Morata is now Chelsea’s record signing and the most expensive Spanish player in history after completing a £70 million switch from Real Madrid. The 24-year-old striker will be charged with filling the void left by Diego Costa’s expected departure at Stamford Bridge. Álvaro Borja Morata Martín was born in the Spanish Capital itself; the city of Madrid. From an early age, Morata was obsessed with football. Morata’s love affair with football started at a time when the size of the ball was bigger than him. As revealed by Morata’s family; the young Spaniard had the ball with him at breakfast, lunch and dinner. He even slept with ball and brought it to class with him. At the tender age of 13, Morata had offers from both Real Madrid & Atletico Madrid, however pertaining to his poor grades, Morata’s father refused to let him join either club. After consistent persistence Morata eventually joined Atletico Madrid. Young Álvaro then entered a phase in life where he did not enjoy football anymore. As shocking as it seemed, the boy who slept with a ball was really no longer interested in the sport. Morata then tried his hand in Tennis. A sport that he claims, he was better at than he was in football. But, ultimately did not pursue the sport citing his lack of patience and the mentality needed to succeed in the Tennis.
After a spell with Mexican side Zona Norte, Morata was able to enjoy football once again as he outscored everyone and was the best of the bunch. He quit Atletico Madrid and joined Getafe, after which shortly, Real Madrid came calling. Morata joined the Real Madrid family in 2008. Going through all the stages which included spells at Real Madrid C, Real Madrid B (Real Madrid Castilla) and finally the Real Madrid senior side. Alvaro Morata won the UEFA Euro Under 19 Championship (2011) and Euro Under 21 Championship (2013) where he won the Golden Boot in both occasions. The taste of first team football for Morata was brought by the self-proclaimed special one; Jose Mourinho who took him to the preseason tour of the United States of America along with the senior team. Morata made his debut against on 12th December 2010 against Real Zaragoza coming on for Angel Di Maria. In the 2011-12 season, Morata scored his first official goal for the senior side against Levante UD. In the 2012-13 season, he played the entire 90 minutes in El Clasico on 2nd March 2013, where he assisted Karim Benzema for the winner (2-1) against Football Club Barcelona.
After the departure of Higuain in 2013, Morata found himself in match squads regularly and even won the Champions League and Copa del Rey with Carlo Ancelloti’s Real Madrid. However, the playing time required for a young and talented prospect like Morata was not enough for him to grow as a player. It was evident Morata would always be the reserve striker behind the proven and world class Karim Benzema. As Real Madrid’s 2013/14 folded, 21 year old Alvaro was subjected to several offers from other top tier clubs. Out of which an offer from ‘The Old Lady’ caught Morata’s interest. Juventus offered him adequate playing time in their lineup. Madrid although reluctant at first had to give in and approve Morata’s transfer. Things took a turn for the worst for Madrid’s prodigal son as he got injured in only his second training after he collided with Reserve Goalkeeper Rubinho and the latter fell on Morata’s legs, hurting his knees, thereby putting him out of action for 50 days. But later Morata met the club of his dream in the Champions league semi finals & scored in both legs against Real Madrid. The second leg took place in the Santiago Bernabeu where he crushed the hearts of millions of Madridistas, when his goal painfully knocked out Real Madrid of the Semi-Final of the 2014-15 Champions League. While he refused to celebrate the goal out of respect, Morata proved to his old club and the world that he was more than ready for the big stages of world football.
Morata’s second season with Juventus was as incredible as his first one, winning back to back Serie A and Copa Italia titles. While Morata was doing really well for himself, he felt he did not enjoy certain dynamics of the Old Lady; the ways of training and the style of football that was played there. Morata desired for the Real Madrid way.While the footballing season of 2015-16 season folded, the UEFA EURO 2016 tournament opened up. During which he was informed that Real Madrid had decided to activate their buy-back clause for Morata, which meant that the prodigal son of Madrid was coming home after spending 2 years in Italy. His longest run in the team this season was four games, with three La Liga games and one in the European Super Cup. However he did not see a minute of action in the season’s key games, against Bayern Munich in the Champions League or against rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the league. In the Champions League final in Cardiff he appeared as an 89th minute substitute, this amount of appearances is simply not enough for a player that has been wanted by some of Europe’s top clubs. Morata leaves Zinedine Zidane’s club after 97 games for Real, with just 32 as a starter and completing 90 minutes on just 14 occasions. He has netted 30 goals for the club, including 19 this season. The story of Alvaro Morata is the story of a shattered dream because he really wanted to succeed at Real Madrid but the striker will be ready to hit the ground running at Chelsea.
Morata’s Style of Play
Morata is a tall forward with broad shoulders, who plays with an assurance and sense of strength that allows him to hold the ball up well, ensuring that opposing defenders have a hard time getting it off him. This allows him to play as a reference for the attack. Moreover, the ball will be coming into the box from wide areas. An ability convert crosses is essential, and six of Morata’s 15 Liga goals came via his head. Morata can really move and this allows him to add an essential element of dynamism to the attack. Just recall what he did to Bayern Munich when playing for Juventus in 2015/16. He surged fully 50 yards, blowing by three different Bayern players and making them look utterly ridiculous and helpless before drawing two more Bayern defenders and playing it to Juan Cuadrado who finished simply. It was basically something Leo Messi would do, except Morata is 6’2 and built like a superhero.When Alvaro Morata was in the Madrid youth teams and just making the odd cameo in the first team, Mourinho insisted that the centre-forward play out on the wing. He did this because he believed that, not only would it give the youngster more opportunities in the first-team (he played his first Clásico as a winger) but it would improve him. Playing on the wing, Morata had to embrace his technique and skill. His first-touch improved, as did his balance when running with the ball . Morata’s vision expanded and he went from being an athletic forward to an athletic forward who possessed the kind of skill that allowed him to make the difference in attacks.
Despite being Real Madrid’s second-choice striker last season, Morata was an extremely important squad member for the La Liga and Champions League winners, scoring 20 goals in 43 games in all competitions. An extremely well-rounded centre forward, Morata has all the tools to become a success for Chelsea in the Premier League but how will his arrival affect Conte’s tactics next season?. In the 3-4-3 formation Conte prefers he can act as the fulcrum of the side at the top end of the pitch. Morata isn’t nearly as aggressive nor combative as Costa but he is perfectly suited to playing as a lone striker in this system as he can hold the ball up and bring others into play while also being a threat behind the defence with his running. Upon Conte’s arrival last summer, Conte experimented with a 4-2-4 formation during pre-season after enjoying success with it previously during his spells in charge of Juventus and Italy. For whatever reason, he decided against employing it in the Premier League aside from as a Plan B, but after putting his own stamp on the squad with the signings of Bakayoko and Morata, he might be tempted to try it out again. Bakayoko and N’Golo Kante have the potential to form a seriously solid central midfield partnership which would liberate the attacking quartet in the final third. With Eden Hazard marauding menacingly from the left flank and one of Pedro or Willian providing width on the right, Morata would be tasked with acting as a second striker behind Michy Batshuayi, who is better suited to playing as an advanced forward. Morata and Batshuayi would, in theory, be a good match as a centre forward pair. Although a skilful player, Morata is an excellent target man possessing the strength to hold his own against defenders as well as the intelligence to link with his teammates, while Bathshuayi is a direct player who loves to stretch defences with his pace.
We also like to end this article with a skills video of him in 2017.