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Álvaro Morata

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Álvaro Morata
Álvaro Morata.jpg
Morata in 2017
Personal information
Full name Álvaro Borja Morata Martín[1]
Date of birth (1992-10-23) 23 October 1992 (age 26)[2]
Place of birth Madrid, Spain
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Atlético Madrid
(on loan from Chelsea)
Number 22
Youth career
2005–2007 Atlético Madrid
2007–2008 Getafe
2008–2010 Real Madrid
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2013 Real Madrid B 83 (45)
2010–2014 Real Madrid 37 (10)
2014–2016 Juventus 63 (15)
2016–2017 Real Madrid 26 (15)
2017– Chelsea 47 (16)
2019–Atlético Madrid (loan) 6 (3)
National team
2009 Spain U17 6 (2)
2010 Spain U18 2 (3)
2010–2012 Spain U19 13 (11)
2013–2014 Spain U21 13 (13)
2014– Spain 27 (13)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:27, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18 November 2018

Álvaro Borja Morata Martín (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈalβaɾo moˈɾata]; born 23 October 1992) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Atlético Madrid, on loan from English club Chelsea, and the Spain national team.

He began his career at Real Madrid, making his debut with the senior team in late 2010. After winning the 2014 Champions League, he moved to Juventus for €20 million in 2014, winning the double of Serie A and the Coppa Italia in both of his seasons in Turin. After being bought back by Real for €30 million, he won another La Liga and the Champions League in 2016–17 before joining Chelsea in 2017 for a club record fee of around £60 million. In January 2019, he moved to Atlético Madrid on loan.

Morata earned 34 caps for Spain at youth level, helping the country win the 2013 European Under-21 Championship. He made his senior debut in 2014, and represented Spain at Euro 2016.

Club career

Real Madrid

Born in Madrid, Morata signed for Real Madrid in 2008 from neighbouring Getafe after starting out at Atlético Madrid,[3][4] and appeared for Real Madrid C while still a junior.[5] In July 2010, after a successful season with the Juvenil A team, where he won two youth titles and scored 34 goals,[6] he was promoted to Real Madrid Castilla, Real's reserve team. Later that month, first-team coach José Mourinho took Morata and four of his teammates on a preseason tour of the United States.[7]

Morata training with Real Madrid in 2010

On 15 August 2010, Morata made his debut with Castilla in a friendly match with Alcorcón, scoring the only goal of the game.[8] His Segunda División B debut came on 29 August in a 3–2 win against Coruxo,[9] and he scored his first competitive goal in a 1–1 draw against Alcalá on 31 October.[10]

On 12 December 2010, Morata made his debut for the first team when he was brought on as a substitute for Ángel Di María in the 88th minute of a 3–1 La Liga win at Real Zaragoza.[11] Ten days later he made his first appearance in the Copa del Rey, again coming off the bench in the last few minutes. In January 2011, after Gonzalo Higuaín's injury, the Spanish media expected Morata to be his replacement in the main squad. Mourinho, however, rejected this, saying that "Morata is not yet ready to be a starter at Madrid. He trains with us, but he has to continue learning with Castilla".[12] In this period Morata scored five goals in four matches with the reserves,[13] while Emmanuel Adebayor was signed to replace Higuaín in the first team.[14]

On 13 February 2011, Morata scored the first hat-trick of his career, in a 7–1 victory against Deportivo de La Coruña B.[15] He finished his first season as a senior with 14 league goals – joint top scorer in the squad with Joselu – but Castilla failed to gain promotion in the playoffs.[16]

Morata celebrates winning the 2013 Puskás Cup with Real Madrid Castilla

Morata scored his first competitive goal with Real's first team on 11 November 2012, coming on in the 83rd minute and scoring the winner after just 60 seconds in a 2–1 away win against Levante.[17] In his first official start, at home against Rayo Vallecano on 17 February of the following year, he scored the opener after just three minutes, but was substituted before the half-hour mark to make room for Raúl Albiol, after Sergio Ramos was sent off in a 2–0 home victory.[18]

