Fabio Coentrao Biography

Thu 04 March 2021 | 10:30

In this article of SportMob, we take a look at Fabio Coentrao biography who was one of the best left-backs in the world during his prime days at Real Madrid.

Fabio Coentrao, born on 11 March 1988, in Vila do Conde,


is a Portuguese football player, who plays as a left-back and sometimes as a winger.

He learned football in the youth ranks of

Rio Ave

before making his professional debut for them in 2005. After proving himself in the Portuguese top tier he was hired by


in 2007. After spending three loan spells at Nacional,

Real Zaragoza

and Rio Ave in two years he went on to play 52 league matches for Benfica until 2011.

Fabio Coentrao joined

Real Madrid

in 2011 and was one of the left-backs of the team alongside Brazilian Marcelo. He was playing a good number of matches for Real Madrid until 2015 when an injury sidelined him and he was no longer a part of Carlo Ancelotti’s plans. During the 2015-16 season, he was loaned out to


and he spent the next season on loan at

Sporting CP


After his contract was terminated at Real Madrid, Coentrao joined his youth club Rio Ave for the 2018-19 season. After playing 21 league matches, the club released Fabio Coentrao in June 2019 and he announced his retirement from playing professional football after several months without being able to find a new club. However, since October 2020 he has returned back to Rio Ave and plays for them in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

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All You Need to Know About Fabio Coentrao Biography

Coentrao was part of several Portuguese youth teams. In the match against Bosnia and Herzegovina in November 2009, he made his debut in the shirt of the Portuguese national team. He was included by national coach Carlos Queiroz in his selection for the 2010

World Cup

. He also took part with his country in the 2012 European Championship in


and Ukraine.

In the latter tournament, the team of coach Paulo Bento was eliminated in the semi-finals after penalty kicks (2-4) by title defender and neighbor


. In the regular playing time and extra time, both teams were tied at 0-0. He missed the 2016 European Football Championships due to a thigh injury.

Fabio Coentrao Information

Now that we know the Portuguese defender much better, in this section of

Fabio Coentrao biography

we will share more general information about him such as

Fabio Coentrao nationality

to let you know him even better.

Fabio Coentrao Bio

  • Full Name: Fabio Alexandre da Silva Coentrao

  • Nickname: Figo das Caxinas

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Fabio Coentrao Physical Stats

  • Weight: 72 Kg

  • Height: 1.79 m

  • Eye Color: Dark Brown

  • Hair Color: Blonde

Fabio Coentrao Football Information

  • Position: Defender

  • Jersey Number: 17

  • Professional Debut: 2005

Fabio Coentrao Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 11 March 1988

  • Birth Place: Vila do Conde, Portugal

  • Zodiac Sign: Pisces

  • Nationality: Portuguese

Now stay tuned to this section of

Fabio Coentrao biography

as we want to share some info about

Fabio Coentrao childhood


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Fabio Coentrao Early Life

Fabio Coentrao made his first appearance in the world of football with Rio Ave FC, the club in his hometown where he spent all his youth training before making his first-team debut, at the age of 17, during the 2004-2005 season in the Portuguese first division. That season, he played just one match.

In his second season, in 2005-2006, Rio Ave did not do so well in the league and Fabio Coentrao failed to make it to the first team, although he played in three Liga Sagres matches. Meanwhile, Fabio Coentrao was offered to RC Lens and


, who chose not to buy the left-back for less than a million euros, as they considered him too weak for League 1.

During his third season with Rio Ave, in 2006-2007, the club was aiming to go straight back to the highest level of Portuguese football. However, the club finished in third place, failing to obtain its ticket for the Liga Sagres. While the season remained disappointing with this narrowly missed promotion, Fabio Coentrao finally managed to establish himself as one of the great hopefuls of Portuguese football on the left flank.

Fabio Coentrao Profile

Therefore, he was at the very centre of attention during the summer transfer window of 2007. Many clubs were inquiring about him, including Sporting Lisbon, Benfica,

Bayern Munich


Manchester United



and Real Madrid among many others.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Fabio Coentrao biography

as we want to share some info about his Benfica career.

Arrival at Benfica Lisbon

He was 19 years old when he signed for Portuguese giants Benfica, under the leadership of President Luís Filipe Vieira, in July 2007. Although the first six months were difficult for the expectations he had, he did not yet fit in with the plans of his coach, the Spaniard José Antonio Camacho, who only used him three times (twice in the starting line-up) in the Liga Sagres.

He was soon to discover the Champions League, as on 14 August 2007, his coach played him for 45 minutes in the match between Benfica and FC Copenhagen (2-1 victory) at the Estádio da Luz for his first official European match.

