Álvaro Morata opens up about mental health problems at Chelsea | inside World Soccer


Álvaro Morata opens up about mental health problems at Chelsea

Friday, March 26, 2021

Alvaro Morata of Chelsea during a Chelsea FC training session at The WACA on July 21, 2018 in Perth, Australia
Photo: Will Russell/GETTY IMAGES

Spanish striker Álvaro Morata has revealed just how close he came to suffering from depression during his difficult season-and-a-half spell at Chelsea.

Chelsea paid a then club-record £58 million to sign Morata from Real Madrid as Diego Costa's replacement in the summer of 2017.

The 28-year-old managed just 24 goals in 72 appearances across all competitions for the Blues, and was subsequently left Chelsea for Atlético Madrid in January 2019, before rejoining Juventus prior to the current campaign.

Having had the chance to look back retrospectively on his time in London, Morata told El Mundo about the difficulties he had mentally whilst playing for Chelsea.

I've never had depression and I hope I never do, but I came close. I don't believe it is given the importance that it should.

When your head doesn't work well, you are your worst enemy. During those times, it doesn't matter what you do, you are always fighting against yourself.

Depression is an illness just like breaking your ankle.

The Spaniard suggested that he may have fared better at Stamford Bridge, had he had access to a mental health professional.

Had I had a professional, close to me during my [first season] at Chelsea, I think it would have gone better for me.

Just as we train in the gym or on the pitch to improve our technique and our tactical abilities, I believe the mind is something you also have to train. You have to be ready and that [seeing a psychologist] helps you a lot.

Even for my generation, in recent years, it wasn't seen as something normal to see a psychologist - but inevitably, it has to be something normal.

Today it is more common and there will be a day when it will be compulsory. There are people that go through difficult times.

Morata improved on his Chelsea scoring record at Atlético, netting 22 goals in 61 appearances before his return to Juventus, where he has been a key figure with 16 goals in 34 games this term.

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