Atlético’s Álvaro Morata eyes move abroad over fan abuse

Atlético Madrid forward Álvaro Morata has said “the easiest thing” would be for him to play abroad, hitting out at the way fans in Spain have treated him and his family.

Morata is the fourth highest goalscorer in the history of the Spanish national team — behind David Villa, Raul Gonzalez and Fernando Torres — and is captaining his country at Euro 2024.

However, the former Real Madrid player has had an up-and-down relationship with fans, being whistled by some of the crowd at the Bernabéu during Spain‘s friendly with Brazil in March, and by fans during Spain’s Euro 2020 campaign three years ago.

“The easiest situation for me is not playing in Spain, because of what I have to experience when I go out into the street in this country,” Morata told Cadena SER on Wednesday.

“For me the easiest situation would be to go and play abroad. Often my children, who are five years old, don’t understand why people are so angry at their father.

“The easiest thing last summer would have been to leave Atlético. I had better offers financially, from big teams, but I want to win things with Atlético. When I see how people react to our games, to be honest the easiest thing would be to go and play abroad.”

Morata has scored 35 goals in 73 appearances for his country, and found the net most recently in Spain’s 5-1 friendly win over Northern Ireland on June 8.

In 2021, he said his family had received “threats and insults” over his performances for the national team.

“This could be my last big tournament with the National Team,” Morata said on Thursday. “It’s the biggest thing that’s happened in my career, being here. But you have to think if it’s really worth it, matching Fernando’s or Raul’s [goal records], or really being well and being much happier. I think I play better with the national team outside of Spain, honestly.”

“I think there are a lot of Spaniards who want the National Team to do badly,” Morata said. “In other countries that doesn’t happen. I don’t know why. In Italy, during the Euros, it’s full of Italy flags. It’s not politics, it’s football. If you like football and you’re Spanish, why don’t you want Spain to win?”

Morata had an impressive first half of the 2023-24 season with Atlético, but struggled badly for form in the second half of the campaign, losing his place in the starting XI.

The team have been linked with a move for multiple forwards this summer, including Girona‘s Artem Dovbyk and Villarreal‘s Alexander Sørloth.