Morientes hangs up his boots

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MADRID - Former Real Madrid and Spain striker Fernando Morientes has decided to retire from professional football, the 34-year-old said on Tuesday.

"After 17 years among the footballing elite, it's a difficult moment that I need to adjust to little by little," Morientes told Spanish radio.

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Morientes made a name for himself in an eight-year stint at Real Madrid, broken by a year on loan at Monaco, and afterwards had spells with Liverpool, Valencia, and finally Olympique Marseille, whom he left at the end of last season.

During that time he won two Spanish league titles and four European Cups -- three with Real and one with Liverpool in 2005.

He had a remarkable scoring record for Spain, netting 27 goals in 47 international appearances between 1998 and 2007.

Morientes said he had turned down a number of offers for his services as a player to take up work as a commentator.

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