Sports, Football

Morata’s time may be now for Spain after underwhelming decade

Published : 29 Nov 2022 07:51 PM | Updated : 29 Nov 2022 07:51 PM

Spain and Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has a star-studded CV, spending time at Real Madrid, Juventus and Chelsea, but is rarely considered an elite striker.

Two La Liga titles, two Serie A titles and two Champions League trophies feature in his honours list, and yet, at 30, it feels as if Morata has underwhelmed for much of his career.

However it was his well-taken strike that sent Spain ahead against Germany in their 1-1 World Cup draw on Sunday, and another sign that finally Morata's time to shine has arrived.

"Now is all," insist the Qatar World Cup organisers, a slogan pasted around Doha and yelled out by pitch-side announcers, but one Morata can take to heart, after years of nearlys, not-quites and almosts.

Morata's finish from Jordi Alba's low cross was lethal, leaving Manuel Neuer with no chance.

The forward, who came on as a substitute against both Germany and also Costa Rica, in Spain's emphatic 7-0 opening day rout, scored and set up a goal against Los Ticos.

Morata has put in good performances with Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid this season, despite only five goals in 14 La Liga matches.

He netted a last-gasp goal for Spain against Portugal in September to send La Roja into the Nations League final four.

And even though Luis Enrique has thus far chosen winger Marco Asensio ahead of him in the starting striker spot, Morata seems sure of himself and able to take his chances when they come.

"I feel comfortable in the national team, I am proud to be here," Morata told a press conference, after he was named man-of-the-match against Germany.

"It is not easy, the demands on us and the pressure are very high, whether you are a starter or a substitute.

"I want to win all the games, I'm a soldier like everyone else, and we'll go to the death together. As well as being a great team we are a great group and very united."