ENRIQUE FERNÁNDEZ ROMERO

Date of Birth: 23 June, 1971
Nationality: Spain (international from 2000 until 2004)
Period at Deportivo: 1998 - 2006
Transfer: ca. €3,8 million (600 mln ptas) (1998)
Clubs: Betis (2006-?), Deportivo (1998-2006), Real Mallorca (1997-1998), Valencia (1994-1997), Logroñés (1991-1994)
Sold: Out of contract
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 79 kg
Position: Defender (left/central)

ROMERO is a tall defender who covered the left defensive side of Deportivo between the years 1998 and 2006. He started at Deportivo at the same time as Javier Irureta did, so Romero lived through a successful period at the Galician team. He proved to be a regular figure in the team which won, among others, the Liga title in 2000 and the Copa del Rey two years later. But in 2005 he was one of the few men left of those years. The goodbye arrived in 2006 when Depor's officials decided not to offer an extension to him.

Romero never has been able to escape criticism from the supporters. Despite he already had played 123 Liga matches before arriving at Deportivo he remained a person not wanting to occupy headlines. Romero is a quiet and shy person although he's appreciated a lot in the Galician squad. But even Irureta commented some years ago that Romero doesn't know how to respond well to media attention.

The player prefers to let his feet speak and so they did since that summer of 1998. He formed a magical duo with Fran at the left and they impressed Europe with some amazing performances. It earned Romero the status of Spanish international player as he made his international debut on 23 February, 2000 under coach Camacho. When he was told he was picked, he could not believe it himself. "It's a joke, isn't it?" he asked.

But Camacho picked him again to represent Spain in the very next World Cup. Romero would play a total of seven matches for the Spanish national team of which the last one was in Portugal in September 2003. He wasn't picked though for the Euro 2004 tournament although his colleague at Deportivo, Capdevila, was. That same player was slowly taking over the position of Romero in the squad as during the season 2003/2004 for the first time the veteran player played less minutes than the Catalan did. In fact, Romero only played seventeen Liga matches in his least successful season since 1992/1993. But in August, 2004 he received a new call-up for the Spanish team and reclaimed his role at Deportivo.

The last time Romero occupied headlines was when he picked up a little snake near the airport when his team were travelling to Pamplona. He got bitten and had to miss the match at Osasuna, something which didn't go unnoticed.

Romero was always the starting option selected by Javier Irureta, but the situation changed for the 2005/2006 campaign, the arrival of Joaquín Caparrós changed his roll in the club. Capdevila was preferred in order to cover the left defensive side. In fact, the new Depor's coach used Romero more as a central defender. Once again he made a solid work, but the club's official decided that new blood should join the club for the season 2006/2007. For this reason his contract wasn't renewal. But the relationship Irureta-Romero wasn't over, Jabo hired the Andalucian defender as soon as he can. Now both men will try to make a new era in Betis.
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