Fernando Morientes has made his feelings on who should win the Ballon d'Or very clear.
When Liverpool snapped up Spanish striker Fernando Morientes from Real Madrid in 2005 they sis so off the back of a very impressive loan spell with AS Monaco the season before. The Spanish international had led the unfancied Monegasque side into the Champions League final that season - and Liverpool were quick to move in for the €9.3 million centre forward when Michael Owen went the other way just a few weeks earlier.
But Morientes had a torrid time at Liverpool. He only played two seasons at the club and managed just 11 goals in 60 appearances before being flogged to Valencia - his time at Anfield was not a success.
But his varied and successful footballing career still means his opinion should be sought on matters - including who will the Ballon d’Or this month to crown the best player in the world.
This year sees perhaps the closest run race for the award yet - with Franck Ribery, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo all seemingly in with a shout of the award.
And for this ex-Liverpool striker, his allegiance to Real Madrid certainly seems stronger.
He believes that former Manchester United player Ronaldo should win the award - ain fact he said there was ‘no doubt’ about it.
“There’s no doubt, for me and many people, that Cristiano deserves the award because he’s had an exceptional calendar year, not only in terms of goals but for his statistics in all other aspects of the game. When a player is so crucial in every way not only for his club, but also his country, then he is the clear candidate. Right now Cristiano might be the best player in the world without exception.”
image: © Gordon Flood