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The legendary goalscoring defender of Real Madrid. On the occasion of our Real Madrid legends tournament on our social networks, focus on Fernando Hierro. The man will enter the competition on Saturday evening (10:00 p.m.).

This native of Malaga made his mark in the small local club of Vélez-Málaga until the age of 19 with. In between, a misadventure within the big club of the city, Malaga CF. In 1984, he was recruited by the Andalusian club but was only kept for one season. Indded, they did not see in him the potential of a future professional player. He returned to Vélez-Málaga until 1987 before Real Valladolid recruited him and launched him in La Liga.

Fernando Hierro is a versatile player. During the first part of his career, he played both central defender and defensive midfielder given his ability to project himself forward and to score. Two seasons later, he landed at Real Madrid and scored seven goals in his first season. During the 91-92 season, he scored 21 goals in 37 La Liga games and finished second top scorer in the league, behind Manolo (Atletico). Radomir Antić, the coach at the time, had positioned Hierro as number 6.

It was not until the arrival of Valdano in 1994 that the question of Hierro’s position was definitively settled. He installs him alongside Manolo Sanchis and he will play defender until the end of his career.

The legendary goalscoring defender of Real Madrid

This defensive hinge will make the heyday of Real Madrid for many years and Hierro inherits the captain’s armband after the departure of his teammate. The Madrid defender marked the spirits of the club and of Spanish football. For many observers, he is the greatest defender in the history of Real Madrid and his country.

At least the strongest. Fernando Hierro did not have so many weaknesses: he was tall, strong, tough, excellent with his head, good in his defensive positions and dressed with the ball at his feet. Also, he knew how to project himself forward with intelligence to score both with his head and with his feet. Hierro had good, powerful shot quality. He took penalties and free kicks.

He scored 126 goals with Real Madrid. A record that Sergio Ramos is still chasing.

Apart from his qualities as a player, Fernando Hierro was adored by Madrid fans for his competitive mentality and his leadership. On March 24, 2002, he scored his last goals with Real Madrid. A hat-trick against Real Zaragoza.

He will leave the Madrid club a few months later with 601 games on the clock and 15 trophies, including three Champions Leagues and five Ligas. He joined the Middle East for a year before returning to Europe, to England. After a final season at Bolton Wanderers, he put an end to his career.

Since then, he has held other positions. He was part of La Roja’s staff during Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, he was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Real Madrid during the 2014-15 season. In 2018, he was appointed coach of Spain a month before the start of the World Cup, replacing Julen Lopetegui who had signed up with the merengue club (for after the World Cup) without the green light from his federation.

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