Fernando Hierro is headed to Mexico…
The 54-year-old Spanish former soccer player and former Spain sporting director and manager has been named the new sporting director of Liga MX‘s Chivas.
With Hierro in charge, Chivas’ new leadership will have a few months to prepare for the upcoming 2023 Clausura season.
“It’s a fantastic challenge,” Hierro said. “It’s a different project, a project that carries many millions of Mexicans in its soul.”
Well known for only using players with Mexican heritage, Chivas have a unique setup that relies on domestic talent.
Chivas has a massive following and the second-most Liga MX championships (12) in history, but have not reached a Liga MX final since winning the title in 2017.
Hierro will seek to revive the slumbering giants and his first major task will be bringing in a manager that can help with the process.
“We’re looking for a coach that knows how to work with young people, who knows the league or who has been working closely with the league, also, who has trained in the big leagues in Europe,” Hierro said about the managerial search. “Those are the characteristics we have in mind that the person must have.”
Chivas struggled to just five wins in the 2022 Apertura season as they limp into the play-in round of the playoffs with a ninth-place finish.
Against Puebla on October 9 in the first round of the postseason, Chivas finished with a 1-1 draw in regulation time before being knocked out 5-4 in an ensuing penalty shootout, denying them a place in the final eight of the Liguilla. Cadena and Pelaez were then fired last week.
Before taking over Chivas, Hierro had two previous stints with the Spanish Football Federation as sporting director from 2007-11 and 2017-18. In 2016-17, he managed Real Oviedo.
In the 2018 World Cup, the former Real Madrid player took charge as manager of Spain, stepping in at the final moment when Julen Lopetegui was fired before the tournament.
He made 601 appearances for Real Madrid during an 18-year playing career which saw him win three Champions League titles and five LaLiga titles. He also won 89 caps as a player for Spain.