Full Name: Fernando Ruiz Hierro
International Team: Spain
Playing Position: Centre Back/Defensive Midfielder
Seasons at Real Madrid: 1989–2003
Years of Captaincy: 2001-2003
Fernando Hierro was a great defensive player, equally splitting playing time between centre back and defensive midfielder. He was a Spanish native from Velez-Malaga, and played for Real Madrid for nearly 15 seasons.
Hierro started his playing career at his hometowns local club, Velez-Malaga. After tryout for a bigger, better neighboring team, Malaga CF, Hierro was told he wasn't good enough to make the squad. A few short years later he made his La Liga debut with Real Valladolid, where he played for two seasons.
After solid performances for two seasons he caught the attention of Spanish giants, Real Madrid. He joined Los Blancos in 1989 and continued his excellent play, scoring seven goals in 37 matches.
Point blank, his defensive dominance and excellent vision of the game, alongside his surprising talent and knack for goalscoring, made him one of the world's most popular defenders. He was named captain when his defensive partner, Manuel Sanchis, retired in 2001. With the Merengues, he won five La Liga and three UEFA Champions League trophies, over the course of nearly 15 years.
Real Madrid Honors
- UEFA Champions League: 1997–98, 1999–2000, 2001–02
- UEFA Super Cup: 2002
- Intercontinental Cup: 1998, 2002
- Spanish League: 1989–90, 1994–95, 1996–97, 2000–01, 2002–03
- Spanish Cup: 1992–93
- Spanish Supercup: 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001
- UEFA Best Defender: 1997–98
- FIFA World Cup: All-star team 2002