Ander Herrera

Ander Herrera Agüera (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈandeɾ eˈreɾa aˈɣweɾa]; born 14 August 1989) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the Spain national team.

Ander Herrera
Herrera playing for Paris Saint-Germain in 2019
Personal information
Full name Ander Herrera Agüera[1]
Date of birth (1989-08-14) 14 August 1989[2]
Place of birth Bilbao, Spain
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[3]
Position(s) Midfielder[4]
Club information
Current team
Paris Saint-Germain
Number 21
Youth career
2001–2008 Zaragoza
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2009 Zaragoza B 10 (2)
2009–2011 Zaragoza 82 (6)
2011–2014 Athletic Bilbao 94 (7)
2014–2019 Manchester United 132 (12)
2019– Paris Saint-Germain 39 (2)
National team
2009 Spain U20 10 (3)
2009–2011 Spain U21 15 (4)
2012 Spain Olympic 5 (0)
2016– Spain 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 May 2021
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 28 March 2017

He began his career at Real Zaragoza, before moving to Athletic Bilbao in 2011 and then to Manchester United for €36 million in 2014. With the English club, he won the FA Cup, FA Community Shield, EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League (where he was named man of the match in the competition Final), and was named as their player of the year for the 2016–17 season. He moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2019, winning the domestic quadruple and starting in the UEFA Champions League Final against Bayern Munich in his first season, where PSG lost 1–0.

He has also won tournaments with Spain at under-20 and under-21 level and represented the nation at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He made his senior international debut in November 2016.

Club career


Born in Bilbao, Basque Country,[5] Herrera began his career at Real Zaragoza and made his professional debut in the Segunda División in the 2008–09 season. He made 19 appearances that season as the Aragonese club made an immediate return to La Liga. He made his top-flight debut on 29 August 2009, in a 1–0 home win against CD Tenerife.[6]

During the 2009–10 campaign, Herrera was one of Zaragoza's most used players as the club managed to retain its top-flight status. He scored his first league goal on 6 December, but in a 4–1 away defeat to RCD Mallorca.[7]

In 2010–11, Herrera continued to feature regularly for Zaragoza, under both José Aurelio Gay and his successor Javier Aguirre.

Athletic Bilbao

On 7 February 2011, he agreed to join Athletic Bilbao on a five-year contract for a reported €7.5 million effective as of 1 July. Buyout clauses were set at €36 million in his first three seasons and €40 million in the remainder.[8]

Herrera made his official debut for Athletic Bilbao on 18 August 2011, playing the full 90 minutes in a 0–0 home draw against Trabzonspor in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League. He appeared in 54 official matches and scored four goals in his first season with the Basque club, who reached the finals of both the Copa del Rey and the Europa League. In his third and final season he played 33 league games as Athletic qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 16 years.

2014–15 season

Herrera playing for Manchester United in 2014

Herrera was the subject of a £24 million offer from Manchester United in August 2013, but the bid was rejected by Athletic Bilbao.[9] A year later, Manchester United tried to sign him again. On 26 June 2014, Athletic announced on their official website that they had rejected a €36 million (£28.85 million) bid from Manchester United for Herrera.[10] Athletic Bilbao later confirmed that Herrera had activated his buyout clause, allowing United to sign him.[11] Manchester United announced on the same day they had completed the signing of Herrera on a four-year contract, pending the receipt of an International Transfer Certificate.[12]

Herrera made his debut in the opening game of the Premier League season on 16 August, a 2–1 home defeat to Swansea City. He played 67 minutes before being substituted for Marouane Fellaini.[13] Herrera picked up an injury during training and missed Manchester United's next two games against Sunderland and Burnley.[14] In his first game back after returning from injury, against Queens Park Rangers on 14 September 2014, he scored his first goal for the club and made an assist as Manchester United won the game 4–0.[15] He scored again in United's next game, flicking in Ángel Di María's shot with his backheel in their 5–3 defeat to newly promoted Leicester City on 21 September.[16]