On 2 March 2013, Morata played the full 90 minutes in El Clásico against Barcelona, assisting as Karim Benzema scored the opener in an eventual 2–1 home win.[19] In the following season, he became a regular member of the first-team squad under new coach Carlo Ancelotti, but expressed a desire for more minutes during the January transfer window.[20]

On 18 March 2014, Morata scored his first goal in the UEFA Champions League, the third goal in a 3–1 win over Schalke 04 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in the round of 16.[21] On 17 May, in the last game of the league campaign, he scored two late goals against Espanyol to help Real to a 3–1 home win, and finish with eight goals in the competition.[22] He also featured in the club's victory in the final of the Champions League against Atlético Madrid, playing the last ten minutes of regular time and extra time after replacing Benzema.[23]

Juventus

Morata with Juventus in 2014

On 19 July 2014, Juventus announced that they had reached an agreement for the fee of €20 million for the transfer of Morata, who signed a five-year deal,[24][25] with Real Madrid having the option to buy him back in the future.[26] He made his debut in Serie A on 13 September, replacing Fernando Llorente for the final minute of a 2–0 home win against Udinese;[27] two weeks later he again came on in place of his compatriot, and headed his first goal for his new club as they won 3–0 at Atalanta.[28]

On 5 October 2014, in a 3–2 home win against Roma, Morata came on as a substitute and was sent off for a foul on Kostas Manolas, who was ordered off for retaliating.[29] On 9 November he scored twice in a 7–0 home demolition of Parma, with Llorente – whom he replaced after 71 minutes – adding a further two.[30] Morata came on for the final ten minutes of the Supercoppa Italiana against Napoli in Doha, Qatar on 22 December, and scored in the penalty shoot-out which Juventus lost 5–6.[31]

On 28 January 2015, Morata played the last 13 minutes of the Coppa Italia fixture against Parma, and scored the game's only goal at the Stadio Ennio Tardini to qualify for the semi-finals.[32] The following month, at home against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League's round of 16, he scored the winner in the 43rd minute of the first leg;[33] he also started and found the net in the return match, helping Juve to a 3–0 win at the Westfalenstadion.[34]

On 7 April 2015, Morata was sent off for a foul on Alessandro Diamanti as Juventus defeated Fiorentina in the cup semi-final, thus missing the final.[35] One week later, he won a penalty in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Monaco, which was converted by Arturo Vidal in a 1–0 home win.[36] In the first leg of the semi-final, against Real Madrid, he put the hosts ahead with a tap-in in the eighth minute, as the match ended in a 2–1 home victory,[37] and he repeated the feat in the return match, on both occasions not celebrating scoring against his former club.[38] On 6 June, in the final against Barcelona in Berlin, he scored the equaliser early in the second half of a 1–3 loss.[39]

In early August 2015, Morata was ruled out for a month due to a soleus muscle tear in his left calf during training, and was sidelined for the 2015 Supercoppa Italiana.[40] In his second appearance after returning to action, on 15 September, he featured for 85 minutes and scored the winner in a 2–1 win at Manchester City in the Champions League group phase.[41] On 30 September, he scored to help defeat Sevilla 2–0 at the Juventus Stadium, his fifth goal in as many appearances in the competition to equal Alessandro Del Piero's record.[42] On 24 November, he was nominated for the UEFA Team of the Year.[43]

On 10 December 2015, Morata signed a contract extension until 2020.[44] On 20 March 2016, in the Derby della Mole away to neighbours Torino, he came off the bench in the first half and scored twice in a 4–1 victory.[45] On 21 May, he again came off the bench to score the winning goal in the 20th minute of extra time to win the Coppa Italia final 1–0 against A.C. Milan in Rome's Stadio Olimpico.[46]

Return to Real Madrid

On 21 June 2016, Real Madrid exercised their buy-back clause to re-sign Morata from Juventus for €30 million.[47] His first competitive appearance was on 9 August, as he started in a 3–2 win over fellow Spaniards Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup, being replaced by Benzema after 62 minutes.[48] His first goal came in a 2–1 home win over Celta on 27 August.[49]

