We've all got our favourite wonderkids from editions of Football Manager gone by. Those players that we signed at the start of every save and built our whole side around. Today we're taking a look at Carlos Fierro, a must buy in Football Manager 2012 at the tender age of 16!
Carlos Fierro starts the game in the Under 20s of Chivas, one of the biggest sides in Mexico, and can be approached to sign on a pre-contract instantly. It will set you back just £1.2million, and let's face it, you won't struggle to better the £9 per week he currently earns!
He's incredibly well rounded for such a young age, with good attributes in all the key areas. The most impressive thing, though, is how good he already is mentally given how far he is from his prime. There's so much time for those 11's and 12's to increase that his profile could soon be a sea of bright blue numbers.
I can't believe we're covering a 'forgotten' wonderkid who's still only 26! Carlos follows the pattern forming in this series of being a very similar ability as he was way back when, despite some of those 11's and 12's we talked about developing into 13's and 14's. He's a bit more pacey than he was as a teen, while also improving his finishing and passing, but he still has the feeling of a player who's very well rounded but doesn't excel in any one area. There are worse types of players to be, but it won't, and hasn't, made him a star. The main change in his game according to Football Manager is his new ability to play out on the wing, but with a Crossing attribute of just 8, don't expect him to be whipping in Beckham-esque balls.
Real World Career
Carlos Fierro came through the Chivas youth academy and made his first team debut on August 20, 2011, coming on as a late substitute. This would become a theme for Fierro, as in the Opening Stage of the 2011 season he came off the bench 8 times, the most in the division. He scored his first goal for the club in the Copa Libertadores against Deportivo Quito, a game in which he started. Fierro struggled to force his way into the side on a regular basis, not completing a full 90 minutes for over a year, and not getting his most regular run of games until 2014, due mostly to an injury crisis at the club.
In December 2015 Fierro agreed to join fellow Mexican side Querétaro for the 2016 season, a deal which included an option to buy. After just 2 goals in 22 games Querétaro decided against a permanent deal and Fierro returned to Chivas. One more underwhelming season was enough for Chivas to sell Fierro to Cruz Azul for just over £2million. He lasted just half a season, playing only the Opening Stage for Azul before joining Morelia on loan to complete the campaign.
His spell at Morelia was particularly dry, with no goals in the league, and he didn't go back to Cruz Azul, instead signing for MLS side San Jose Earthquakes - the first move in his career to take him outside of Mexico. As of the time of writing Fierro has played 24 games in all competitions for the Quakes, scoring 3 goals.
In stark contrast to his struggles at club level, Carlos started his career with some incredible success for Mexico, albeit at youth level. Before he'd made his first team debut for Chivas he had already won the U17 World Cup with Mexico, a tournament hosted in his home nation. He scored four goals in the tournament, including the winner in the semi-final, and was rewarded with the Bronze Ball award. Despite never scoring again for his country at any age group, he was also a part of the squad that won the CONCACAF U20 Championship in 2013.
What went wrong?
Well, he's a striker that never started scoring goals. In his overall career he has a scoring record of less than 1 in 10 in over 300 games, which no matter what you offer to the side in other aspects of play is an unacceptable return. Maybe if he had got a move to a major side early in his career he could have used the extra development to increase the threat he posed, but we'll never know. He'll always be remembered by fans of the franchise as the 16 year old with the world at his feet, but the truth is his career has unfortunately turned out to be rather forgettable.
Did Fierro fire for you? Did he make good on the world class potential he had at 16? If not, who did you sign instead? Let me know over on Twitter, and while you're there leave some suggestions of wonderkids you'd like to see covered in the series!