Herrera scored his first FA Cup goal with a dipping effort in a third round tie against Yeovil Town on 4 January 2015.[17] Herrera followed his cup goal against Yeovil with an important equalising goal against Preston North End in the FA Cup fifth round; United would go on to win the tie 3–1 and progress to the quarter final stage.[18] Herrera started a Premier League game for the first time since 2 December against Swansea City, scoring United's only goal – his fifth of the season – in a 2–1 defeat.[19] On 4 April, Herrera scored the first brace of his career to help United beat Aston Villa 3–1; he was also named man of the match for his performances.[20]

2015–16 season

On 26 August 2015, in his first start of the season, provided an assist for Wayne Rooney's second goal and scored the fourth goal in a 4–0 win (7–1 aggregate) over Belgian side Club Brugge in the second leg of their Champions League play-off.[21] He scored his second goal of the season from the penalty spot in Manchester United's 3–1 home win over Liverpool on 12 September.[22] His good form continued with a Man of the Match performance in a 3–0 win against Everton at Goodison Park, in which he scored United's second – heading in from a Marcos Rojo cross, and assisting Rooney's goal in the 2nd Half.[23]

On 25 February 2016, Herrera scored his first European goal at Old Trafford – a powerfully converted penalty in the latter stages of a 5–1 defeat of FC Midtjylland, in the Round of 32 of the Europa League.[24] Later that week, on 28 February, Herrera scored the winning goal in a 3–2 victory over Arsenal.[25] On 23 April, Herrera featured in United's triumph in the FA Cup Semi-final over Everton at Wembley; on as an 87th-minute substitute for Marouane Fellaini with the score tied at 1–1, Herrera played a one-two with Anthony Martial, sending the Frenchman through on goal to score a dramatic injury-time winner to seal a 2–1 win and send United through to the final.[26] United went on to beat Crystal Palace 2–1 in the final, securing the cup and Herrera's first major honour with United.[27]

2016–17 season

Herrera (left) playing for Manchester United in 2017

Herrera's role initially remained limited to substitute appearances under new manager, José Mourinho, with Fellaini preferred in midfield alongside world record signing Paul Pogba. Herrera did, however, start in United's League Cup third round tie versus Northampton Town, and duly registered his first goal of the 2016–17 campaign in his side's 3–1 victory.[28] He was subsequently retained in the starting line-up for the Premier League game against champions Leicester City, and helped his side register a comfortable 4–1 win.[29] Herrera was roundly lauded for his performances both against Leicester City and in the games that followed, and was named man of the match for helping Manchester United restrict free-scoring Liverpool to a 0–0 draw at Anfield.[30]

On 26 February, he was named in the starting XI for the 2017 EFL Cup Final win against Southampton at Wembley Stadium, and contributed an assist for Zlatan Ibrahimović's second goal of the match which gave United a 3–2 lead and eventually proved to be the winning goal and secured Herrera's second major trophy with United.[31] Having been sent off against Chelsea on 13 March at Stamford Bridge in their FA Cup quarter-final match,[32] he turned IN a man of the match display on 16 April against the same team at Old Trafford in the Premier League by shackling Eden Hazard,[33] assisting Marcus Rashford for the first goal, then himself getting on the scoresheet with the second goal for a 2–0 win which kept United in the hunt for a top-four finish and extended their unbeaten run to twenty-two matches.[34][35]

On 18 May 2017, Herrera was presented with the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.[36] After helping Manchester United win the 2017 UEFA Europa League Final on 24 May, Herrera was awarded the game's man of the match accolade, which he dedicated to victims of the Manchester Arena bombing that occurred a few days earlier.[37]

2017–18 season

Herrera's chances of playing looked to be diminishing with the arrival of Nemanja Matić, but he remained with the team and fought for his place. On 26 January 2018, he scored his first goal of the season in a 4–0 FA Cup fourth round win against Yeovil Town.[38] On 21 April, he scored the winning goal in a 2–1 win over Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.[39]