During his first months in the Portuguese capital, he has been able to progress in particular by daily contact with renowned players such as the Brazilians Leo and Luisão, the Greeks Giorgos Karagounis and Kóstas Katsouránis, the Uruguayan Cristian Rodríguez, the Argentinians Ángel Di María and Gonzalo Bergessio, the Paraguayan Óscar Cardozo, as well as the Portuguese Petit, Nuno Gomes and the legend Rui Costa.

Loan to Madeira

In January 2008, aware that he needed to play, he left on loan to CD Nacional, a club in the city of Funchal (Madeira). There, he took part in 16 league matches, scoring 4 goals (including a double against FC Porto) and providing as many assists.

In the following season, 2008-2009, he still did not fit into the plans of the new Lisbon club coach, Quique Sánchez Flores. Once again, he was loaned out.

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First experience abroad

While he was close to signing for


, a Spanish club, Real Zaragoza, just relegated to the second division, announced on 17 July 2008 that an agreement had been reached with Benfica concerning the transfer of Pablo Aimar who will sign for 4 years. In exchange, the Spanish club will get the young Fabio on loan.

Unfortunately, not everything worked out as planned for the 20-year-old Portuguese, whose coach, Marcelino, never really wanted him to come. He only took part in one league match (8 minutes of play in an official match) and there were many rumors about his private life. Fabio had a busy nightlife, as revealed by the Iberian media. His club fined him 6,000 euros.

In January 2009, he reached an agreement with his managers to put an end to his loan. Quique Sánchez Flores, was still reluctant to integrate him into the Lisbon first team and therefore Fabio and Benfica were considering a new loan.

Once again, Fabio had the chance to work alongside famous players in the football world, Argentinians Roberto Ayala and Leonardo Ponzio, and Brazilians Ewerthon and Ricardo Oliveira in the lead. In late January 2009, he was loaned until the end of the season to his youth club, Rio Ave. In sixteen Liga Sagres matches, he scored three goals (including one against FC Porto) and gave four assists.

Recognition at Benfica

Benfica's new coach, Jorge Jesus, planned to use Fabio from the start of the season. Fabio Coentrao took part in the pre-season matches. Jorge Jesus moved him down a position to the left full-back. After some good performances, Benfica decided to offer him a new contract. On 28 October 2009, he extended his contract until June 2015, with an increased salary and a contract with a €30 million release clause.

After 26 Liga Sagres matches and eight assists were given, he won his first Portuguese league title. He also won the Portuguese Football League Cup that season in a 3-0 final against arch-rivals FC Porto.

Fabio Coentrao also participated in 13 matches of the Europa League (1 goal). Benfica reached the quarter-finals of this competition after having beaten the Ukrainians Vorskla, the Belarusians BATE, the Greeks

AEK Athens

, the English Everton, the Germans Hertha Berlin and the French Olympique de Marseille. In the quarter-final, Fabio Coentrao and his teammates fell victim to a stronger Liverpool.

He was just one of the youngsters at the start of the season, but then he was amongst Benfica's leaders, along with his team-mates, almost all of whom were internationals, such as Brazilians Luisão, David Luiz (transferred to Chelsea in January 2011) and Ramires, Argentinians Ángel Di María (left for Real Madrid), Paraguayan Óscar Cardozo, and Portuguese Quim and Nuno Gomes.

In addition, his performances during the 2009-2010 Europa League and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa attracted the attention of the public and many clubs, including Chelsea and Real Madrid.

After this successful season, Fabio Coentrao was once again attracting the attention of the biggest clubs. Real Madrid, whose new coach, Portuguese José Mourinho, was looking for a left-back at the international level to compensate for the possible departure of Marcelo and/or Drenthe, were the main interested party. However, Benfica had no intention of letting their new international go.

Nonetheless, a strong rival, Chelsea, also seemed interested in the young Portuguese international to replace the eventual departure of full-back Ashley Cole to José Mourinho's Real Madrid, but after long negotiations, he remained at Chelsea. During this season, Coentrao scored his first double in the Champions League against Olympique Lyonnais, a brace that will strongly contribute to his team's 4-3 victory.

Now stay tuned to this section of Fabio Coentrao biography as we want to share some info about his career at Real Madrid.

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Real Madrid

On 5 July 2011, he was bought by Real Madrid for €30 million. Fabio debuted for Real Madrid in a friendly against Los Angeles Galaxy in which he was named player of the match. The first official game for Fabio was the Madrid match against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup, where he substituted Angel Di Maria on 54 minutes and picked up a yellow card on 91 minutes. Real Madrid lost the two-match encounter 4-5 in a dramatic struggle.

He made his La Liga debut against Zaragoza, his former club, on 28 August 2011. Real defeated their rival 6-0, with Fabio playing the entire match. Jose Mourinho was able to change the line-up, so Coentrao played in midfield or on the left flank as a substitute for Di Maria.

