Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata claims the Italian Serie A is the toughest league in the world, admits he misses living in Italy and feels he should never have left Juventus to return to Real Madrid, all in a revealing interview ahead of the Blues trip to AS Roma in the Champions League.
The Spain international spent two seasons in Turin, winning two domestic doubles and reaching the 2015 Champions League final, before Madrid activated a buyback option in his contract, reportedly valued at €30million, in 2016.
Morata struggled to force his way into the starting line-up back at the Santiago Bernabeu, though, and agreed to join Chelsea in a reported club-record £60m deal in the transfer window in a bid to earn regular football.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed a strong start to his career in England, scoring six times in nine Premier League appearances, but he has confirmed he longs to go back to Italy.
Morata also slammed Madrid’s attitude towards him following his return and felt he was practically forced to restart his career.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League trip to Roma on Tuesday, he told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “There were contractual agreements to respect. The disappointment was huge: I went right back to the start.
“They treated me like the kid I was before the two seasons in Italy.
“I arrived [in Italy] feeling like a boy and I returned feeling like a true player. I should never have left Italy and Juve.
“I really miss Italy. My wife would like to live in Spain; I’d like to live in Italy.”
Morata also believes Serie A is the toughest league he has played in due to the tactical and defensive strength of the teams.
“In Spain, technique is dominant. In Italy, it’s tactics. In England, the most relevant aspect is physical strength,” he said. “The most difficult is Italy: organised teams and very good defenders.”
Morata has admitted in the past he joined Chelsea to work with Antonio Conte, who left as Juve head coach shortly after his arrival in 2014.
The forward feels he has adapted well to life at Stamford Bridge under the Italian and alongside Chelsea’s Spanish contingent of players.
Asked why he chose England, he replied: “Because it was a great coach like Antonio Conte. We started to talk about a possible signing in the last pre-season and in the end I came to London.
“I knew Conte and I’ve had no problems understanding his idea of football. I was really well received by my team-mates; we have a Spanish group with [Cesar] Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, [Cesc] Fabregas and Pedro, and they made things easier.”