Dirk Kuyt Craig Bellamy Ryan Babel Fabio Aurelio
Alberto Aquilani Charlie Adam Maxi Rodriguez
Nathan Eccleston David Amoo Stephen Darby
Fernando Torres Raul Meireles David Ngog
Paul Konchesky Christian Poulsen Emiliano Insua Philipp Degen
Thomas Ince Milan Jovanovic Sotirios Kyrgiakos
Javier Mascherano Yossi Benayoun Andriy Voronin Andrea Dossena
Charles Itandje Damien Plessis Lauri Dalla Valle
Nicolas Anelka Gary McAllister Christian Ziege Nick Barmby
Stephen Wright Jari Litmanen Pegguy Arphexad Bernard Diomede
Vegard Heggem Markus Babbel Emile Heskey Abel Xavier
Vladimir Smicer Mauricio Pellegrino El-Hadji Diouf Alou Diarra
Igor Biscan Gregory Vignal Richie Partridge Paul Harrison
Jon Otsemobor Mark Smyth Antonio Nunez Milan Baros
John Welsh Josemi Fernando Morientes Zak Whitbread
Bruno Cheyrou Neil Mellor Robbie Fowler Jerzy Dudek
Daniele Padelli Craig Bellamy Mark Gonzalez
Chris Kirkland Paul Jones Gabriel Paletta Darren Potter
David Raven Djibril Cisse Bolo Zenden Stephen Warnock
Jan Kromkamp Momo Sissoko John Arne Riise Harry Kewell
Anthony Le Tallec Peter Crouch Danny Guthrie Robbie Keane
Steve Finnan      

Thursday, October 18, 2007

PAST PLAYER PROFILE - Fernando Morientes

Fernando Morientes : Striker (2005-2006)
Date of Birth: 5-4-1976
Birthplace: Spain
Debut : 15th January 2005. v Manchester United (H)
1st team games: 61
1st team goals: 12
International caps: 43
International goals: 27
Other clubs: Real Zaragoza, Real Madrid, Monaco, Valencia.
Honours with Liverpool: UEFA Super Cup 2006, FA Cup 2006


Fernando Morientes joined the Spanish revolution at Anfield in January 2005 from Real Madrid and he arrived with a great reputation as a world class striker and a deadly finisher.

Benitez had long been an admirer of Morientes and tried to sign him before the start of the 2004/05 season but Madrid wouldn't do business. Morientes spent the entire 2003/04 season on loan at Monaco and was the top scorer in the Champions League with nine goals as the French side reached the final only to lose to Jose Mourinho's Porto. Amongst the nine Champions League goals Morientes scored for Monaco, two came against ironically Real Madrid followed by another effort against Chelsea in the semi-final.
Morientes had started his career with Real Zaragoza where he scored 28 goals in 66 games. He continued this form after moving to Madrid in July 1997, averaging almost a goal every other game in the championship-winning team of 2000/01. None, however, was more celebrated than his strike in the 3-0 win against Valencia CF in the 2000 UEFA Champions League final.

Having waited patiently for his man Benitez swooped to bring Morientes to Liverpool in January 2005 and it was certainly a signing that captured the imagination of the fans. He made his Reds debut in January 2005 against Manchester United at Anfield but short of match fitness, he struggled to make an impact. It was clear that when Morientes signed for Liverpool he would need some time to settle in and get used to the physical side and pace of the Premiership.

He scored his first Liverpool goal in his fourth game for the club which was a fantastic individual striker away at Charlton Athletic. Morientes also made an impact on his Merseyside derby debut when he created a goal for Luis Garcia after his rasping drive had come back off the bar. However, Morientes also picked up an injury in the derby and being ineligible for the Champions League that was more or less his season over.

It was said that Morientes needed a good pre-season ahead of the 2005/06 season to get the best out of him and he was certainly showing signs that he could be a real success at Anfield. Unfortunately the campaign was disrupted by niggling injuries although he did show the real Morientes with two superb goals in a 2-0 Anfield win over Middlesbrough.

He played in the Super Cup win over CSKA Moscow and also in the FA Cup win over West Ham when he came on after 48 minutes in place of the injured Harry Kewell. That was to be his final appearance in a red shirt as he returned to Spain in May 2006 when he signed for Valencia.

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