Upon entering his press conference for Real Madrid’s huge title-deciding La Liga clash with Celta Vigo, Zinedine Zidane was almost instantly grilled upon Alvaro Morata’s reaction to being substituted against Sevilla:
“He was not angry with me, with something else. This can happen. We talked and it is all past now.”
The Spanish striker, who surprisingly started the game against Sevilla, was subbed off on 61 minutes, with the Los Blancos half-time lead having been halved, with Jovetic scoring not long into the second-half.
Morata ignored the outstretched hand of his iconic manager, an act we can all agree was disrespectful and one that you’d assume the former Juventus striker regretted and has apologised for. However, it’s the double standards of football fans – no surprise when it comes to the Los Blancos faithful – that occurs when such instances happen.
Footballers are damned if they and damned if don’t; Morata was lambasted for his dissent. However, imagine the uproar if Morata, a young and hungry footballer trying to make his way in the beautiful game, had reacted in a manner that suggested he was delighted to be taken off, in a crucial game, when he’s played less than 2000 minutes all season? The insults along the lines of “no wonder Zidane doesn’t play him” would’ve surfaced across social media.
Benzema could be the worst striker in the world and he would still have a better attitude and be a better player than Morata ever will be
— Rk (@RkFutbol) May 15, 2017
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Morata’s return to the Bernabeu, as Madrid activated the buy-back clause with Juve, was heralded as the return of the prodigal son. And despite 20 goals for the back-up to Karim Benzema this season, Morata is regularly linked with Chelsea and Manchester United, with the Premier League heavyweights looking for replacements to Diego Costa and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, respectively.
A clear desire to thrive, coupled with the passion of Antonio Conte, could well turn Morata into one of the game’s leading strikers.