Football: 5 things about Chelsea's new superstar recruit Alvaro Morata

Real Madrid's forward Alvaro Morata celebrates the team's win at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 4, 2017.
Real Madrid's forward Alvaro Morata celebrates the team's win at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 4, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

London (AFP) - Five things on Alvaro Morata, after the Spanish international striker signed for English champions Chelsea from Champions League holders Real Madrid on Friday for a deal reported to be worth up to £70 million (S$123.9 million).

Morata is currently in Singapore and will join up with his new Chelsea team-mates ahead of the International Champions Cup (ICC) Singapore tournament from July 25-29 at the National Stadium.

1) Decent proposal

Morata possesses a flamboyant side as he revealed when he proposed to his sweetheart Alice Campello.

He did so at a show by magician Antonio Diaz in Madrid.

Diaz instructed Alice to face one way on the stage and then turn round, adding: "This'll be the best trick you've ever seen."

As she wheeled around, she saw Morata down on bended knee with a ring in his hand.

"I was more nervous that day than any other," he told The Guardian in April.

"When you're taken away from your pitch, your territory, the nerves are greater."

The happy couple were married in Venice in June.

2) Conte a long-time admirer

Morata will at last be managed by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte after the latter coaxed him into joining Juventus in 2014 from Real Madrid before jumping ship to take over the Italian national side days before the forward signed his contract.

However, Morata is positively dewy-eyed about Conte despite not having played under him yet.

"Conte is the manager who most 'bet' on me, without ever having me in his team," he told the Guardian.

"I'm very conscious of that: he bet on me for Juventus but left before I arrived. He knows me better than I could imagine, I'm sure, and that's important: it motivates you to work hard, train well."

3) Sensitive side

Morata has very fine locks admired by many.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos had a ritual whereby he shaved Morata's head hoping it would bring them goals, but last year, he appeared shorn for a very different reason.

It turned out he was doing it in support of child cancer sufferers at the Hospital Nino Jesus de Madrid.

"There were some kids at a hospital that wanted to have the same hairstyle as me, but they couldn't (due to cancer). Instead for them to have my hair style, I cut my hair and got their hairstyle," he said.

4) Father figure Buffon

Morata left Juventus for a return to Real Madrid last year, but he will forever be indebted to legendary Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

He found life hard in Turin until Buffon took him to one side and told him not to show how he was feeling in public, lest others use it to their advantage.

"All lads who aren't mature yet live various situations to the extreme. They live with great joy or with great depression if things aren't going well," Buffon told Real Madrid TV last year.

"Alvaro had some negative thoughts in his last period at Juve, we talked about it a bit because I felt sorry for him, he was a lad I really liked and I wanted to help him and give him security. He deserved the help of a team-mate, and I have huge affection for him."

5) Morientes' stamp of approval

Morata has been often compared with former Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes - who formed a lethal partnership with fellow club legend Raul for many years.

Morientes himself is a great admirer of Morata.

"He's a penalty area player who plays well high up the pitch. He's a goalscorer and a complete player," he told Omnisports last year.

"And apart from that, he's a player you can use out wide. He's very quick and he can go past players."