Cup. Since the mid to late 1960s, the Elo ratings ranks Chile among the 10 strongest football teams in the world.

2010 FIFA World Cup 19th FIFA World Cup, held in South Africa in 2010

The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010. The bidding process for hosting the tournament finals was open only to African nations. In 2004, the international football federation, FIFA, selected South Africa over Egypt and Morocco to become the first African nation to host the finals.

Early life

Fernández was born in the Caballito neighbourhood in Buenos Aires to Argentine mother Mirtha and Chilean father Humberto. He moved to La Calera, Chile, at the age of just four. [1]

Caballito, Buenos Aires Barrio in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Caballito is a barrio (neighborhood) of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It is the only barrio in the administrative division Comuna 6.

Buenos Aires Place in Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent's southeastern coast. "Buenos Aires" can be translated as "fair winds" or "good airs", but the former was the meaning intended by the founders in the 16th century, by the use of the original name "Real de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre". The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 15.6 million.

La Calera, Chile City and Commune in Valparaíso, Chile

La Calera is a city and commune in the Quillota Province of central Chile's fifth region of Valparaíso.

Club career


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.

Club Universidad de Chile football club based in Santiago, Chile

Club Universidad de Chile is a professional football club based in Santiago, Chile, that plays in the Primera División.

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.

Apertura and Clausura

The Apertura[apeɾˈtuɾa] and Clausura[klawˈsuɾa] tournaments is a split season format for sports leagues. It is a relatively recent innovation for many Latin American football leagues in which the traditional association football season from August to May is divided in two sections per season, each with its own champion. Apertura and Clausura are the Spanish words for "opening" and "closing". In French-speaking Haiti, these are known as the Ouverture and the Fermeture, while in English-speaking Belize, they are respectively the Opening and Closing seasons. The North American Soccer League (NASL) adopted a split season in 2013; the season is divided into a Spring Championship and Fall Championship.

The 2006 Copa Sudamericana de Clubes, officially the 2006 Copa Nissan Sudamericana de Clubes for sponsorship reasons, was an international football championship competition that was played by 34 teams in total, including 31 CONMEBOL teams and also three invited teams from CONCACAF.

Copa Sudamericana South American association football tournament for clubs

The CONMEBOL Sudamericana, named as Copa Sudamericana is an annual international club football competition organized by the CONMEBOL since 2002. It is the second-most prestigious club competition in South American football. CONCACAF clubs were invited between 2004 and 2008. The CONMEBOL Sudamericana began in 2002, replacing the separate competitions Copa Merconorte and Copa Mercosur by a single competition. Since its introduction, the competition has been a pure elimination tournament with the number of rounds and teams varying from year to year.


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. [2] 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, [3] scoring his first competitive goal three months later in a 3–0 league win at Gimnàstic de Tarragona. [4]

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. [5]


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, [6] with a further €500,000 payable depending on appearances. Villarreal would retain 20% of the profit on any future sale of the player. [7]

Fernández scored his first goal for his new team on 27 October 2009, in a 1–1 draw at Vitória de Guimarães, [8] adding another the following week also in the Primeira Liga, at home against C.S. Marítimo (again 1–1); [9] 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). [10]

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 [11] 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. [12]


On 27 July 2012, Fernández transferred to Italian club ACF Fiorentina for about €3.1 million, plus €1.5 million bonuses. [13] [14] During his spell at the Stadio Artemio Franchi , he was consistently bothered by physical problems. [15]

Milan (loan)

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. [16] He made his debut on 6 November, coming off the bench in the 2–1 away victory against U.S. Città di Palermo. [17]


On 4 September 2017, free agent Fernández signed with Club Necaxa. [18] [19]


On 8 February 2019, Fernández signed a one-year contract with Categoría Primera A defending champions Atlético Junior. Fernández made his debut for the club on 16 February as a second-half substitute against Rionegro Águilas in a 1–1 home draw, eventually scoring a late equaliser; he was named player of the match. [20]

International career

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. [21]

In May 2014, Fernández underwent an ankle surgery on his right foot, thus being unable to participate in that year's World Cup. [22] 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; [23] 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. [24]

Fernández was initially named in Chile's Copa América Centenario squad, but had to withdraw through injury and was replaced by Mark González [25] as the nation again won the tournament.

Personal life

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. [26]

Before moving to Europe, Fernández was often compared to compatriot David Pizarro, who spent most of his professional career in Italy. [27]

Career statistics

Fernandez with Colo-Colo in 2006 Matias Fernandez.jpg
Fernández with Colo-Colo in 2006


As of match played 16 February 2019 [28]
Colo-Colo 2004 Primera División 2380000238
Villarreal 2006–07 La Liga 2010000201
2007–08 3030000303
2008–09 2130070283
Sporting CP 2009–10 Primeira Liga 28351131465
2010–11 2152062297
2011–12 20470113387
Fiorentina 2012–13 Serie A 2213000251
2013–14 23350100383
2014–15 2924080412
2015–16 2210050271
Milan 2016–17 Serie A1310000131
Necaxa 2017–18 Liga MX 2014100242
2018–19 1731000183
Junior 2019 Primera A 11000011
Career Total3696931260646077

International goals

1.8 October 2006 Sausalito, Viña del Mar, Chile Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru 1–13–2Pacific Cup
2.8 October 2006Sausalito, Viña del Mar, ChileFlag of Peru (state).svg  Peru 2–13–2Pacific Cup
3.7 February 2007 José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela 0–10–1 Friendly
4.17 October 2007 Estadio Nacional, Santiago, ChileFlag of Peru (state).svg  Peru 2–02–0 2010 World Cup qualification
5.10 September 2008Estadio Nacional, Santiago, ChileFlag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 4–04–02010 World Cup qualification
6.29 March 2009 Monumental "U", Lima, Peru Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru 1–31–32010 World Cup qualification
7.6 June 2009 Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay 0–10–22010 World Cup qualification
8.26 March 2011 Magalhães Pessoa, Leiria, Portugal Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 1–11–1Friendly
9.29 March 2011 Kyocera, The Hague, Netherlands Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 0–10–2Friendly
10.19 June 2011 David Arellano, Santiago, ChileFlag of Estonia.svg  Estonia 1–04–0Friendly
11.7 October 2011 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 3–14–1 2014 World Cup qualification
12.29 February 2012 PPL Park, Pennsylvania, United States Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana 1–11–1Friendly
13.9 June 2012 José Antonio Anzoátegui, Puerto La Cruz, VenezuelaFlag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela 0–10–22014 World Cup qualification
14.11 September 2012David Arellano, Santiago, ChileFlag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 1–01–32014 World Cup qualification



Colo-Colo [29]

Sporting [29]

Fiorentina [29]

Milan [29]

Necaxa [29]


Chile [29]


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