Alvaro Morata highlights moment when Luis Enrique won him over mentally

This World Cup more than ever, the Spanish national team have been dubbed by the press on the Iberian peninsula as the Spain of Luis Enrique. Naturally, as manager, his fingerprints are evident in all parts of the national team. However whether Luis Enrique is the star of the show or not, he has formed a team that is entirely committed to him and his ideas.

That in large part comes down to the faith that he has shown in his team. Speaking to Marca, Alvaro Morata agreed that their manager helped them to aspire to more.

“Yes, especially his personality. There are some times that he jokes with us, but he always helps us through good times and bad. In bad times, it makes those who do not play feel the same or even more important than those who play.”

Morata is perhaps the most obvious case of Luis Enrique trusting a player and receiving complete dedication in return. The Atletico Madrid forward has been much maligned over the years and many did not believe him to be the best choice for the number nine role in the national side.

Morata was asked how much Luis Enrique had helped him personally.

“Very much. It’s hard to explain. He trusted me at the most difficult moment, not only in my career because I have gone through other bad moments, in my personal life as well. I felt that I had a whole country against me, it was a very difficult situation and he stood up and defended me against everyone. The only thing I’m trying to do is give him back that trust and everything he’s done for me.”

To pick out one incident, he chose a famous press conference before one of their Euros group stage matches last summer.

“I got up and I didn’t even feel like looking at my phone, I only talked to my wife, my parents and my children. I went to the press conference without wanting to talk. I was waiting and I heard him say: ‘Morata and ten more.’ That’s when I knew that I not only had to think about the game, that I had to give everything and that when I came off in games I had to feel dead [with tiredness].”

Morata is one of many who perhaps might not have been selected by a less bold manager. The likes of Pedri, Gavi, Nico Williams, Alejandro Balde, Eric Garcia have all been chosen ahead of more experienced options. Cesar Azpilicueta was brought in from cold, while Marco Asensio has been trusted despite not playing regularly for Real Madrid.

The result is a team that speaks and plays as Morata does – trying to repay the trust that ‘Lucho’ has put in them.

Tags 2022 World Cup Alvaro Morata Luis Enrique Spain La Roja
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