Eventually, Fabio was left-back, rotating with Brazilian Marcelo. In La Liga Fabio played 20 matches, Real Madrid managed to break Barcelona's domination of the domestic scene. Fabio played 32 league matches as they won the La Liga that season.

Fabio played three matches in the Spanish Cup, including two against Barcelona in the quarter-final stage. Real Madrid lost 3-4 on aggregate in the two matches to the eventual winner of the tournament. In the Champions League, Fabio played five matches in the group stage and was on the pitch three times in the knock-out rounds. Real Madrid lost the semi-final to Bayern in the penalty shoot-out.

On 16 July, UEFA published on their official website a list of 32 players in contention for the European Footballer of the Year award. The list also included Fabio Coentrao, who has had a superb season at the club.

He started the new season with a convincing win against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup (2-3 away, 2-1 at home, and plenty of missed opportunities), with Fabio playing the full 90 minutes in the match at Barcelona.

After a draw in the opening match against Valencia, Fabio was sent off in the second match against Getafe for speaking out against a referee who made some controversial decisions. Coentrao was suspended for four matches.

In the match for the national team, Fabio was injured, so the next time he came out in the league was not until the 11th matchday on 11 November against Levante, which Real Madrid won 2-1. On 16 December, against Real Sociedad, Fabio scored his first goal for Real Madrid in the Spanish league.

After the arrival of new coach Carlo Ancelotti, Fabio was dropped from the main squad for some time. A move to another club was even considered, in particular, a loan move to Manchester United on the transfer window was mentioned. However, the Portuguese remained at the club and continued to play consistently for the national team.

He did not appear on the pitch in a league match until the 6th matchday at the end of September. Generally, in the league, Ancelotti preferred to field Marcelo or Nacho on the left flank of defence. For that reason, Fabio failed to demonstrate his quality and did not play a large number of matches, appearing on the field only 10 times in total.

He played 4 matches in the Spanish Cup, including the decisive one against Barcelona, and provided an assist which Bale used to bring the victory to the club.

He started in the UEFA Champions League only after the return leg against Schalke in the 1/8 finals and then played all four games against Borussia Dortmund and Bayern. In the winning final he featured in the starting line-up at the home ground of Benfica. He was replaced in 59 minutes. Real Madrid beat Atletico in extra-time 4-1 and Fabio won the Champions League for the first time in his career.

On 5 June, he extended his contract with Real Madrid until the end of the 2018/2019 season.

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Loan to Monaco

It was on 26 August 2015 that Coentrao moved to AS Monaco on loan. The loan duration was for one season and there was the option to purchase the player if Monaco wanted so. Other clubs like Arsenal, Inter and PSG also wanted the player, but as Monaco’s offer was better, Real Madrid agreed to loan the player to them.

However, he failed to excel at the Monaco team and returned to Real, to once again become Marcelo's backup. With many injuries and below-average performances, he was often left out in favor of defender Nacho, who played in the same position.

Loan to Sporting

In July 2017, Real Madrid confirmed the loan of left-back Fabio Coentrao to Sporting. The player was Marcelo's reserve and played very little last season. The contract with the Portuguese club was valid until June 30, 2018.

After spending a year in Lisbon, he played 44 matches. Consequently, the Portuguese left-back has decided to terminate his contract with Real Madrid and get a cheque for €4m equivalent to the salary he was supposed to receive in his last year of contract.

Rio Ave's return

In 2018, Coentrao signed for his youth club Rio Ave on a free transfer. This was a homecoming for the native of Vila do Conde, who had trained at the club. He played in the last two games of the Liga NOS. Lined up as a left attacking midfielder for 63 minutes, he was hailed for "his bravery and intelligence", being credited with a 6/10 in the columns of O Jogo.

His first encouraging steps were confirmed against Sporting Braga (1-1, Day 7). Once again in the starting line-up, this time as a right-sided attacking midfielder, the former AS Monaco player played 81 minutes this time, already proving decisive by providing the equalizing goal to Gelson Dala (34th).

At the end of the season, the club did not extend his contract and Fabio Coentrao decided to retire after being without a team for almost a year. However, later he signed another one year contract with the club.

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Portugal National Team

After being praised for his performance at Benfica, Fabio was called up to the Portuguese national team. He made his debut for them on November 14, 2009, in the World Cup 2010 qualifying match against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Lisbon (1:0), coming on as a substitute in the second half. Together with the national team, he took part in the World Cup finals in South Africa, where he played all 4 matches.

On August 10, 2011, he scored the first goal for the national team in a friendly against Luxembourg in the Algarve (5-0).

Portugal's national team in 2011 successfully qualified for Euro 2012, finishing in 2nd place in the group, Fabio took part in 5 qualifying matches, as well as in both knock-out rounds. In the return leg against Bosnia, he scored a goal.

