There was a Real Madrid at the turn of the millennium that helped fly Los Blancos' flag high over the European continent. Before the Ronaldos, Kakas, Robinhos and Beckhams, there was Fernando Morientes.
One-half of one of the most lethal striking partnerships of the century alongside Raul, Morientes helped Real Madrid bag 3 Champions League titles during his time with the Galacticos. He was also prolific on the international stage and raked in 27 goals from 47 matches for La Furia Roja.
Morientes played for AS Monaco, Liverpool, Valencia, Marseille and Santa Ana in a career that spanned 17 years before calling it a day.
So, anyway, when I was offered the chance to interview Fernando Morientes when he visited Kochi in his capacity as an Ambassador of La Liga, I jumped on the first bus and went to my hometown in Kerala.
You can read about the legend and get to know him in depth (long form) over here:
But for the banter section of our readers, I did, however, burden him with a few immortal questions in a sort of quickfire fashion.
So, brace yourself, some debates need to be settled.
Q. Who is the best player in the world right now? Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?
A. (Laughs) I'm a huge fan of Real Madrid. So, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Q. Who do you think will win the World Cup?
A. My heart is always with Spain. But maybe, Belgium. They have a very good team.
Q. Who is the best player you've played with?
A. Zidane. Poof, what a player! (That's all he needed to say, really. In fact, when Zidane netted that legendary Champions League final goal, Morientes was running to the post to collect the rebound).
Q. Who is the Best player you've played against?
A. You mean the toughest opponent? Then Ayala- amazing defender. He was so tough.
Q. Who is the best manager in your opinion?
A. Didier Deschamps. (Morientes made it to the final of the Champions League final in 2004 at Monaco under the tutelage of Didier Deschamps. They ultimately lost to Jose Mourinho's Porto.)
Q. Who is the best manager now?
A. It is difficult to call it. Maybe, maybe, Cholo Simeone. He has changed the mentality of Atletico Madrid. It's very difficult to be at a club for 5 years now. And he has done it. He could go on to be one of the greats.Published 06 Jul 2018, 19:41 IST