Amid the frenzied outpouring of joy as a post-midnight penalty miss handed Liverpool the Champions League on May 25, 2005 stood a Spaniard who could have no bearing on proceedings.

Renowned as a finisher of lethal repute, Fernando Morientes had sealed a switch to Anfield from Real Madrid in January of that year, as Rafael Benitez sought to bolster his forward options.

Having participated in European competition for his former club previously in the campaign, though, the Spain international was ineligible to feature as the Reds stormed to the final in Istanbul.

He watched on from the sidelines as Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus were successively eliminated, carrying Benitez's charges to an emotional semi-final match-up with Barclays Premier League rivals Chelsea.

L4 was a memorable wall of noise from the first whistle against the Blues, and Luis Garcia's conversion in the whirlwind opening minutes ensured passage to the final and the challenge of AC Milan.

When Merseysiders descended on Turkey nine years ago today, Morientes' brief was again limited to spectating - presumably with his jaw dropping as the greatest comeback in European Cup final history unfolded before him.

The 38-year-old's perspective on that magical evening has therefore rarely been examined, but on the anniversary of the Reds' fifth triumph in the tournament, he recalled his personal experiences of the Ataturk Stadium.

"I was up in the stands but couldn't bring myself to watch," the striker, who notched 12 goals in 61 appearances for the club, reflected to

"After going three goals down, to get to a penalty shoot-out...I closed my eyes because I didn't believe we could win. So I missed Dudek's little performance, although I've seen it many times on television since."

Morientes developed a fascinating relationship with the Champions League during his career, lifting the trophy three times with Real Madrid and helping Monaco to the showpiece in 2004.

His inability to feature in the final again 12 months later was naturally disappointing - 'that was the negative side of it' - but the current youth coach equally felt the emotion of the occasion for those attached to Liverpool.

"There was also the positive aspect of feeling the warmth of those people at Liverpool who had waited so many years to lift that cup again," he added. "It was also very nice to experience that victory outside of Real Madrid."