Fernando Hierro (born 23 March 1968 in Vélez-Málaga) was a Spanish defender most fondly remembered for his time as captain for Real Madrid and the Spanish national team. During his fourteen year spell at Madrid, Hierro achieved the incredible feat of scoring over 100 goals – including 21 in a single season – to make him one of the highest regarded defenders of his generation.
He featured in four Spanish World Cup squads and made 89 appearances for his country, earning himself a highly impressive 29 goals, winning an impressive 5 La Liga titles and several European trophies at Madrid.
Fernando Hierro arrived at the Bernabéu in 1988 and quickly made his mark. He demonstrated an exceptional goal-scoring record for a defensive player and contributed 7 goals as Real won the LaLiga title in 1988-89.
That year, Hierro’s contribution was recognised with his selection for the Spanish national team, debuting against Poland in a 1-0 win. Two seasons later, Hierro scored an incredible 21 goals in 37 league games despite playing predominantly in defensive positions.
An older, more experienced Fernando Hierro continued his success at Real Madrid in the early 2000s. He helped Real to a LaLiga title success in 2000-01, before being named captain that summer. He captained Los Blancos to Champions League glory in 2001-02, where they defeated Leverkusen 2-1 in Glasgow.
Internationally, he scored two goals from the spot at the 2002 FIFA World Cup™ and was capped a total of 89 times for Spain, scoring an impressive 29 goals.
The mid-to-late 1990s saw Fernando Hierro reach his prime and experience further success. After winning LaLiga in 1996-97, Hierro played his part in Real Madrid’s successful Champions League campaign.
The centre-back helped Madrid keep a clean sheet in the final as they beat Juventus 1-0, which gave him his first Champions League medal and Real’s first in 32 years. The 1998 FIFA World Cup™ in France saw Hierro appear in his third World Cup tournament, and he scored 2 goals in the group stages.