A football midfielder, Fernando Alves Santa Clara, or more popularly, Fernandinho, began playing football in the youth club of Catuense-BA in 1997. He began playing professionally in the same year, with EC Vitoria, where he remained till 2000. Clara then moved on to FC Porto, where he spent one season, and then moved back to Vitoria.
But Clara left Vitoria the next season and moved to Caxias in 2003, but switched clubs the same year, this time to Clube Parana. In the one season he spent with Parana, Clara made 40 appearances and scored 7 goals. Clara spent the 2004-05 season in Criciuma EC, where he made 14 appearances and scored 5 goals. He was loaned out to Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama in 2005, with whom he made 19 appearances, scoring three times, before he returned to Criciuma in 2006. After one season with the club, Clara moved to his current club, Cruzeiro n 2007.
Some titles that Clara has won are the Bahia State league title in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002, the Brazilian league, 3rd division title in 2006 as well as the Minas Gerais State league title in 2008.