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 34)
Place of birth Caballito, Argentina
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position(s) Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 14
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 11 (1)
2020– Colo-Colo 3 (0)
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 29 February 2020
‡ 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 Colo-Colo as an attacking midfielder. He is known for his dribbling skills, also being a free-kick specialist.


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

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.

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]

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.

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. [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 CP 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 Portuguese 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]

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]

Later years

On 4 September 2017, free agent Fernández signed with Club Necaxa. [18] [19] On 4 February 2019 he joined Categoría Primera A defending champions Atlético Junior on a one-year contract, [20] 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. [21]

On 18 December 2019, Fernández returned to Colo-Colo by agreeing to a one-year contract with the option for a further season. [22]

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. [23]

In May 2014, Fernández underwent an ankle surgery on his right foot, thus being unable to participate in that year's World Cup. [24] 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; [25] 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. [26]

Fernández was initially named in Chile's Copa América Centenario squad, but had to withdraw through injury and was replaced by Mark González [27] 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. [28]

Before moving to Europe, Fernández was often compared to compatriot David Pizarro, who spent most of his professional career in Italy. [29]

Career statistics

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


As of match played 16 February 2019 [30]
Colo-Colo 2004 Primera División 2380000238
Villarreal 2006–07 La Liga 2010000201
2007–08 3030000303
2008–09 2130070283
Sporting 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 [31]

Sporting [31]

Fiorentina [31]

Milan [31]

Necaxa [31]


Chile [31]


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  23. Matías Fernández FIFA competition record
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