Álvaro Morata has plenty of experience winning trophies. At the tender age of just 24, his personal collection stands at no less than a dozen, including two Champions League ‘Big Ears’ with Real Madrid and two league and two cup titles in both Spain and Italy.
Morata has in fact played in three of the last four Champions League finals, starting once (and scoring a goal) but losing (with Juventus), and coming off the substitutes bench twice (and not scoring) but winning (with Real Madrid). Now he’s hoping to do the same with Chelsea.
"[The Champions League is] an incredible competition. With all the teams I’ve played for in the Champions League I have reached the final and I hope to do so this year too. It’s very difficult to win the Champions League but I think we have a good team, and with a good mentality we can do good things."
This winning mentality has been one of the defining features of Chelsea Football Club and our leading strikers in particular, with both Didier Drogba and Diego Costa embodying pure will, desire, and drive for glory. They lead the team with not only goals but leadership and determination, encouraging any and all to follow them into the proverbial battle. Whether Morata will follow in their footsteps (as opposed to the footsteps of, say, Fernando Torres and Andrei Shevchenko) remains to be seen, but Chelsea’s record signing is off to a pretty good start.
In only four appearances for Chelsea, Morata has already scored three goals and assisted on two more, and has done so in a very different way than his predecessor. While Costa seemed to shy away from most aerial duels despite his size, Morata is an absolute force in the air, making excellent use of his height, positioning, and timing. All of his goals so far for the club have been scored with his head, though he’s looking to expand his repertoire, if for nothing else then to not be the butt of Eden Hazard’s jokes anymore.
“Like you saw, I saw he is a good player, I saw that he scores a lot with his head... now he needs to score with his feet.”
-Eden Hazard; source: Mirror
"At the moment, I’ve only scored and assisted with my head for Chelsea, so I hope to use my feet as well soon!”
-Álvaro Morata; source: Chelsea FC
Of course, as long as Morata keeps scoring, few will care how he does it. As he continues to work his way into full match fitness and full understanding with his new teammates, we should expect continuing impact and greatness. If he’s this successful while coming to grips with the Premier League and the style of football prevalent in England, just imagine how good he will be once he does so! We’ve seen him struggle a bit with physicality, for example, but we’ve also seen plenty of improvement in that regard already.
“But it’s true that English football is different to Italy and Spain. You don’t have much time to calm down, or relax, because all the time the ball is on fire! You need to be in good condition to play here and approach every match with a good mentality.
"In terms of the marking, it is probably the same here as in Italy with the teams that are maybe not at the top of the league – those teams are compact and it’s hard for us sometimes to break them down. But when the other team wants to play with the ball, you can find space. That’s when you find the spaces to attack the other team."
-Álvaro Morata; source: Chelsea FC
(P.S.: Somebody needs to turn the chorus of that song into our very own “Gomez Button”)