On Tuesday, Spain new boy Marcos Alonso told the assembled media that Álvaro Morata was not pleased to be left off of Spain’s national squad for the March friendlies, even though his poor form and ill-health had more or less guaranteed that manager Julen Lopetegui would pass him over.
Meanwhile, surging Diego Costa is on the team and would appear to have a lock on the striker’s job. Presumably, that particular tidbit only added to Morata’s foul mood.
Given all of that, I wonder how he feels about
the competition’s Costa’s kind words on Wednesday?
“I do not feel more liberated, I miss him, we get along very well. Nothing has been easy in my life.”
“Morata is a great person, a great footballer, he is having a bad time but he is starting to score again. I want him, me and everyone if possible.”
That sounds genuine and, frankly, it’s easy to see why Costa is popular in the dressing room. There seems to be a warm heart under that fearsome exterior. And Costa was also open about the pressure that a striker feels, pressure under which Morata himself appeared to be cracking until he finally broke through against Leicester on Sunday.
Costa’s point is that whether Morata is there or not, nothing changes for the man whose job it is to score goals.
“The pressure is the same, being a forward of the [Spanish] National Team represents a lot.”
“In the national team, when you do not score, you always have the pressure because it is not any selection, it is Spain.”
“It’s normal that it will get in your head a bit. You have to have peace of mind, then things will turn out well, now they are going well for me, I hope it continues like this.”
-Diego Costa; source: Metro
What Morata hopes is that his own scoring drought is over, thanks to that sweet breakaway at King Power Stadium. And Lopetegui did make a point of leaving the door open for Russia, if Morata proves he can rediscover his early-season form. That’s something Chelsea has a rooting interest in too, of course.
Make it so, Álvaro! Make it so.