While Eden Hazard will remain one of the best what-ifs stories in football, Álvaro Morata will continue as one of the greatest myths on why title-challenging teams would want him in the squad. While we mean no offence to Morata, they are better-composed finishers and reliable marksmen that clubs like Real and Atlético could opt for, but the Spaniard just has something different when he is confident. Morata displayed his skills profoundly in this match against Scotland with a brilliant header and ended the match as the best player on the pitch. The goal marks his 4th in as many matches in the UEFA Euro Qualifiers as he hopes to lead Spain back to the glory days of international football.
Spain Ended Scotland’s Unbeaten Run, but Not without Controversy
Unsurprisingly, Spain dominated the early proceedings as Scotland chose to stay back and absorb the pressure before counterattacking with their skilful forwards. Scotland gradually grew into the back, but their momentum stopped when captain Andrew Robertson suffered an injury and left the pitch before halftime. Frankly, Scotland was lucky to go into the break goalless as Ferran Torres, Álvaro Morata and Mikel Merino all came close to opening the deadlock.
However, the Scottish came out firing on all cylinders after the interval as Scott Mctominay, Manchester United’s hero against Brentford, scored a brilliant free kick from an almost impossible angle. Unfortunately, this is where the controversy kicked in as VAR deemed Hendry offside as they chalked off the goal for interference with play.
The let-off seemed to awaken the Spanish team as they gradually got up the pitch and got their reward, as Morata got on the end of a brilliant Jesus Navas cross and headed Spain in front. As Scotland searched for an equaliser, Aaron Hickey’s unfortunate slip allowed Oihan Sancet to score his first international goal on his debut. The defeat condemned Scotland to their first loss in the qualifiers, and they will have to wait for a positive result for Spain on Sunday before officially qualifying for Euro 2024.
@omega.male4231 McTominay disallowed goal! As a United fan I love McTominay right now but I think this Scottish commentator is a bit biased here, if the goalkeeper’s ability to make a save is impeded in any way then the goal should be ruled out without question… #scottmctominay #scotlandvsspain #euroqualifiers2024 #internationalfootball #manunitednews #eafc24 #footballtiktok #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Omega Male
Álvaro Morata Has Now Scored 9 Goals In 11 Matches for Club and Country
When Morata is in form, he is red-hot, as who could forget his dominant start to his Chelsea career? While he did fade off with simple misses and confidence issues, the Spaniard seemed to regain his spirit this season, as he has now scored 9 goals in 11 matches for club and country. It is far-fetched from the boy fans subjected to abuse prior to a Sergio Ramos-gifted penalty to help him regain his confidence.
Throwback to 2021, in an interview with Agustín Galán, the Spanish writer told Eurosport: “Morata is a good striker without a doubt, but the perception of him is not the best among the Spanish fans. Even with the national team, he has received some boos, he is not a fan favourite, and the press is ruthless when he misses a chance.”
Nowadays, Morata has matured and is playing with confidence befitting of a striker, as he mentioned that he and the team never lost confidence that things would go their way in their Champions League match against Feyenoord. Therefore, confidence goes a long way for a player, and players like Harry Maguire will benefit if he plays more. While we are not saying the two are out of the same mould, Maguire does share similarities with Morata in their mental resilience.
🇪🇸💥 Álvaro Morata (30) is now just a goal away from becoming the 4th highest goalscorer in Spain history!
1) David Villa – 59
2) Raul – 44
3) Fernando Torres – 38
4) David Silva – 35
5) Morata – 34 pic.twitter.com/A2KmxJTb7B
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) October 12, 2023
Álvaro Morata Explains Why He Stayed with Atlético Madrid
One of the factors that may have contributed to Morata’s form this season is Diego Simeone’s affirmation of him. In an interview with El Larguero, Morata revealed that he was close to leaving Atlético due to a lack of game time. “I wanted to play more. I had the confrontation I needed with Simeone, Gustavo López, Andrea Berta and Miguel Ángel Gil. I needed to feel important in the club and play more than last year.”
However, after a private talk with Diego Simeone and Gustavo López, the Spaniard said it was impossible for him to leave. “I was about to leave because I needed to feel important, and this year I feel more important. Simeone and Gustavo López told me they wanted me to stay. We needed to clarify some things, and that conversation was necessary. My stay at Atletico depended on that conversation as I renewed my contract twice this summer.”
Despite mouth-watering offers from Seria A and Saudi, Morata opted to stay and is now one of the most in-form strikers in the world. Can he continue his form and lead his club and country forward? Let us know on our site here.
🔴⚪️ Morata confirms exclusive news: “This summer, I renewed my contract with Atleti twice!”.
“I was close to leaving but then I spoke to Simeone and it was impossible to leave. I’m DYING to win a title with Atleti. That feeling would be incredible”. pic.twitter.com/hEf7lrLgCJ
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 11, 2023