After a huge miss against Sweden on Monday, the Spanish forward has hit back at his detractors
Alvaro Morata says that he is unfazed by criticism of his performances for Spain, and that he “can’t be liked by everone” ahead of his country’s Group E clash with Poland at Euro 2020 on Saturday.
Luis Enrique’s side completed more passes than any other nation in their opening game against Sweden in Seville on Monday, but were unable to find a goal to break the deadlock in a stubborn 0-0 draw.
Much of the blame has subsequently been laid at the feet of Atletico Madrid man Morata, who this week extended his loan spell with Juventus into 2022 – but speaking ahead of this weekend’s crucial encounter, the forward has hit back at the focus zeroed in on his efforts.
What has been said?
“I have taken this situation [and the criticism] very normally,” the 28-year-old told a pre-match press conference on Friday. “I’ve been working since the Under-17s to be here and play these tournaments.
“I can’t be liked by everyone. When there are criticisms you have to respect them, but listen little and work. In a match things happen so fast that you don’t have time to think.
“The goalkeeper [closed space] very well and I had to adjust to the post. I don’t know if tomorrow the ball will enter, but I will give 200% as every time I play with Spain. It is normal that when you draw a game and you deserve to win it, it costs you sleep.
“The opinion of the people does not change my mood. If I score I will be happy for the people who are always with me, but I am doing great. The most important thing I have done is lead a normal life, be with my team-mates. Everything we do here is important.
“It is clear that the forward lives from the goal. Our job is to score goals. Against Sweden I unloaded a lot physically and I think I did quite a few things well, but it seems like it all comes down to scoring. It’s part of our job.”
Spain keen to show credentials
La Roja’s frustrated blank in their opening game – with 85 per cent of possession and 917 passes overall, compared to just 162 for their visitors in Seville – underlined concerns for Luis Enrique’s side as they look to re-establish themselves as one of the international game’s superheavyweight sides.
With Sweden having won against Slovakia in the pair’s second Group E clash, Spain must win to take themselves joint-top of the pile, knowing that defeat would leave them rooted to the foot heading into Wednesday’s final group stage games.
Poland, however, will likely prove another stubborn opponent after an opening defeat, with Paulo Sousa’s side having been left to lick their wounds after Robert Lewandowski and company misfired in Saint-Petersburg last time out.