Wednesday, July 28

Morata’s insufficient cry

Morata hugs Luis Enrique after opening the can.

Morata hugs Luis Enrique after opening the can.

At the same moment that the last stanza of the Spanish anthem sounded, the cry of Alvaro Morata, who applauded, screamed and resurfaced against Poland in Euro 2020, vindicated with the only skill against doubts about a striker, the goal, the essence of everything, the most precious value, but insufficient to obtain a triumph that he always sought, within of the ups and downs in which the Madrid attacker has been moving lately.

Spain needed the goal. And it urged the attacker. “I’m phenomenal,” he said the day before. Every question – or doubt – about his spirit was emphatically cleared, as sure of himself as he showed from the first moment of the match against Poland, consistent with what he had said a few hours before leaving “200 percent”.

In the 26th minute, after 398 or five crashes without beating the opposing goal with the Spanish shirt, his moment arrived, associated with the other man goal from Spain, Gerard Moreno, the only variation that Luis Enrique Martínez proposed for the match for the right wing, the place from which arose something that was sensed.

Above all, when the Villarreal striker traced his maneuver and enough space was opened to devise and execute the low pass to the small area, so decisive three meters from the goal, so difficult for the opposing defenders, who do not perceive who is at his back or who goes to the auction. Morata went to him, thrown towards the goal.

He pushed it with his right, beat Wojciech Szczesny and doubted whether it was a goal or not, on the verge of an offside that the right wing line of the Spanish attack did believe and that later denied the VAR review, with the blue stripe that transformed the silence and the tension into the relief of the goal, although already reduced of effusiveness.

When referee Daniele Orsato pointed to the center of the field, the validation of the goal, Morata knew the destination of the dedication. Publicly defended and protected in the previous one by Luis Enrique Martínez, the coach, including through data; surrounded by the entire coaching staff, he went to the bench. First he hugged the coach. Then he addressed everyone, made them protagonists of his goal, as comforting for himself as for the entire team.

“From the outside, it may seem like it’s much more noisy. I haven’t read or seen anything. I’m fine. I’ve had a long enough career for people’s opinions to change my life or make me more or less sad. what matters is what my colleagues and the people inside here think, “he said on Friday.

Without a goal, the striker is a footballer always under suspicion, pointed out as the Madrid attacker was by the fans in the 0-0 preparation on June 4 against Portugal at the Wanda Metropolitano or in the 0-0 of the past Monday against Sweden, already within the Eurocup, in the focus of criticism until this Saturday.

It was not enough. The reason came later, when he failed to finish the rejection of the penalty missed against the post by Gerard Moreno, when he did not hit on two more occasions to change the course of the result, opened by him and leveled by Robert Lewandowski.

Morata scored his twentieth goal in 41 international games, the first since 1-1 against Greece last March and the fourth in the final phase of a European Championship, just one goal away from reaching Fernando Torres, the scorer of the end of 2008 that changed everything, as the top scorer in the history of the Spanish team. He has another chance against Slovakia. The margin of error is running out.

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