|Full name Fernando Ruiz Hierro|
Name Fernando Hierro
Height 1.88 m
Weight 84 kg
|Date of birth (1968-03-23) 23 March 1968 (age 47)|
Team coached Real Madrid C.F. (Assistant Coach, since 2014)
Children Alvaro Hierro, Claudia Hierro
Similar People Fernando Morientes, Manuel Sanchis Hontiyuelo, Emilio Butragueno, Michel Salgado, Raul
Place of birth Velez-Malaga, Spain
Real Madrid ● Unforgettable Legends
Fernando Ruiz Hierro ([ferˈnando ˈʝero]; born 23 March 1968) is a Spanish retired footballer, and a current coach. He is mostly known for his spells with Real Madrid and Spain, appearing in more than 500 official games with the former and representing the latter on nearly 90 occasions, while appearing in four World Cups and two European Championships.
- Real Madrid ● Unforgettable Legends
- Early years / Real Madrid
- Málaga / Real Madrid return
- International career
- Personal life
- Managerial statistics
Equally at ease as a central defender, sweeper or defensive midfielder, he had the ability, at his peak, to combine solid defensive play with a near-unlimited passing range and surprising goalscoring talent, which made him one of the world's most sought-after players. With Real Madrid, he won five La Liga and three UEFA Champions League trophies over the course of nearly 15 years.
Early years / Real Madrid
Hierro was born in Vélez-Málaga, Province of Málaga. After beginning his football career at local club Vélez-Málaga he had a very brief youth spell with neighbouring CD Málaga, where he was told he was not good enough for the sport, which prompted a return home. He eventually made his La Liga debuts with Real Valladolid, being bought by Real Madrid in the 1989 summer after two solid seasons.
At Real, Hierro scored seven goals in 37 games in his first season, and eventually had his position on the field advanced by coach Radomir Antić, continuing his good performances with the addition of goals – in three seasons combined he netted an astonishing 44 league goals, 21 alone in 1991–92, a career-best. During years, he often partnered club great Manolo Sanchís in the centre of the defense, being instrumental in the conquest of five leagues and three UEFA Champions League trophies and being named captain after the latter's retirement.
On 24 March 2002, Hierro scored a hat-trick in a 3–1 home win against Real Zaragoza, although the ultimate leader would be Valencia CF. He was released at the end of the 2002–03 season alongside club manager Vicente del Bosque, under rather unceremonious circumstances; having appeared in 497 top division matches over the course of 16 seasons (105 goals), he then chose a lucrative move to the wealthy but developing Middle East football industry, joining Qatar's Al Rayyan Sports Club.
After just one year, Hierro returned to Europe to sign with Premier League side Bolton Wanderers on the advice of his English teammate at Real Madrid Steve McManaman, and teaming up with another former player of that club, Iván Campo. He scored once during his tenure, which came in a 2–3 loss at Norwich City in December 2004 and, even though hard-pressed by fans and manager Sam Allardyce to stay for a further campaign, he announced his retirement from professional football on 10 May 2005.
In 2007, The Times placed Hierro at number 43 in their list of the 50 hardest footballers in history.
Málaga / Real Madrid return
In July 2011, Hierro returned to his native region, being appointed Málaga CF's director of football. On 28 May 2012, even though the club finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League for the first time ever, he left his position.
On 10 July 2014, Hierro was named assistant coach of Real Madrid, replacing Zinedine Zidane – who left to take the reins of Real Madrid Castilla – in Carlo Ancelotti's staff. Two years later, he was given his first full managerial role, being appointed at Segunda División side Real Oviedo for the upcoming season with the option of a further year.
On 14 June 2017, after missing out on the promotion playoffs on the final matchday, Hierro left the Estadio Carlos Tartiere by mutual consent.
Hierro was capped 89 times for Spain and scored 29 goals, being only surpassed by Raúl (who also took over his captain armband in June 2002, when he retired), David Villa and Fernando Torres. He made his debut on 20 September 1989 – freshly signed by Madrid – in a 1–0 friendly win with Poland in A Coruña, and appeared for the nation in the 1990 (although only as a squad member), 1994, 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups, as well as UEFA Euro 1996 (where he missed a penalty as Spain crashed out to hosts England in a shootout) and 2000.
One of Hierro's most important goals came during the 1994 World Cup qualification, as he headed the winner against Denmark that allowed ten-men Spain to qualify for the final tournament in the United States. In the finals, he scored after an individual effort against Switzerland in the round-of-16, before his team was eliminated by Italy in the quarterfinals.
Although he had already been in charge for a few weeks, Hierro was officially presented as sporting director of the Royal Spanish Football Federation in late September 2007. He remained four years in the position.
Hierro's older brothers, Antonio and Manuel, were also professional footballers and defenders. The latter paired up with Fernando at Valladolid, as the club finished eighth in 1987–88.