Alvaro Morata has had a rollercoaster of a career so far. The Spaniard has the reputation for being a bit of a journeyman. He’s played in four major European clubs in his career, stretched over five transfers.
He came through the ranks at the Santiago Bernabeu before making his debut for the first time.
In 2019, after a failed stint at Chelsea, the 30-year-old decided to return to where it all started for him. He rejoined the club, initially on loan, before being bought by Los Rojiblancos on a permanent move in 2020.
Surprisingly, Atletico decided to send him on loan to Juventus for the 2020/21 season as well as the 2021/22 campaign.
After the Bianconeri refused to make the deal permanent, the La Liga side accepted him back and he’s been featuring heavily for them.
Despite the strange turn of events over the last years, Morata appears to maintain his steady, consistent run of scoring goals.
After a decent World Cup campaign with Spain, for whom he scored three goals, the Spanish striker has featured in all but two of Atletico’s games this season.
In 27 appearances, he’s scored 9 goals – which included one in the Madrid derby against his former side in the Copa Del Rey on Thursday.
Los Rojiblancos lost the game 3-1 after it was dragged all the way to extra time, but Morata made a bright impact on the game.
The 30-year-old striker scored Atletico’s only goal in the game and gave them a surprising lead in the 19th minute. It was also his celebration afterwards that has a very interesting hidden meaning to it.
Morata’s back-and-forth over playing for the two Madrid clubs has confused some fans, but also infuriated some of the die-hard ones.
There were a lot of Real Madrid fans who wanted to stick it to the striker during the game and try to unnerve him with disrespectful chants.
Some of the home fans started to chant ‘Morata is a rat’, in relation to him playing for their rivals despite starting his professional career with them.
The Spaniard was clearly aggravated by this and decided to shut up those fans with a brilliant celebration.
Immediately after scoring the goal, Morata decided to celebrate by trying to hide the ‘Mo’ at the back of his kit so that it read ‘rata’, which means rat in Spanish.
This act almost seemed like one where the striker taunted Real Madrid fans to keep calling him a rat and give him more motivation to torment the opposition players.
Morata was one of his side’s best players in the first half, scoring an impressive goal as well as working hard to help Atletico defend the lead.
He was ultimately taken off early in the second half and not too much surprise, Diego Simeone’s side was made to pay for their park-the-bus tactics – with Real Madrid scoring a late equalizer and winning the game in extra time.
But Morata’s celebration was a subtle yet effective way of shutting up the fans who tried to put him down in such a vital game.