Morientes seeing stars
Fernando Morientes has admitted scoring goals in the Champions League leaves him with a special feeling.
By Chris Ellison
Last Updated: 18/09/07 4:11pm
Valencia striker Fernando Morientes has expressed his love of scoring goals in the UEFA Champions League, claiming there is no greater feeling as a striker.
The Spanish international has bagged 30 goals in total and he has a special affiliation with the competition, winning the trophy three times during his eight-year spell at Spanish giants Real Madrid and being part of the Monaco team who finished runners-up in 2004.
Morientes - who has also played for Real Zaragoza, Albacete and Liverpool - feels he is lucky to have such a tremendous record in the most prestigious domestic football tournament in the world.
"I have the good fortune to play a lot in the competition and to score goals," he said.
"That is very important for me because I am a striker. It is a real challenge to score in the Champions League and to do so with the ball with the stars on is always special.
"If someone had said that when I first started, I would not have believed it. I thought that it would be my first and last season. But with my hard work things have gone well for me. That fear at the beginning has turned into a thrilling reality."
Although 30 goals in such a competition is a massive achievement, Morientes is hungry for more and insists he still has plenty to offer.
He added: "I have already scored against Elfsborg this season and I am delighted to continue scoring goals.
"When you go to play you do not think about these things, but when you finish the game and if you have scored and see the statistics, then you think about them. These games will always be special for me."
Valencia travel to Germany to take on Schalke on Tuesday before playing hosts to Chelsea in a couple of weeks in games which will determine Los Che's European aspirations according to the 31-year-old.
He said: "Schalke are a very strong team. This game can go either way I think. If we start by beating a team that finished as runners-up to Stuttgart in the Bundesliga last season then that would give us a real boost.
"But if we lose then we would have doubts and it would make the next game against Chelsea all the more difficult.
"The first two games will dictate how Valencia are going to do in the Champions League. If we can start well then I do not think that we will have any problems in qualifying."