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Fernando Morientes Sánchez (born 5 May 1976 in Cillerosmarker, Cáceresmarker) is a Spanishmarker footballer who currently plays for Olympique de Marseille, as a striker.

Morientes' main asset is his aerial and strong goalscoring abilities. He played for a number of clubs throughout his career, including Real Madrid, AS Monaco, Liverpool, and Valencia CF.

Club career

Early career

Morientes moved to Sonsecamarker, Toledomarker at the age of four. He began his top-flight career at Albacete Balompié, making his La Liga debut in 1993-94. He spent two seasons at the club, scoring five goals in 22 matches (nine starts and 13 substitute appearances). Morientes transferred to Real Zaragoza in 1995, where he spent another two seasons, often being partnered up front by Dani, a Real Madrid youth graduate.

Real Madrid

Morientes' performances for Zaragoza caught the eye of Spanish giants Real Madrid, which bought the player in the summer of 1997 for approximately 26.6 million. Initially backing up established Predrag Mijatović and Davor Šuker, he finished as starter, and managed 12 goals in his debut season in 33 matches, squad-best (the Serbmarker and the Croatianmarker netted 10 apiece, as did youth system prodigy Raúl). Real finished fourth in the league, but won the season's Champions League.

In the 1998-99 season, Morientes performed very well, scoring 19 goals in the league and 25 in 38 appearances overall. He continued to display top football in 1999–2000, scoring 19 goals and finishing as Real's top scorer in a year where he also helped to the capitalmarker side's second Champions League title in three seasons, scoring in the 3-0 win over Valencia CF in an all-Spanish final. In the next season, Morientes won the first of two league titles with Real Madrid, scoring 10 goals overall which included four in eight appearances in the Champions League as Real lost in the semifinals to eventual winners Bayern Munich. He missed the tail-end of the domestic season due to injury.

In 2001-02, Real failed to win the league, losing out to Valencia. However, Morientes continued his scoring form, scoring 18 league goals in only 25 starts, with six substitute appearances. He also scored five goals in Real's 7-0 demolition of UD Las Palmas, missing out on a double hat trick after missing from the spot late in the match. He finished second in the top scorers list for the season, tied with Patrick Kluivert and behind Deportivo La Coruña's Diego Tristán. Real were successful in winning the Champions League after beating Bayer Leverkusen; Morientes played in the final and received a third Champions League winners medal.

In the summer of 2002, Real Madrid signed Brazilianmarker superstar Ronaldo from Internazionale. This fueled rumours that Morientes would soon be leaving the club, with FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur reportedly interested. The former were reportedly on the verge of signing Morientes for around €22 million, but the move fell through due to Barça's reluctance to match Morientes' wage demands. Eventually, Morientes decided to stay at Madrid, but as predicted he did not feature as much in the side after the arrival of Ronaldo, who was preferred to Morientes in the starting lineup along with Raúl. Morientes eventually fell down the pecking order of strikers to Guti and Javier Portillo and, during a February 2003 home win against Borussia Dortmund - 2–1 in the Champions League second group stage - was involved in a highly publicised spat with then club manager Vicente del Bosque, with the player allegedly insulting the manager after being called to enter the pitch as a third sub in the dying minutes. In the winter transfer window, despite continuous rumours of moves to Tottenham, Zaragoza, Roma, and AC Milan, Morientes remained at the club for the remainder of the season. Real would go on to win the league and Morientes earned his second league medal, making a total of 15 appearances (with three starts) and scoring five goals.

At the start of 2003-04, it was evident Morientes was not part of Madrid's plans; after extensive but ultimately unsuccessful negotiations regarding a loan deal with Germanymarker's Schalke 04, he was loaned to French league side AS Monaco,where he performed very well, scoring 10 goals in 28 appearances in the league. However, it was in the Champions League that he really made an impact: Morientes finished as the top scorer, scoring nine goals. Ironically, Monaco met Real Madrid in the quarter-finals,where he scored a vital away goal in the first leg, which Real Madrid won 4-2. In the second leg, Morientes scored again as Monaco won 3-1, taking the aggregate score to 5-5 (away goals triumph). He also scored in their semifinal victory over Chelsea, but could not prevent Monaco from losing 3-0 in the final to FC Porto, played, ironically, at the Arena AufSchalkemarker in Gelsenkirchenmarker, Germanymarker. Morientes' form resulted in him winning the 2004 European Striker of the Year award.

After returning to Real Madrid at the start of the 2004-05 season, Morientes' hopes of forcing his way into the Real squad were further dampened with the arrival of Michael Owen from Liverpool. He featured in 13 scoreless league matches (all as a substitute), and was transferred to Liverpool in January 2005 for a fee of £6.3 million. During his time at Real, Morientes made a total of 182 league appearances, with 112 starts and 70 games as a substitute, and scored 82 league goals.


