BIOGRAPHY | One of our men in key moments relays as coach now

Ciudad del Fútbol 14 Jun 2018
Carmelo Rubio
Fernando Hierro played four World Cups as a footballer, was sporting director for a triumphant Spain and has always been a loyal member of the squad

"My experience is over 30 years playing with a football". These were Fernando Ruiz Hierro's statements (Vélez-Málaga, 23rd March 1968) after being appointed as as Head Coach. The former footballer counts with an admired and admirable personal and professional trajectory with the National Team. 

For 13 years, from 1989 to 2002, Hierro was a fundamental pillar in the squad. He counted with the support of different head coaches, such as  Luis Suárez, Vicente Miera, Javier Clemente and José Antonio Camacho. Furthermore he was present in four World Cups as a footballer, from Italy '90, USA '94, France '98 and Korea and Japan 2002) and two EUROs (England 96 and Belgium and the Netherlands 2000).

Raised among the ranks of his home-town, he made his debut in First Division with Real Valladolid and became a Real Madrid legend, club with which he won five leagues, three Champions Leagues, two Intercontinental Cups and the Copa de SM el Rey, among other great achievements as a footballer. 

 5th Top Scorer

Despite playing as a defender, he is the fifth top scorer of the Spanish side with 29 goals, only overtaken by  David Villa (59), Raúl (44), Fernando Torres (38) and David Silva (35).

Of all his goals one of the most memorable ones took place against Denmark in the qualifier stage for the USA '94 World Cup, where with a clean header he earned the ticket to the tournament. As a player he claimed "the goal against Denmark was the most important in my career with the National Team." 

Another great performance was when he scored two goals for Spain in the same game. That match was an Austria-Spain in Vienna in 1999, where our squad won 3-1. 

 4 World Cups 

He began taking up a key role within the team at the '94 USA World Cup, where he recalls" the Spanish squad went from less to more and the day against Italy in the quarterfinals, will go down in history. It looked like we had a wall we weren't capable of knocking down." 

The '98 France World Cup was a disappointment, as he mentioned in an interview for FIFA.com: "I remember losing to Nigeria in the debut, we came back to the hotel and couldn't sleep. It was 4am and we were still thinking about the match. I shared a room with Rafa Alkorta and we couldn't believe how we'd lost... Against Paraguay it was tough and were strong against Bulgaria, but it didn't help." 

The Japan and Korea 2002 tournament was his last World Cup, where he played under Antonio Camacho's management: "It was an honour for me to play for Spain for 12 years and the fact I can retire from the team at 34, as a player of the starting line-up. When you leave World Cups and like events, you leave with the feeling of greatness of these tournaments ... yes there is pressure, a lot of tension ... but also the blessed privileged to have had the opportunity to play a World Cup defending the colors of your country. I think that is an honour. "

 

Sporting Director when Spain won the EURO and the World Cup

In September of 2007, two years after retiring from his active career, he returned to the RFEF to take over as a Sporting Director of the institution, where he experience unforgettable triumphs like winning the 2008 EURO with Luis Aragonés as Head Coach and the 2010 South Africa World Cup with Vicente del Bosque. 

After helping earn Spain's first star, Hierro has carried out a series of roles within top level clubs like Málaga CF, assistant coach at Real Madrid or manager for Real Oviedo before returning to the Spanish football institution. 

He is the ideal profile to join the team, this time with a new responsibility. The enthusiasm of of 46 million hearts will go in the hands of Hierro.