ALVARO MORATA talked of his pride in Spain’s Euros heroics after Luis Enrique revealed the player took his semis spot-kick whilst injured.
The La Roja boss said the striker had been battling with an ‘abductor issue’ after praising the Juventus loan ace for helping Spain take Italy to the wire.
The two-time European champs missed out on a place in the contest’s finals against England or Denmark after Morata and Dani Olmo saw their spot-kicks saved.
The duo had been instrumental in helping their team take Roberto Mancini’s aces into an extra-time battle before Spain lost 4-2 on penalties to Italy with Chelsea’s Jorginho netting the winner.
It was Morata who levelled proceedings for the 2008 and 2012 Euros victors after scoring in normal time following a delightful through ball from Olmo.
And his national team gaffer hailed the character of the player who came on as a second-half sub despite having thigh problems.
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Enrique, 51, said: “He has an abductor issue. It says a lot about his personality that, despite that, he wanted to take a penalty.
“He has gone through some tough times during the competition, but he was brilliant.
“He created a lot of uncertainty in the Italian ranks, he scored. He was excellent.”
Morata, who has 46 senior international caps, netted three goals for Spain in this year’s Euros.
And the star, who is on loan to Juve from Atletico Madrid, saluted his team-mates and fans on Instagram for showing their faith in the side ranked the sixth-best in the world.
Enrique’s players are due to face Sweden in a World Cup qualifier clash in September.
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In a post on the platform, Morata wrote: “This group deserved more, much more.
“Like all of Spain, it was also my dream, our dream.
“I can only say that I am proud to have been part of this team.
“To those who have believed in us, thank you. Soccer can sometimes be very tough. Long live Spain.”
A few of England’s former strikers have been sharing their thoughts on Morata’s penalty technique and what may have led to the save by Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Southampton icon Matt Le Tissier reckons the player having his head down whilst Donnarumma had committed to his left may have played a part in his pen being saved.
Le Tissier, 56, – who netted 47 out of 48 penalties – during his career said: "If Morata gets his head up a little before striking the ball he’d have been able to see the keeper was only going one way."
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