Morientes made his debut for the club against rivals Manchester United and scored his first Liverpool goal on 1 February 2005 against Charlton Athletic. He was cup-tied for Liverpool's Champions League campaign and did not feature in their victory against Milan in the final of the competition.

Although Morientes came to Liverpool with a very good reputation, his transfer to Merseyside was followed by a large dip in form. He scored only three goals in 2004-05. He was often played in a deep-lying striker's position instead of his favoured target man role, and failed to adapt to this new role, as well as the faster style of the Premiership. At the end of the 2005-06 season, he was sold to Valencia CF. During his time at Liverpool, he managed only 12 goals in 61 appearances, although he was part of the squads that won the 2005 UEFA Super Cup and the 2006 FA Cup. The signing of Morientes is sometimes mentioned in various lists of the worst transfers in the history of the Premier League.


After a difficult season and a half at Liverpool, Morientes transferred to Valencia in late May 2006 for a fee reported to be around £3 million. Here, he started to regain his form, scoring on his league debut, a 2-1 home win against Real Betis, and also netting a hat-trick in his first Champions League game against Olympiacos. He linked up well with David Villa and scored 12 league goals in 24 games, and was also Valencia's top scorer in the Champions League with seven. His good form throughout 2006-07 also earned him a recall to the national side.

In the 2007-08 season, Morientes and Villa were joined in the strike force by Nikola Žigić and Javier Arizmendi. The campaign, however, was disappointing, as the "Che" were knocked out of the Champions League after finishing 4th in the group, and manager Quique Sánchez Flores was sacked following a poor run of form. Morientes picked up an injury in December 2007 that ruled him out for almost three months. He made his return to the team against Sevilla FC on 15 March 2008 and came off the bench to score the third and final goal in Valencia's 3-1 win over Getafe CF in the season's domestic cup final, the following month.

Morientes missed out on another few league games after he was hospitalised in April with abdominal pains and fever. He was released from hospital in time for the final two league games of the season, but played no part in either. In his first two seasons at Valencia, Morientes has scored 18 goals in 48 league matches, adding eight in 18 European competition contests, while also missing a number of matches through a number of injuries.

Having begun the following campaign as an unused substitute in Valencia's first league game, and only coming on as a substitute in the second, Morientes was handed his first start in a UEFA Cup match against C.S. Marítimo. He scored the only goal of the game, a solo effort at the 12-minute mark. However, his increasing age and the form of Villa and Juan Mata led to only a handful of appearances in the league. As Valencia were ousted in the round of 32, Morientes finished as the club's top scorer in the European competition, at three goals in seven matches.


On 27 July 2009, Morientes agreed a deal to join France's Olympique de Marseille on a free transfer, for one season.

International career

Morientes was a reliable performer for his national team since 1998; he scored a brace in the first five minutes of his debut against Sweden on 25 March, adding a further two in each of his next two games, against Northern Ireland and Bulgaria respectively. Morientes ranks fourth on the Spanish all-time topscorer's list with 27 goals in 47 appearances, behind former Real Madrid teammate Raúl, former Valencia teammate Villa and former Madrid captain Fernando Hierro (who took the majority of Spain's free kick and penalties), although his goals-to-games ratio is higher than Raúl and Hierro.

Morientes scored five goals in the two FIFA World Cups he has featured in, with two goals in 1998 and three in 2002. In the latter edition, Morientes and Raúl played together up front, and both showed impressive form in the tournament. During the knock-out round match against South Korea, Morientes scored a goal in extra-time that was disallowed, although replays suggested the goal was legit; Spain eventually lost the match on penalties.

He was a surprise omission at Euro 2000, but played at UEFA Euro 2004 where he scored one of only two goals that Spain could manage, in a subsequent group stage exit. Morientes also played for the nation during the 2006 World Cup qualifiers; however, due to his poor form for Liverpool in 2005–2006, he was not chosen by national team coach Luis Aragonés in the final squad for the tournament, although he was part of a 31-man initial squad.

Following his return to form after moving to Valencia, Morientes was recalled to the national side. He scored his 27th goal for Spain in a Euro 2008 qualifier against Denmark on 24 March 2007. Injured four days later against Iceland, in another qualifying contest, he would never appear again for the national side.

In May 2008, the Spanish squad for Euro 2008 was announced: Morientes, along with Valencia teammates Rubén Baraja, Joaquín, and Vicente, failed to make the squad, as did his close friend and Real Madrid captain, Raúl.