On 5 April 2017, Morata profited from manager Zinedine Zidane's rotations and scored three times in a 4–2 away win against Leganés to keep his team two points clear of Barcelona with a game in hand.[50] In spite of spending the vast majority of the season as backup to Benzema, he scored 15 league goals[51] as the club was crowned champions for the first time in five years.[52][53] He added three goals in nine appearances in the Champions League,[54][55][56] which Real Madrid won for the second successive year.[57]

Chelsea

Morata playing for Chelsea in 2017

2017–18 season

On 19 July 2017, Chelsea announced that they had agreed terms with Real Madrid for the transfer of Morata, for a reported club-record fee of around £60 million.[58] On 21 July, he successfully passed his medical and officially became a Chelsea player.[59][60]

Morata made his competitive debut in the 2017 FA Community Shield match against Arsenal, coming on as a substitute in the 74th minute as his team lost on penalties after drawing 1–1 in normal time, with Morata missing in the shoot-out.[61] On 12 August 2017, he scored and provided an assist for David Luiz in his first appearance in the Premier League, a 2–3 defeat at home to Burnley – his goal was a header in the 69th minute of the game to cut the deficit to 3–1.[62] On 23 September, he scored his first hat-trick for Chelsea in a 4–0 away win against Stoke City;[63] this made him the 17th Chelsea player to score a hat-trick in the Premier League.[64]

On 5 November 2017, Morata scored in the 1–0 home defeat of Manchester United, coached by his former boss Mourinho.[65] He took his league tally to ten goals on 26 December, helping Chelsea to a 2–0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion, also at Stamford Bridge.[66]

On 17 January 2018, Morata was sent off after picking up a booking for diving, then another seconds later for dissent, in a third round FA Cup replay win over Norwich City.[67] He finished his first year with 15 goals in all competitions, and the Blues finished fifth in the league table.[68]

2018–19 season

Morata opened his account for the following campaign on 18 August 2018, scoring the second goal in a 3–2 home victory against Arsenal.[69] On 4 October, he scored the winner in a 1–0 win over MOL Vidi in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.[70] A month later, he scored twice to help beat Crystal Palace 3–1 in a league fixture at home.[71]

Atlético Madrid

On 27 January 2019, Morata returned to Atlético Madrid after 12 years, joining the club on an 18-month loan deal.[72] He made his league debut on 3 February, in a 0–1 away loss against Real Betis.[73] He scored his first goal on 24 February, in a 2–0 home win over Villarreal.[74]

International career

Youth

Morata playing for Spain U19 in 2012

Morata was selected in the Spain under-17 team for the 2009 FIFA World Cup in Nigeria, playing four matches and scoring two goals as Spain finished third.[75][76] Subsequently, he represented the under-19s at the Japan International Tournament,[77] helping Spain finish second behind the hosts.[78]

Morata was selected by Spain for the 2011 UEFA European Under-19 Championship in Romania, helping the national team win the tournament with six goals, the highest in the competition.[79] He made his debut with the under-21s at the 2013 European Championships in Israel, scoring the only goal in each of the first two group games against Russia and Germany, in the 82nd and 86th minutes respectively.[80][81] He closed out a perfect group stage with his third goal, against the Netherlands in a 3–0 win.[82] Spain won the tournament, and he finished as the competition's top scorer.[83]

Senior

On 7 November 2014, Morata was called up to manager Vicente del Bosque's senior squad for matches against Belarus and Germany.[84] He made his debut against Belarus on the 15th, replacing Isco for the last ten minutes of a 3–0 win in Huelva in the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers.[85] In the same competition, on 27 March 2015, he scored his first senior international goal, the only goal in a victory over Ukraine in Seville.[86]

Selected for the finals in France,[87] Morata started and scored a brace in a 3–0 group win against Turkey in Nice.[88] On 2 September 2017, coming off the bench in the 77th minute, he scored once to help the hosts defeat Italy 3–0 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.[89]

