Enzo Jeremías Fernández (born 17 January 2001) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Primeira Liga club Benfica and the Argentina national team.
As an academy graduate of River Plate, Fernández made his first-team debut for the club in 2019 before spending two seasons with Defensa y Justicia on loan. There, he enjoyed a successful campaign which culminated in him winning the Copa Sudamericana and Recopa Sudamericana, before returning to River Plate in 2021. Following his return, Fernández established himself as an integral player for River Plate in the following years, and won the Argentine Primera División. In July 2022, he joined Portuguese Primeira Liga side Benfica.
Fernández represented his country at under-18 level, before making his senior international debut in 2022. He was part of the squad that lifted the 2022 FIFA World Cup, also winning the tournament’s Best Young Player Award.
Early Life and Career
Born in San Martín, Buenos Aires Province, Fernández was one of five brothers and started playing football at the age of six for local side Club La Recova for most of his nascent years, before joining River Plate in 2006. After thirteen years spent progressing through the ranks, Fernández was promoted into the club’s first-team by manager Marcelo Gallardo in January 27, 2019, in a 3–1 home loss to Patronato in the Primera División, despite remaining on the bench. He made his first-team debut on 4 March 2020, replacing Santiago Sosa in the 75th minute of a 3–0 loss to L.D.U. Quito in the Copa Libertadores. In the weeks prior, he scored once, in the 6–1 thrashing of Libertad, in four games at the 2020 U-20 Copa Libertadores in Paraguay.
Despite being sporadically used Fernández’s manager advised him to leave the club on loan, in order to continue his development. In August, Fernández was loaned to fellow top-flight club Defensa y Justicia. He made his debut for the Halcón on 18 September by manager Hernán Crespo in a 3–0 win over Delfín in the Copa Libertadores. Despite initially not being a starter, his performances impressed his manager and eventually he earned a place in the team, helping the club win the 2020 Copa Sudamericana, starting in the 3–0 win over fellow Argentinian side Lanús in the final, winning his first career title.
After impressing on loan, Fernández returned to River Plate, during the season at the request of manager Marcelo Gallardo, making his return on 15 July 2021, in the first leg of Copa Libertadores round-of-16, featuring in the 1–1 home draw to fellow Argentinian side Argentinos Juniors. He immediately became a starter and on 14 August, he scored his first goal for the club and provided an assist in a 2–0 win over Vélez Sarsfield in the Primera División. On 20 December, he agreed to a contract extension to 2025. Following a promising start in the 2022 season, which he scored eight goals and provided six assists in 19 games, Fernández was named the best active footballer in Argentina, being subsequently scouted by a number of established European teams.
On 23 June 2022, River Plate reached an agreement with Primeira Liga team Benfica for the transfer of Fernández for a €10 million fee for 75% of his economic rights plus €8 million in add-ons, but with the player remaining at River Plate until the end of the club’s Copa Libertadores campaign. Following River Plate’s round of 16 exit from the Copa Libertadores, on 14 July, Benfica confirmed the deal, being given the number 13 shirt, previously worn by club legend Eusébio.
He made his debut for the club on 2 August, scoring his first goal for the club, a half-volley from outside the penalty area, in a 4–1 home win over Midtjylland in the first leg of the 2022–23 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. He then scored in Benfica’s next matches: a 4–0 home win over Arouca in the Primeira Liga, and a 3–1 away win over Midtjylland in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. His impressive performances continued throughout the month and following a run of five consecutive wins and three clean sheets, he was named the Primeira Liga’s Midfielder of the Month.
On 24 July 2019, Fernández was selected by the Argentina U18s manager Esteban Solari to represent his nation at the 2019 COTIF Tournament in Spain. On 3 November 2021, he was called up by Argentina national team manager Lionel Scaloni for two 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Brazil and Uruguay. He made his senior team debut on 24 September 2022, by coming on as a 64th-minute substitute for Leandro Paredes in a 3–0 win against Honduras.
On 11 November, he was named in Argentina’s 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. After coming on for Guido Rodríguez in the 57th minute, on 26 November, Fernández scored his first international goal, closing Argentina’s 2–0 group stage win against Mexico. In doing so, he became the second youngest player ever (only behind Lionel Messi) to score a World Cup goal for Argentina at 21 years, ten months and thirteen days old. On 3 December, he achieved a rather not so famous record, becoming the youngest own goal scorer in the history of Argentina in the FIFA World Cup, in the round of sixteen match against Australia, when his attempt to block Craig Goodwin’s shot instead deflected into his team’s net as Argentina beat Australia 2–1. After defeating Croatia 3–0 in the semi-final, Fernández played in the final against France, where Argentina won the World Cup by a score of 4–2 on penalties. He was named best young player of the tournament.
Style of play
During his career, Fernández has been deployed in a deep-seated playmaking role as a central midfielder, responsible for breaking up play, dictating the tempo and recycling possession, although he is also capable of playing in a more advanced role as an attacking midfielder. He usually makes quick short passes, accurate long passes, and lobbed balls. He is very combative in his midfield duels, protects the space and his backline efficiently, he possesses a good passing range, excellent vision and high levels of accuracy, which is very purposeful in his midfield actions and can dribble into dangerous territory or out of it to devastating effect. He thrives in receiving the ball in tight spaces and is very press-resistant due to his wonderful low sense of gravity, balance and flexibility in his body movements. He excels at quick short passes, passing to break lines or to play through attackers running to space, but also passing in the means of keeping possession to move around and tire opposition shapes. Fernández excels out of possession, always looking to get into the right positions to stop of opposition attacks, disrupting moves, whilst also being in the right place at the right time to intercept passes. In addition, he is a good dribbler and can move the ball forward either through his passing. He prefers operating centrally but can sometimes be seen in the left half-space usually in a partnership with Florentino Luís.
Family and Parents
Enzo Fernandez’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Fernández. His father, Raúl Fernández, is a huge football fan, while his mother is a homemaker. The future football hero grew up in the Buenos Aires area.
Fernández is named after three-time Copa América winner Enzo Francescoli; due to his father Raúl’s fascination with the Uruguayan footballer.
Enzo Fernandez has five brothers, we don’t have much information about Enzo Fernandez’s sister(s).
Enzo Fernandez is currently in a relationship wife his partner Valentina Cervantes.
Enzo Fernandez and his stunning girlfriend Valentina Cervantes have been dating each other for a very long time. They started dating back 3 years ago in 2019 when the player moved to Portugal. It may be inaccurate as to exactly when did they start dating, but as per their first-ever post together on Instagram, they must have started dating in 2019.
They might be planning to marry each other hopefully considering they have a daughter as well. The girlfriend is a year older than her beau. She was born in Argentina, the nation where Enzo belongs on 17 January 2001. Her zodiac sign is Aquarius. She currently resides with her boyfriend in Portugal considering he plays his trade for the Portuguese giants SL Benfica.
Enzo Fernandez and Valentina Cervantes are blessed with one daughter as of now. The girlfriend got pregnant soon after getting into her relationship with her man. The couple might be planning on marrying each other hopefully next. The couple was blessed with her in 2020 and her name is Olivia Fernandez.
Enzo Fernández is a Christian by religion.
Enzo Fernandez’s net worth as of 2022 is estimated at around $10 million – $25 million.
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