Morata expresses regrets over leaving Atletico's youth system

Alvaro Morata left Atletico Madrid's academy as a youngster, a decision he has some regrets about.

Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.   -  Getty Images

Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has spoken of his regret at leaving the club's academy when he was climbing through the youth ranks.

Morata was a boyhood Atleti fan but left for Getafe in 2007 before joining Real Madrid a year later.

In two spells with Los Blancos, Morata won two La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey and two Champions League medals.

Between those stints, Morata collected two Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia crowns with Juventus and went on to endure an indifferent spell with Chelsea before re-joining Atleti in January 2019.

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Spain striker Morata says he is now happier than at any other point of his career.

"When I was a kid, I was a ballboy at Atletico," Morata said during an Instagram Live video with tennis player Fabio Fognini.

"Then I went through a period where I didn't enjoy it so much. You know, it's the path a young kid goes down to be a professional.

"You start with agents, sponsors. I felt a lot of pressure, I wasn't starting games.

"I thought about leaving. Then I spent a year at Getafe and, you know what, it was an amazing year.

"Then I went to Real Madrid, but my dad and I used to go to the [Vicente] Calderon and I dreamed of playing there.

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"However, unfortunately, I had to play there for other clubs and not with Atletico, but I always wanted to. What I have lived stays, but now I am happier than ever."

Morata also spoke about the toughest defenders he has faced in his career.

"[Giorgio] Chiellini, I don't know if he does it on purpose, but when he meets me, he always destroys me," Morata said with a laugh.

"Sergio Ramos is also a tough defender, while when you go against [Virgil] Van Dijk it seems like you hit a mountain."

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