On 21 May 2018, Morata was left out of Spain's World Cup finals squad after a poor club season.[90]

Style of play

In his youth, Morata was compared to Real Madrid and Spain's Fernando Morientes due to his playing style.[91] During his first season at Juventus he stood out for his pace, energy, physicality and work-rate on the pitch, while his technique, opportunism, heading ability and positional sense saw him score several crucial goals.[92][93][94][95]

A versatile and well-rounded forward, Morata is capable of playing as a main striker or linking up play between the lines, and has also played out wide on the wing.[96] He is also an accurate penalty taker.[97]

Personal life

In March 2014, Morata shaved off all of his hair in solidarity with sick children, saying "kids with cancer wanted to have my haircut but they couldn't, so I gave myself theirs".[98][99]

On 10 December 2016, he got engaged to his Italian girlfriend Alice Campello,[100] and on 17 June 2017, the pair were married in Venice.[101] The two welcomed twin sons Alessandro and Leonardo on 29 July 2018, and the player changed his kit number at Chelsea from 9 to 29 to honour them.[102]

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 16 March 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Real Madrid Castilla 2010–11[103] Segunda División B 28 15 28 15
2011–12[104] Segunda División B 37 18 37 18
2012–13[105] Segunda División 18 12 18 12
Total 83 45 83 45
Real Madrid 2010–11[106] La Liga 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
2011–12[107] La Liga 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2012–13[108] La Liga 12 2 2 0 1[a] 0 0 0 15 2
2013–14[109] La Liga 23 8 6 0 5[a] 1 34 9
Total 37 10 9 0 6 1 0 0 52 11
Juventus 2014–15[110] Serie A 29 8 4 2 12[a] 5 1[b] 0 46 15
2015–16[111] Serie A 34 7 5 3 8[a] 2 0 0 47 12
Total 63 15 9 5 20 7 1 0 93 27
Real Madrid 2016–17[112] La Liga 26 15 5 2 9[a] 3 3[c] 0 43 20
Chelsea 2017–18[113] Premier League 31 11 6 2 3 1 7[a] 1 1[d] 0 48 15
2018–19[114] Premier League 16 5 1 2 2 0 4[e] 2 1[d] 0 24 9
Total 47 16 7 4 5 1 11 3 2 0 72 24
Atlético Madrid (loan) 2018–19[115] La Liga 6 3 0 0 2[a] 0 8 4
Career total 261 104 30 11 5 1 48 14 6 0 348 131
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  2. ^ Appearance in Supercoppa Italiana
  3. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, two in FIFA Club World Cup
  4. ^ a b Appearance in FA Community Shield
  5. ^ Appearances in UEFA Europa League

International

As of match played 18 November 2018[116]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Spain
2014 2 0
2015 4 1
2016 12 7
2017 5 5
2018 4 0
Total 27 13

International goals

As of match played 11 November 2017 (Spain score listed first, score column indicates score after each Morata goal)[116]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 27 March 2015 Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain 3  Ukraine 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
2 1 June 2016 Red Bull Arena, Salzburg, Austria 9  South Korea 4–0 6–1 Friendly
3 6–1
4 17 June 2016 Stade de Nice, Nice, France 11  Turkey 1–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2016
5 3–0
6 21 June 2016 Nouveau Stade, Bordeaux, France 12  Croatia 1–0 1–2
7 5 September 2016 Reino de León, León, Spain 15  Liechtenstein 6–0 8–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
8 7–0
9 7 June 2017 Nueva Condomina, Murcia, Spain 20  Colombia 2–2 2–2 Friendly
10 2 September 2017 Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain 21  Italy 3–0 3–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
11 5 September 2017 Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein 22  Liechtenstein 2–0 8–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
12 6–0
13 11 November 2017 La Rosaleda, Málaga, Spain 23  Costa Rica 2–0 5–0 Friendly

Honours

Real Madrid Castilla[117]

Real Madrid[117]

Juventus[117]

Chelsea

Spain U19[117]

Spain U21[117]

Individual

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