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Manuel Fernandes (footballer, born 1951)

Manuel José Tavares Fernandes (born 5 June 1951) is a Portuguese retired footballer who played as a striker, and a coach.

Manuel Fernandes
Personal information
Full name Manuel José Tavares Fernandes
Date of birth (1951-06-05) 5 June 1951 (age 68)
Place of birth Sarilhos Pequenos, Portugal
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1967–1969 Sarilhense
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–1975 CUF 132 (34)
1975–1987 Sporting CP 325 (191)
1987–1988 Vitória Setúbal 28 (16)
Total 485 (241)
National team
1975–1987 Portugal 31 (7)
Teams managed
1988–1990 Vitória Setúbal
1990–1991 Estrela Amadora
1991–1992 Ovarense
1992–1994 Sporting CP (assistant)
1994–1995 Campomaiorense
1996–1997 Tirsense
1997 Vitória Setúbal
1998–2001 Santa Clara
2001 Sporting CP
2003–2005 Penafiel
2007–2008 Atlético Aviação
2008–2009 União Leiria
2009–2011 Vitória Setúbal
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

One of the country's most prolific goalscorers, his playing career was mainly associated with Sporting, which he later also coached. At 386 goals in all official competitions, he is the second-highest goalscorer in the club's history.[1][2]

Over 19 seasons, in which he also represented two other clubs, Fernandes amassed Primeira Liga totals of 485 matches and 241 goals.


Club careerEdit


Born in Sarilhos Pequenos, Moita, Setúbal District, Fernandes started his career with local Grupo Desportivo da CUF, scoring 38 goals in five years. In 1975 he got his first break, joining Primeira Liga (the only tier he competed in in a career which spanned almost two decades) club Sporting Clube de Portugal, netting more than 250 times in official matches and only trailing legendary Fernando Peyroteo who totalled over 500.

In the 1985–86 season, at the ripe age of 34/35, Fernandes produced his best individual season, scoring 30 goals – and winning the Bola de Prata – for the eventual third-placed side, behind FC Porto and S.L. Benfica.[3] On 14 December 1986 he had arguably his finest moment as a professional, when he netted four to help to the 7–1 home demolition of Benfica.[4]

After that season in Lisbon, Fernandes closed out his career with Vitória de Setúbal – reuniting with former Sporting teammate Rui Jordão – adding a further 16 league goals to his tally and retiring at 37. During his last campaign he notably scored against Sporting in a 2–1 home win, mere minutes after kick-off, and the Sadinos finished in a comfortable seventh place.


Fernandes began his coaching career with Setúbal in 1988, and stayed with them a further year (several other spells there would befall in the future). Then, he went on to manage several teams: C.F. Estrela da Amadora, A.D. Ovarense, S.C. Campomaiorense, F.C. Tirsense, C.D. Santa Clara, F.C. Penafiel and Atlético Sport Aviação – the Azores club would be the first from the region to play in the Portuguese top level.

With Sporting, Fernandes had already served as an assistant to England's Bobby Robson, leaving the Estádio José Alvalade after the head coach was sacked. In 2001 he had a short managerial spell with the Lions,[5] winning the domestic Supercup before quitting his post later in the year.

In October 2009, after a successful promotion from the second division with U.D. Leiria, and having already started the following top flight campaign, Fernandes bought out his contract and returned to struggling Setúbal for a third stint,[6] which ended on 1 March 2011.[7]

International careerEdit

Fernandes won 31 caps for Portugal, scoring seven goals. Even though he had that stellar campaign with Sporting in 1985–86, he was excluded from the squad for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, which was marred by the Saltillo Affair.

Manuel Fernandes: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition


1 17 November 1976 Estádio da Luz (1954), Lisbon, Portugal   Denmark 1–0 1–0 1978 World Cup qualification
2 9 October 1977 Idrætsparken, Copenhagen, Denmark   Denmark 1–3 2–4 1978 World Cup qualification
3 29 October 1977 Silesian Stadium, Chorzow, Poland   Poland 1–1 1–1 1978 World Cup qualification
4 16 November 1977 Estádio de São Luís, Faro, Portugal   Cyprus 4–0 4–0 1978 World Cup qualification
5 18 November 1981 Estádio da Luz (1954), Lisbon, Portugal   Scotland 1–1 2–1 1982 World Cup qualification
6 18 November 1981 Estádio da Luz (1954), Lisbon, Portugal   Scotland 2–1 2–1 1982 World Cup qualification
7 29 October 1986 Wankdorf Stadium, Bern, Switzerland    Switzerland 1–1 1–1 Euro 1988 qualifying







  1. ^ Manel pede 12 golos a Van Wolfswinkel (Manel asks for 12 goals from Van Wolfswinkel) Archived 26 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine; O Jogo, 24 October 2011 (in Portuguese)
  2. ^ Saídas sem glória (Departures without glory) Archived 22 June 2011 at the Portuguese Web Archive; Correio da Manhã (in Portuguese)
  3. ^ "Portugal – List of Topscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Campeonatos há muitos, mas um jogo como o dos 7–1 há só um" ("There are many championships, but only one game like that of the 7–1"); Diário de Notícias, 10 December 2016 (in Portuguese)
  5. ^ Sporting appoint Fernandes as coach; BBC Sport, 24 January 2001
  6. ^ Manuel Fernandes assina por três épocas (Manuel Fernandes signs for three seasons) Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine; Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, 20 October 2009 (in Portuguese)
  7. ^ News round-up: Fernandes leaves Vitoria Setubal – official; PortuGOAL, 1 March 2011
  8. ^ "Manuel Fernandes". European Football. Retrieved 20 January 2016.

External linksEdit