Vulnerable Morata “fearful” of criticism before penalty in Spain Euro 2020 clash

Alvaro Morata’s career CV reads like a who’s who of European super clubs, the striker playing for Juventus and Chelsea as well as both Real and Atletico Madrid.

Despite this, he has a reputation for being wasteful in front of goal and he did little to put that theory to bed during Spain’s vital Euro 2020 clash against Slovakia.

With La Roja’s hopes of qualification to the knockout stages not yet sealed at this point, Morata stepped up from 12-yards only to see his spot-kick effort saved by goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Fortunately for the striker, his teammates came to his aid in rampant fashion, firing five past Slovakia with no reply to confirm their place in the next round as runners up of group E.

How far will Spain progress in Euro 2020? Have your say below.

Alvaro Morata has failed to score his last five penalties (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

In the wake of his miss, Morata’s mental strength came under scrutiny from the likes of Gary Neville and Ashley Cole, with both former Three Lions stars covering the game as part of ITV’s punditry team.

Neville claimed: “He’s got that vulnerable look about him, almost like he needs a cuddle.

“He looks like when he misses a chance he’s fearing what the media and what the press and what his team-mates might say. Looks like he’s had some criticism playing for the national team.”

The ex-Man Utd icon went on to compare him to a number of other elite strikers on the continent, explaining: “He’s not a Diego Costa, a Lewandowski, a Kane – these sort of characters who are steely eyed. He’s just not that. He’s very different.

“I also think about the way Spain play, he does need crosses into the box, but they don’t generally play like that, Spain. They’re not a Germany.

Gary Neville has claimed Alvaro Morata has a "vulnerable look about him"
Gary Neville has claimed Alvaro Morata has a “vulnerable look about him”

“He’d be brilliant in this Germany team with Kimmich and Gosens wide. Spain play more intricate football.”

His sentiments were echoed by former Chelsea star Cole, who name-dropped another prolific striker when discussing Morata: “He reminds me of Fernando Torres when he came to Chelsea. You know at Liverpool he was so effective, scoring all types of goals. Morata seems similar.

“He was in and out of the Chelsea team and I think he found it difficult at times. It seems like he needs a real arm around him and I think with Luis Enrique he’s tried to give him that.

“We keep going back to it, Spain don’t play the same. He thrives on balls in the box and it’s about how he can adapt to this Spain team.”

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