Moving back to Spain in July 2006 inspired Morientes to score in every other game in his debut season at Mestalla but he only scored seven goals in 42 La Liga matches in his other two campaigns at Valencia. In the last week of July 2009, at the age of 33 and having taken his career total of club goals past the two hundred mark, Morientes left Valencia on a free transfer and signed a two-year deal with Marseille. Morientes won the French league under Didier Deschamps' guidance, but only contributed one goal in 12 league appearances and left the French outfit only 12 months into his contract. On deadline day, 31 August 2010, Morientes announced his retirement from the game after failing to attract a deal that excited him. He had turned down offers from Sporting Lisbon, and from teams in Mexico, Qatar and Dubai. The Premiership clearly didn't suit Morientes and he was glad to see the back of England. "I wanted to return to what I knew and play the kind of football in which I felt more comfortable. I didn't like the physical nature of the game in England or the referees who let more things go, and who blow for fewer fouls than they do here [in Spain]. A striker isn't protected from rival defences there, and they gave me a really hard time."
Four and a half years after announcing his retirement as a player the 38-year-old reversed that decision to join DAV Santa Ana in the Madrid regional championships and spent the second half of 2014-15 there. He was then appointed manager of Segunda B side Fuenlabrada, but sacked in February 2016. With Liverpool and Real Madrid meeting in the Champions League final in May 2018 he gave a lot of media interviews and did promotional work with sponsors Heineken
|3||West Ham United|
|1||61||01.02.2005||Charlton Athletic||The Valley||League|
Dominic Fifield and Matt Scott Tuesday February 14, 2006 in The Guardian.
Fernando Morientes has now scored 117 league goals in his career but the ratio has certainly declined in recent seasons.
Morientes has made a name for himself as a great goalscorer with fantastic aerial ability. Benítez wants the best and who better than the player who was voted Europe's best forward by UEFA last season.
"It's exactly the kind of signing we need. If you ask any of the fans about the calibre of player they want us to be bringing to the club, he would be it. I feel the same way. You know you're not taking a risk. It's good from a symbolic point of view that we've signed someone who's so renowned as a world-class player. I just hope, after all the success he's had and trophies he's won, he's as hungry to do the same for us."
Gerrard on Morientes
"In Spain, Liverpool have a massive reputation, everyone knows about their history and their stature. They told me that Liverpool is equally as big a club as Madrid but that here I will be left alone to get on with my job of playing football and trying to score goals. In Madrid it is very intense with so many demands outside football but they told me this is a different environment."
"There are some players who sign for top clubs and you watch them and wonder if they're good enough to make it, but that's never been the case with Morientes at Liverpool.
He's a class act and you can see what skill and quality he has. We see how good his touch is in training every day and it's just been a case of him taking it into the games. The big question has been whether he can adapt to English football, but the real reason it's not happened sooner is really down to bad luck with injuries, as far as I'm concerned. The signs have been there before he can adapt to English football, but every time he's looked sharp he's picked up a knock. The key for him is to get a run of games under his belt and then he'd make a massive difference.
"His record at the top level is exceptional, but he's never been what you'd call an out-and-out goalscorer like Michael Owen or Robbie Fowler. He's a more all-round player who likes to play off defenders, so expecting him to tumble in lot of goals every week wasn't realistic. If he can get a run of games going I'm sure he'll score plenty and the goal he scored last night will do his confidence the world of good. He's probably put the most difficult chance of all away, but now he's got one, hopefully a few more aren't far away."
Jamie Carragher on Fernando Morientes the day after the Anderlecht game on 2nd November 2005
"Signed on a unique pay-as-you-sulk contract, the former Liverpool striker Morientes was technically classified as a spectator. Despite wearing club colours and even sometimes wandering into active areas of the pitch, any appearance by Morientes would be added to the official attendance. Hence the phrase "the crowd was our 11th man today"."
Barney Ronay at The Guardian discusses attendance figures in the Premiership in 2005-2006.
"Morientes is a bit like bird flu. He's been lethal in other countries and we keep getting told it's only a matter of time before he makes his mark here, but there's no sign of it yet."
Chris Bascombe in Liverpool Echo on Morientes a few weeks before Morientes left
"I wanted to return to what I knew and play the kind of football in which I felt more comfortable. I didn't like the physical nature of the game in England or the referees who let more things go, and who blow for fewer fouls than they do here [in Spain]. A striker isn't protected from rival defences there, and they gave me a really hard time."
Morientes on life after Liverpool
|Club||Season||Club rank||League apps||League goals||Total apps||Total goals|
|Real Zaragoza||1995-1996||Spain 1||30||13||38||18|
|Real Zaragoza||1996-1997||Spain 1||37||15||40||16|
|Real Madrid||1997-1998||Spain 1||33||12||45||16|
|Real Madrid||1998-1999||Spain 1||33||19||42||25|
|Real Madrid||1999-2000||Spain 1||29||12||44||18|
|Real Madrid||2000-2001||Spain 1||22||6||31||10|
|Real Madrid||2001-2002||Spain 1||33||18||49||21|
|Real Madrid||2002-2003||Spain 1||19||5||28||6|
|Real Madrid||2003-2004||Spain 1||1||0||1||0|
|AS Monaco||2003-2004||France 1||28||10||42||22|
|Real Madrid||2004-2005||Spain 1||13||0||21||3|
|DAV Santa Ana||2015||Primera Regional madrileña||3||0||3||0|