Alvaro Morata says he is “proud” of his Spain team-mates after being knocked out of Euro 2020 in the semi-finals by Italy.
Morata has faced criticism for his performances during the tournament and was superb against Italy before missing a penalty.
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Spain boss Luis Enrique revealed Morata was actually injured when he took the spot-kick and heaped praise on his striker’s strength of character.
“He has an abductor issue. It says a lot about his personality that, despite that, he wanted to take a penalty,” he said after the game.
He has gone through some tough times during this competition but he was brilliant, he created a lot of uncertainty in the Italian ranks, he scored, he was excellent.
“I haven’t been able to see him because he went to doping control but I will go and see him now.”
Álvaro Morata (Nr. 7) steht mit Spanien im EM-Finale
Image credit: Getty Images
Despite falling down at the last hurdle before the final, Spain can congratulate themselves for a job well done after being written off at Euro 2020 early on.
A lacklustre start to the group stages had many predicting that not only would Spain suffer an early exit, but that Enrique could be sacked if they did.
Morata released a statement after his penalty miss and said his side deserved more from a desperately close game.
“This group deserved more, much more,” he said.
“Like the whole of Spain, it was also my dream, our dream.
“I am proud to have been part of this team. To those who have believed in us, THANK YOU. Football can be very hard.”
Just like Morata, Enrique refused to point fingers after the defeat, hailing the quality of opposition Spain has faced at Euro 2020.
“It’s not a sad night for me, not at all,” he said.
“Of course there is disappointment, but that’s football. You have to be able to win and lose.
“We were very pleased to win the shootout in the quarter-finals but we have to congratulate our opponents.
I said at the start we were one of eight teams that could win the title, I wasn’t wrong about that. We go home knowing we competed and were one of the best teams at the competition.
“I’d say it would be an A- for my players, an A+ if we’d won.
Luis Enrique, Italia vs España
Image credit: Getty Images
“We’ve been speaking about how we’d like to play at the Euros for many months, and the players bought into it, so I have no complaints. We’ve shown we’re a team and we’re going to continue doing that.”
Italy await England in the final if the Three Lions can beat Denmark in their semi-final at Wembley on Wednesday night.
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