Fernando Morientes: International Goals



1993-94 Albacete La Liga 2 0 - 0 0 2 0
1994-95 20 5 - 0 0 20 5
1995-96 Real Zaragoza La Liga 29 13 - 5 2 34 15
1996-97 37 15 - 0 0 37 15
1997-98 Real Madrid La Liga 33 12 2 0 - 10 4 43 16
1998-99 33 19 5 5 - 5 0 43 24
1999-00 29 12 1 0 - 14 6 44 18
2000-01 22 6 1 0 - 8 4 31 10
2001-02 33 18 5 0 - 11 3 49 21
2002-03 18 5 2 1 - 7 0 27 6
2003-04 1 0 0 0 - 0 0 1 0

2003-04 Monaco Ligue 1 28 10 2 3 0 0 12 9 42 22

2004-05 Real Madrid La Liga 13 0 2 1 - 6 2 21 3

2004-05 Liverpool Premier League 13 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 15 3
2005-06 28 5 5 1 1 0 11 3 45 9

2006-07 Valencia La Liga 24 12 3 0 - 9 7 36 19
2007-08 22 6 1 1 - 8 1 31 8
2008-09 20 1 5 2 - 5 3 30 6
2009–10 Marseille Ligue 1 8 1 0 0 - 2 0 10 1
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 25 March 1998 Estadio Balaídosmarker, Vigomarker, Spainmarker 1 – 0 4–0 International Friendly
2. 25 March 1998 Estadio Balaídos, Vigo, Spain 2 – 0 4–0 International Friendly
3. 3 June 1998 El Sardineromarker, Santandermarker, Spain 3 – 1 4–1 International Friendly
3. 3 June 1998 El Sardineromarker, Santandermarker, Spain 4 – 1 4–1 International Friendly
5. 24 June 1998 Stade Félix-Bollaertmarker, Lensmarker, Francemarker 3 – 0 6–1 1998 FIFA World Cup
6. 24 June 1998 Stade Félix-Bollaert, Lens, France 4 – 1 6–1 1998 FIFA World Cup
7. 5 September 1998 Antonis Papadopoulosmarker, Larnacamarker, Cyprusmarker 3 – 2 3–2 UEFA Euro 2000 Qualifying
8. 18 August 1999 Polish Army Stadiummarker, Warsawmarker, Polandmarker 1 – 1 1–2 International Friendly
9. 10 October 1999 Carlos Belmontemarker, Albacetemarker, Spain 2 – 0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2000 Qualifying
10. 28 March 2001 Mestallamarker, Valenciamarker, Spain 2 – 0 2–1 International Friendly
11. 1 September 2001 Mestalla, Valencia, Spain 2 – 0 4–1 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
12. 1 September 2001 Mestallamarker, Valenciamarker, Spain 3 – 0 4–1 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
13. 13 February 2002 Lluís Companysmarker, Barcelonamarker, Spain 1 – 1 1–1 International Friendly
14. 17 April 2002 Windsor Parkmarker, Belfastmarker, Northern Irelandmarker 0 – 5 0–5 International Friendly
15. 7 June 2002 Jeonju Castlemarker, Jeonjumarker, South Koreamarker 1 – 1 3–1 2002 FIFA World Cup
16. 7 June 2002 Jeonju Castle, Jeonju, South Korea 2 – 1 3–1 2002 FIFA World Cup
17. 10 June 2002 Suwon Big Bird Stadiummarker, Suwonmarker, South Korea 1 – 0 1–1 2002 FIFA World Cup
18. 30 April 2003 Vicente Calderónmarker, Madridmarker, Spain 2 – 0 4–0 International Friendly
19. 30 April 2003 Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain 3 – 0 4–0 International Friendly
20. 30 April 2003 Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain 4 – 0 4–0 International Friendly
21. 31 March 2004 El Molinónmarker, Gijón, Spain 1 – 0 2–0 International Friendly
22. 5 June 2004 Coliseum Alfonso Pérezmarker, Getafemarker, Spain 1 – 0 4–0 International Friendly
23. 16 June 2004 Estádio do Bessamarker, Portomarker, Portugalmarker 0 – 1 1–1 UEFA Euro 2004
24. 18 August 2004 Estadio Gran Canariamarker, Las Palmasmarker, Spain 1 – 0 3–2 International Friendly
25. 3 September 2005 El Sardinero, Santander, Spain 2 – 0 2–1 International Friendly
26. 12 November 2005 Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain 5 – 1 5–1 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
27. 24 March 2007 Santiago Bernabéumarker, Madrid, Spain 1 – 0 2–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying



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