Morientes seeks another final flourish

Though his personal torment could be manifest at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow where, despite the ineligibility of Robbie Fowler and Luis Garcia the 29-year-old is not guaranteed a starting place against West Ham, Morientes has not inspired sympathy in the friends he left behind at the Bernabeu.

His contribution has been minimal, but the striker's phenomenal cup final record has continued at Liverpool where four showpiece occasions in the past 15 months - the Carling Cup final, the Uefa Super Cup, the World Club Championship final and now the FA Cup final (Morientes was cup-tied for last year's Champions' League win) - has taken his tally of final appearances to 20.

With victory in 13 of those, plus two La Liga titles to his credit, Morientes is among the most decorated players in the game but as his 2003 Spanish championship was the last trophy of the galactico era, there is now severe medal envy back home.

"The people [at Madrid] that I keep in touch with, such as Iker Casillas and Michel Salgado, haven't exactly shown jealousy towards me but they are envious," Morientes reveals. Even Raul? "Raul is a different case because he is the flagship of Real."

There was a time when Morientes also invoked pride in Madrid, before players were bought on the basis of their corporate value rather than their worth to the team, and it is a relationship he has yet to find at Anfield. He admits: "I have to be realistic and say I'm never going to be able to share the same sentiment as "Carra" [Jamie Carragher] and [Steven] Gerrard, for example, who are from Liverpool and have lived and breathed this club." But he adds that he is "very proud" of his feelings for Liverpool.

Morientes has proved there is life after Madrid - in 2004 when he dispatched his then employers out of the Champions' League in guiding Monaco to the final. Liverpool are still waiting, and, if they receive the right offer this summer, tomorrow's final could mark the forward's final final. "I'm the first to be disappointed with my form since I have come to Liverpool," he confesses, "but I don't see this as my last game, not at all. I have got two years left on my contract and unless anything out of the ordinary happens I see myself starting the next season at Liverpool."

* Liverpool have come to the aid of fans whose Cup final tickets were stolen, by releasing tickets that had been held back for a ballot.A 36-year-old Liverpool man was arrested yesterday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?