At Euro 2012, Fabio played all 5 matches, making one assist. At the end of the tournament, the Portuguese national team took third place, only in the penalty shoot-out in the semi-finals losing to the future winner, the team of Spain. With his magnificent game, Fabio drew the attention of football experts, who praised his skills. At the end of the tournament, Fabio was included in the team of the tournament, which also included two of his teammates, Pepe and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fabio played both of the opening games in the new 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying against Luxembourg and Azerbaijan, which Portugal won 2-1 and 3-0 respectively. In the match against Russia in Moscow, Fabio was injured and replaced on 20 minutes. Portugal lost 0-1.

This injury prevented him from taking part in the match against Northern Ireland and in a number of matches for Real Madrid. In the 6th match against Israel, he scored his second goal for the national team already in injury time and brought the team to a draw (3-3). Four days later in Baku, he scored the goal in the victorious match for the Portuguese.

He helped the national team win the tie against Sweden, both times appearing in the starting line-up (Portugal won at home 1-0 and away 3-2). In the final tournament, Coentrao took part in one match (against Germany 0-4), in which he was injured in the 65th minute and had to miss the rest of the World Cup.

On 29 March 2015 in Lisbon, he scored his fifth and last goal for the national team against Serbia in a 2-1 Euro 2016 qualifying match.

Due to an injury suffered at Monaco, Fabio was forced to miss the Portuguese's victorious 2016 European Championship in France. On 3 September 2017, almost two years after his last game for the national team, he came onto the pitch in the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Hungary but was substituted in the first half. After that, he did not play for the national team. He was included in the 35-man preliminary squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup but did not make the final roster.

Now stay tuned to this section of Fabio Coentrao biography as we want to share some info about his playing style.

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Style of Play

Fabio Coentrao is a very technical and very good dribbler. During his career, he played as a left-back or winger, which allows him to get in the middle and shoot. Among his skills is an excellent sense of position, determination and high stamina.


During his peak days at Real Madrid, when he and Marcelo had turned the left-back flank of the Spanish giants into a place feared by opponents, many football pundits regarded Fabio Coentrao as one of the best left-backs of the world, however, he declined very soon as much as he was forced to retire from football at just 31-years old.

Goal Celebration

He has just scored 25 goals in all competitions during his club career and therefore we have not seen him celebrating his goals very much. On the other hand, he did not have a signature goal celebration that we could mention here.

Fabio Coentrao outside Football

Fabio Coentrao has invested in real estate and also in the fishing sector. The Portuguese footballer turned into fishing business, and is the owner of a fleet of five fishing boats, in an investment of three million euros, and has already given jobs to about 30 people. Fabio has also invested in the purchase of real estate on the Póvoa de Varzim waterfront, where he lives, but also in Vila do Conde, having acquired a building with the aim of turning it into a clinic.

Fabio Coentrao Personal Life

In this section of Fabio Coentrao biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about things like

Fabio Coentrao life story


Fabio Coentrao religion

, stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

He is married to Andreia Santos. They are parents of a baby girl, named Vitória, who was born on 11 July 2011. He became a father for the second time on 1 August 2014, of a little boy named Henrique.


Fabio Coentrao is actively involved in charitable works and we have seen him many times doing some charity work. During his time in Real Madrid, he visited ‘Fundacion Instituto San Jose’, which was created by one of the Real Madrid fan clubs. This foundation provides health services for those in need and has a school for handicapped, sick and elderly people.

Legal Issues

The Spanish Tax Agency launched an investigation into Fabio Coentrao's income between 2011 and 2014 on 23 July 2015. Despite having received almost 3.5 million euros in image rights in that period, the player had not declared them until then. During the investigation in Spain, the player decided to sort out his accounts in Portugal, where he had also failed to declare any income from image rights.

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Fabio Coentrao Career Statistics

In this section of Fabio Coentrao biography, we will take a deeper look into his career stats, both as an international and club player.


Since his career started at Rio Ave in 2004 and as of now that he is playing for the very same club, he has played more than 360 matches in all competitions, scoring 25 goals. During his six-season spell at Real Madrid, he has played 106 matches for them.


For 8 years between 2009 and 2017, Fabio Coentrao has represented his country on 52 occasions and scored 5 goals for them. He scored his fifth and last goal for Portugal in Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal against Serbia while playing in the Euro 2016 qualifying.

Fabio Coentrao Honors

With Benfica, Real Madrid and Sporting, Fabio Coentrao has won many titles including Primeira Liga, Taça da Liga, La Liga, Copa del Rey, UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and many others.

On the international level, he has not won any titles or awards with the Portugal national team.

Of his important individual titles, we can include Liga de Honra Breakthrough Player of the Year, L'Équipe Ideal Eleven, Cosme Damião Award – Footballer of the Year and 2012 UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament.

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source: SportMob

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