2018–19 season

Following the November international break, Herrera was part of Manchester United's starting eleven to play Southampton. The match saw Herrera score his first goal of the season, being the equaliser in the 2–2 draw.[40] Herrera also started in United's midweek game against Arsenal where he scored the assist for United's first goal by Martial.[41] Herrera started in United's first match with Ole Gunnar Solskjær as manager, which saw Herrera score the second goal of the match which saw United beat Cardiff City 5–1.[42] On 18 February 2019, Herrera scored the first in a 2–0 win over Chelsea, securing United's place in the sixth round of the FA Cup.[43] On 1 March, Herrera was announced as Manchester United's February player of the month.[44]

On 11 May 2019, it was confirmed that Herrera would be leaving United at the end of the season.[45]

Paris Saint-Germain

On 4 July 2019, Herrera had signed a five-year contract with French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.[46] On 14 September, he made his competitive debut for PSG, coming on as a substitute for Pablo Sarabia in a 1–0 win over Strasbourg.[47] Herrera scored his first goal for the club in a 4–4 league draw against Amiens on 15 February 2020.[48]

International career

Herrera playing for Spain U21s in 2011

Herrera was a member of the Spain under-20 squad which won gold in football at the 2009 Mediterranean Games in Pescara, Italy.[49]

Herrera was selected by Spanish under-21 coach Luis Milla to the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Denmark. On 12 June, in the group stage opener against England, he scored a controversial goal in an eventual 1–1 draw.[50] In the final against Switzerland, through another header, Herrera netted the first goal in an eventual 2–0 win in Aarhus.[51] He played for Spain at the 2012 Summer Olympics.[52]

He received his first senior call-up on 3 October 2016, for 2018 World Cup qualification fixtures against Italy and Albania, but did not feature in either game.[53] He made his senior international debut against England, at Wembley Stadium, on 15 November 2016, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 2–2 draw.[54]

Style of play

During his time at Manchester United, Herrera's style of play led to comparisons with Paul Scholes, who won multiple trophies with the club,[55][56] and he was even praised by Scholes himself as the club's best signing of the 2014 summer transfer window.[57] He is a combative, box-to-box midfielder, known for his assured passing and high energy on the field,[58] as well as his movement, tactical intelligence, ability to read the game,[59][60] and technique, attributes which allow him to be deployed in several midfield positions, including as number six, as a number eight, or as number ten.[61]

Personal life

Herrera's father, Pedro María, was also a footballer and a midfielder. He also played for Real Zaragoza, as well as for Celta de Vigo, and at both clubs served as general manager.[62][63] Herrera has two children with his wife Isabel Collado.[64]

Career statistics


As of match played 1 August 2021.[65][66]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup[lower-alpha 1] League Cup[lower-alpha 2] Europe[lower-alpha 3] Other[lower-alpha 4] Total
Zaragoza B 2008–09 Tercera División 102102
Zaragoza 2008–09 Segunda División 19200192
2009–10 La Liga 30220322
2010–11 La Liga 33220352
Total 82640000000868
Athletic Bilbao 2011–12 La Liga 32192131544
2012–13 La Liga 2912041352
2013–14 La Liga 33560395
Total 947172001720012811
Manchester United 2014–15 Premier League 2665200318
2015–16 Premier League 273601072415
2016–17 Premier League 31130619010502
2017–18 Premier League 26042206010392
2018–19 Premier League 222311020283
Total 132122151012422018920
Paris Saint-Germain 2019–20 Ligue 1 8140306010221
2020–21 Ligue 1 3113010010451
2021–22 Ligue 1 0000001010
Total 392703016030682
Career total 357294971315745048141
  1. Includes Copa del Rey, FA Cup and Coupe de France
  2. Includes EFL Cup and Coupe de la Ligue
  3. Includes UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League
  4. Includes FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup and Trophée des Champions


As of match played 28 March 2017[67]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National teamYearAppsGoals
Spain 201610


Manchester United

Paris Saint-Germain

Spain U20

Spain U21

  • UEFA European Under-21 Championship: 2011[66]


  • UEFA European Under-21 Championship Team of the Tournament: 2011[77]
  • Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year: 2016–17[36]
  • UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season: 2016–17[78]


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