Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has admitted that he had “stopped enjoying” football at Chelsea and is glad he secured a move away from West London.
The Spaniard moved to Chelsea for £60m from Real Madrid in 2017 while Antonio Conte was in charge at Stamford Bridge, but he failed to settle and an initial 18-month loan deal back to Madrid he secured in January will be made permanent at the end of next term.
Morata scored 24 goals in his 72 appearances for Chelsea but speaking to COPE, the 27-year-old admitted that despite a solid record in front of goal, he didn’t truly believe in himself.
“I’m happy at Atleti, I’d stopped enjoying football and now I’m happy,” the striker said. “The people that work at the club, my teammates… but I didn’t believe in myself [at Chelsea].
“In England, I had the feeling that when I missed [a chance], my teammates were looking at me as if I wasn’t going to do anything good. It was driving me crazy. I had a bad time.
“If only I’d been able to mature before 20-22 years old, but I’d never faced such a limiting situation. I told my wife that we were going to go as far away as possible in January because I couldn’t deal with this pressure.
“Atleti came up, I had six or seven big offers, and Chelsea wanted me to stay, but I decided to do what I’d been looking to do for various summers.”
Morata has netted seven times and registered one assist in his 13 games for Atletico so far this campaign, form that has led to a recall to the Spain squad for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Malta and Romania.
The attacker added that a title on the international stage would be a dream, saying: Apart from winning something important with Atleti, winning with the national team is my hope.
“It is difficult because we arrived after a great generation and the rest of the teams know how we play and we are the opponent to beat. It would be amazing to win something with Spain.”
Spain have already qualified for next year’s tournament and need to avoid defeat in one of their two upcoming fixtures to progress as Group F winners.