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Euro 2024 star slams own nation's fans as 'disrespectful' ahead of crucial semi-final


Spain captain Alvaro Morata has claimed he is happier outside of the country as he suffers from a lack of ‘respect’. The Atletico Madrid striker will lead out his nation in today’s Euro 2024 semi-final against France but suggests he might not remain in the Spanish capital beyond the summer.

Morata and his Spain colleagues face France tonight (Tuesday) for a place in their country’s first major final in 12 years. While they were dominant in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Spain have struggled to reach the latter stages of tournaments in the last 10 years.

But an exciting generation of young players have stepped into the shoes of the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Sergio Ramos. Teenage winger Lamine Yamal, exciting winger Nico Williams and Barcelona talent Pedri, who is injured for the France game, are being guided by the experienced Morata.

The former Chelsea star was not a popular choice for captain and manager Luis de la Fuentes has frequently been forced to justify his selection. Morata has now spoken about what he perceives to be a lack of respect from Spanish football fans.

“In Spain it’s hard for me to be happy. Without doubt [I’m happier outside of Spain]. I’ve said it many times. Above all, because people respect me,” the 31-year-old told Spanish publication El Mundo.

“In Spain there’s no respect for anything or anyone. That’s why I still think, although I’m focused on the Euros, that I don’t know if it’s best for me to stay in Spain.

“I’ve said I’m dying to win trophies with Atletico, but then you have to weigh up if it’s worth it or not.”

Morata joined Atletico from Chelsea in 2020, although has spent two of the last four years on loan at Juventus. He scored 21 goals across all competitions in the Spanish capital last term but his comments suggest he could now move on.

Meanwhile, a yellow card UEFA seemed to give to Morata in Spain’s quarter-final against Germany has caused confusion. It was suggested by the governing body that the forward was booked in the game, which would have been his second yellow card of the tournament.

Yellow cards were only wiped after the quarter-final ties, prompting assumptions that Morata was banned for the semi-final. However, UEFA have now clarified that the booking was awarded to the Spain player by mistake and that he is free to play against France.

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