Football: Alvaro Morata ready to make his mark

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata and defender Cesar Azpilicueta (standing) playing Fifa at an event hosted by Ericsson yesterday. Morata will be the Blues' No. 1 choice up front this season.
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata and defender Cesar Azpilicueta (standing) playing Fifa at an event hosted by Ericsson yesterday. Morata will be the Blues' No. 1 choice up front this season.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Spaniard will be a Blues starter, having been a squad player at Real and Juventus

He has had a career most footballers can only dream of - winning trophies everywhere he has played - but Chelsea's record signing, Alvaro Morata, remains hungry for more, and is eager to replicate his success with the Blues.

"I don't know (how many goals I will score), I just want to win as much as possible with Chelsea," said the forward in response to a question from a journalist at a media event.

"Chelsea are one of the biggest clubs in Europe, and I am very happy to be part of the Chelsea family."

Morata is no stranger to big clubs, having signed for the Blues from LaLiga champions Real Madrid for £58 million (S$103 million) off the back of Real's historic defence of their Champions League crown, where they became the first team to retain it.

The previous season, he had plied his trade for Italian Serie A champions Juventus, winning a domestic league and Cup double.

Morata first left Real in search of first-team football in 2014, but initially found himself behind Carlos Tevez in the pecking order.

A stellar second season with the Turin club however, including a goal in the Champions League final, saw Real activate their buy-back clause to bring the striker back to the Santiago Bernabeu.

His second stint at Real, however, saw him start just 14 games in LaLiga, as he was again overlooked in favour of more illustrious team-mates such as Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

STATING HIS AMBITIONS

It is especially important this year to play in the first team. If I play well here... I will hopefully be selected for the (2018) World Cup, which is a dream of mine... all I want to do is to play well for Chelsea.

ALVARO MORATA, Spanish international striker, believes he can fulfil his dreams at Stamford Bridge.

Morata scored 20 goals and laid on five assists in all competitions last season, and that was enough to persuade Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich to open his chequebook.

The 24-year-old Spanish forward is eager to finally be the main man at his new club.

Said Morata: "It is especially important this year to play in the first team. If I play well here at Chelsea, I will hopefully be selected for the (2018) World Cup, which is a dream of mine.

"But I am not thinking so far ahead, I am just thinking of the present and now all I want to do is play well for Chelsea."

Morata was speaking at an event hosted by Ericsson, where the communication technology specialist announced a partnership with local telco Singtel to boost mobile user experience.

Team-mates Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, as well as youngster Lewis Baker were also present at the event as the football stars first showcased their freestyle skills before splitting into two teams and taking on one another in a video game of 4v4 Fifa, accompanied by two Ericsson engineers.

The Chelsea stars also took questions from winners of Ericsson's social media contest, ranging from the best dancer in the dressing room (ex-Blue Nathaniel Chalobah, now at Watford), to their sporting heroes (all former footballers, to no one's surprise).

Morata's experience of playing in top European teams will be invaluable in his transition from the white of Real to the blue of Chelsea, says defender Azpilicueta.

Said the Spanish international: "I'm trying to help by sharing my experience here, but to be honest, he doesn't need much help. He has played for top clubs like Juve and Real so I will try to help off the pitch but on it, he knows what to do."

Perhaps in a sign of things to come, Morata and Azpilicueta's team eventually triumphed 1-0 in the Fifa game, with the solitary goal scored by Morata's virtual counterpart.

The Blues play their last pre-season game in the International Champions Cup against Italian side Inter Milan at the National Stadium tomorrow.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2017, with the headline 'Morata ready to make his mark'. Print Edition | Subscribe